Elizabeth C. McCoy
2012 Valene Smith Winner – First Place

smith_mccoy.jpgElizabeth C. McCoy received her BA in anthropology from the University of South Florida (USF) in 2006. She is currently a graduate student in the applied anthropology MA program at USF, focusing on public archaeology. She is also the Curator of Programs and Education at the Ybor City Museum Society, a Citizen Support Organization for the Ybor City Museum State Park. Her close ties to one of Florida’s state parks helped guide her research into tactics all state parks could employ to thrive in the face of current economic realities that have stripped away funding and staffing. The development of these possible tactics has included examination of tourism niches parks can enter, the identification and cultivation of park stakeholders, and the application of new technologies and social media to interpretive, management, and outreach strategies. McCoy’s research is supported by the Alliance for Integrated Spatial Technologies at USF.


Carla Pezzia
2012 Valene Smith Winner – Honorable Mention

smith_pezzia.jpgCarla Pezzia is a PhD candidate in the Anthropology department at the University of Texas at San Antonio. At the end of 2011, she completed her dissertation fieldwork in the Highlands of Guatemala examining issues related to the recovery of alcoholism, drug addiction, and other mental illnesses. At the macro level, her work focuses on access to care in a globalized community. At the micro level, she explores shifts in identity and selfhood between states of illness and recovery. While conducting her fieldwork, the idea of security became an important theme to understand. The research that she presented at the meeting addresses to what extent tourists consider aspects of security when they are planning trips to locations, such as the Highlands of Guatemala, that have known degrees of insecurity. Her findings suggest that the lack of information on what Guatemala has to offer as a tourist destination has more of an impact than insecurity within the tourist decision-making process. She hopes to continue to work on this project collaboratively with local tourism agencies to find ways to promote more tourism to the region.


Kristin M. Sullivan
2012 Valene Smith Winner – Honorable Mention

smith_sullivan.jpgKristin M. Sullivan is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she received her Master of Applied Anthropology degree in 2010. Ms. Sullivan's master's work looked at issues of heritage conservation, public outreach, and interpretive planning in heritage tourism for government agencies in the greater Washington, DC and Chesapeake Bay regions. Currently she is conducting fieldwork on Chincoteague Island, Virginia, where her focus is on identity and heritage issues surrounding hunting decoy and decorative wildfowl carvers as vernacular artists responding to tourism development and environmental regulation. She can be reached at kmsulliv@umd.edu.