2005 Spicer Winner
Geralyn Hoffman received her B.A. in Anthropology and Archaeology from Boston University in 2000. Geralyn will receive her Master’s degree in the department of Anthropology at San Diego State University in May 2005. Some of her course work has also been in the Department of Education. Geralyn has a deep interest in sharing her knowledge of archaeology while working with children and has devoted her Master’s thesis research toward that goal. Since the fall of 2003, Geralyn has been the Education Coordinator for the Archaeology Education Outreach Program, which is part of the Collections Management Program in the Department of Anthropology. As the coordinator, Geralyn has given over 200 presentations about archaeology and Kumeyaay culture in San Diego classrooms. In the course of her visits, she learned that third and fourth grade teachers were required by state curriculum standards to cover the culture of the local Kumeyaay. However, the Kumeyaay are not mentioned in the state’s textbooks, leaving teachers to do the research themselves. She noticed that many third and fourth grade teachers found it difficult to find helpful resources.
Geralyn began working toward developing a one-stop resource for teachers. This resource is a culture box that teachers can check out to use in the classroom. The box consists of an informational booklet, written for teachers, photographs, maps, a video, an audiotape, and ethnographic items such as sandals. Prior to its development, she researched the archaeology and ethnography of the Kumeyaay and other California Indians. She has also researched Native American stereotypes and their presence in the schools. Geralyn has studied current curricula and educational issues. She has evaluated existing teacher resources about the Kumeyaay and current third and fourth grade textbooks. During the development process, Geralyn consulted with third and fourth grade teachers at San Diego City Schools and members of the Kumeyaay community. Both teachers and Kumeyaay offered their suggestions prior to the creation of the culture box and subsequently reviewed the completed box. This consultation ensured that culture box materials would add to the classroom curriculum but would also be deemed accurate and appropriate for classroom use. This has been a very successful project that has been appreciated by San Diego’s educators and members of the Kumeyaay community.
2005 Spicer Winner
I received my Bachelors degree from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 1999 in Anthropology and Sociology. After spending four years in Maryland’s community mental health system, I decided to return to school to pursue my Masters degree in cultural anthropology. I received my Masters in May of this year from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, and will be continuing on for the PhD program at USC. Going back to school has given me the opportunity to work on projects that I might not otherwise have been able to be a part of. My thesis project gave me the chance to work toward making a tangible difference for Latino/a immigrants with a limited proficiency in English living in the Columbia, South Carolina, area with regard to their use of the public transportation system. My graduate assistantship with the Language for Healthcare Access project over the past year has provided me the opportunity to broaden my scope in regard to my research interests through contacts made with Latino/a immigrant communities around the state of South Carolina. This has given rise to new interests in Latino/a immigrants who work as farm workers and within the poultry industry in South Carolina. I hope to develop a research project that delves into the political, economic, and health aspects of farm work and immigrant labor with a particular focus on women’s roles within these industries. I am looking forward to exploring issues identified by participants as being the most salient for them in order to engage in a project that is participatory in nature. I would like to extend a thank you to the 2005 Edmund H. and Rosamond B. Spicer award committee for giving me the opportunity to present at my first national meeting as well as providing me the chance to meet people with similar topical interests as well as having a commitment to social justice.