2013 Del Jones Award Winner
Anne Victoria is currently a master’s student at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville. She received her BS in Nursing from the University of Iowa. Her research interests include mobility and transportation, health, ethnographies of science, anthropology of the body, and public policy and equity issues. Her thesis project examines mobility and transportation perceptions from the lived experience of the bus user during evolving structural and policy changes within the transportation system.
2013 Del Jones Award Winner
Michael Young is completing his master’s degree in cultural anthropology at the University of South Carolina and will be continuing onto the doctoral program at USC beginning fall 2013. In 2009, he double majored at California State University Long Beach receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology along with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resource Management. Michael stresses the importance of community for individual/group development and has incorporated these themes into his past work and current graduate research. While completing a double major at CSULB, Michael was actively volunteering his time to projects such as a community garden run by a local non-profit organization situated in a densely populated low income neighborhood in Santa Ana, California. The garden was designed to facilitate interactions between community members by providing a space that is shared in common without privately allocated portions. The community building this simple garden achieved was remarkable and influenced the creation of “Root Awakening,” an ethnographic documentary co-created with his peers.
Michael Young’s graduate research concerns the economic decisions a Q’eqchi’ Maya community near Livingston, Guatemala is making to negotiate the dynamic intersecting global processes affecting their livelihoods. During the summer of 2012 he conducted fieldwork in Guatemala which was generously funded by the Walker Institute of Area Studies. The original research question focused on the cooperatively managed community-based ecotourism business within the village, but upon arrival to the community this business was realized as being only a portion of the complex web of cooperative business initiatives present. While being given the opportunity to live within the community and listen to informants’ life histories he was able to understand the many factors affecting the families and the community as a whole. Through the utilization of interdisciplinary training he collaborated with the ecotourism business to create a web presence on their behalf which features a promotional video that presents the experience offered.
Over the 2012 winter break, Michael worked in conjunction with two international volunteer organizations (VIMEX and Volunteers for Peace) to create a volunteer camp within his field site. The volunteer workcamp was successful in achieving cross-cultural exchanges between the volunteer and community members in addition to broadening the support network available to the region. Michael strives to demonstrate how a university is the perfect setting for creating discussions concerning pertinent issues while having the ability to influence future generations to become active in creating positive social change.