Kathryn Ranhorn
2011 Valene Smith Winner

endowed_ranhorn.jpgKathryn Ranhorn graduated from the University of Florida in 2010 with a bachelor's degree in Anthropology, summa cum laude. As a McNair Scholar, her senior thesis investigated the ethnographic context of homelessness and health in Gainesville, Florida.

Upon graduation, Kathryn secured a $10,000 Projects for Peace grant to return to Tanzania, East Africa, where she had previously studied abroad as a Gilman Scholar. Her pilot project focused primarily on the Makonde woodcarvers in Mwenge, Dar es Salaam, a community she came to know as a volunteer English teacher. Kathryn spent the next year building on her project by co-founding Investours Tanzania, a successful NGO which combines microfinance with the powers of socially-responsible tourism to deliver interest-free microcredit to the poorest of the poor. She presented on this work at the SfAA 2011 meeting in Seattle.

In addition to her development work, Kathryn re-visited the world-famous Olduvai Gorge where she helped in archaeological excavation, and also explored potential new sites throughout the country. Combining her interests in Tanzanian Makonde people with human evolution, Kathryn's next project will illuminate the ethnoarchaeological history of southeastern Tanzania. After spending the summer excavating in Kenya with the Smithsonian Institution, she will begin a PhD program in Hominid Paleobiology at George Washington University in August 2011.

 

Erica Hann
2011 Valene Smith Winner

smith_hann.jpgErica Hann recently completed her undergraduate education at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington where she studied International Political Economy and Environmental Policy and Decision-Making.  The research she presented at the 2011 SfAA was work that she conducted with colleague Amie Fleming in Kasane, Botswana during a semester of study abroad in 2010.  Her research examined the potential ecological and social impacts of a proposed community-based tourism project under development along the Chobe River in northern Botswana.  This development is part of a government-sponsored Community-Based Natural Resource Management Program in which local communities are given rights to land and natural resources (including wildlife) in order to generate economic benefits for those living most closely with large and potentially dangerous fauna such as elephants and lions.  Erica hopes to return to Botswana in the future to continue this research and explore other issues of conservation and the human-environment interaction in Southern Africa.

 

Sonja K. Ulrich
2011 Valene Smith Winner

smith_ulrich.jpgSonja K. Ulrich received her BA in Anthropology from the California State University Dominguez Hills in 2009. Since she had been a belly dancer for about ten years, she decided to minor in a specialized degree on the history of belly dancing. She continued to research the correlation between tourism and this dance form while she worked on her master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology at CSU Long Beach. While her master’s thesis is on health care choices of rural people in Chiapas, Mexico, Sonja is investigation the possibility of future PhD work in the realm of feminist theory after graduating in the fall of 2011.