2022 Anthropology Undergraduate Prize Winners
Each year, the Department of Anthropology recognizes the best papers submitted by undergraduate students for a class or a capstone in the fields of archaeology (Elden Johnson Prize), biological anthropology (Neil C. Tappen Prize), and sociocultural anthropology (Robert F. Spencer Prize). Papers are nominated by faculty members teaching the course or advising the capstone project in which the paper was written, and all submissions are evaluated by the Undergraduate Committee. In addition, every year, the Department recognizes outstanding service contributions by an undergraduate student with the Eugene Ogan Prize.
Please join us in congratulating the following students for exceptionally well-researched, well-written, and creative projects submitted for a course or capstone during the 2022 calendar year!
Independent Capstone Project Papers
Kyle Lundin (2022 Grad)
"Animal Shamans: A Zooarchaeological Approach to Ritual and Human-Animal Relationships in the Viking Age"
Professor Stuart McLean, who nominated Kyle’s paper, wrote that, “The thesis is a meticulously researched and carefully argued discussion of the possibilities of using comparative ethnographic material to illuminate Viking age archaeological data. It examines the arguments for and against interpreting Viking religious practices through the lens of shamanism, while suggesting at the same time that such comparisons can also offer a more complex and nuanced understanding of human-animal relations during the period in question.”
Kyle graduated from UMN Twin Cities with high distinction in May 2022 with a double BA in Anthropology and History. He specializes in zooarchaeology and enjoys learning about relationships between humans and non-human animals in all places and time periods. While he thinks engaging with faunal remains to answer questions about social interactions in the past is complex and difficult, it is important to think about when contemplating human and animal co-existence and co-dependence around the world. Animals have always been vital to human culture as a means of food, companionship, symbols of power, and so much more. Currently, Kyle is working as a field archaeologist in the CRM field but aspires to apply to PhD programs for zooarchaeology within the next year.
"Neanderthal Growth and Development Compared to Anatomically Modern Humans"
Professor Gilliane Monnier, who nominated Lucero’s paper, wrote that, “Ms. Loyo researched and wrote an excellent paper which summarizes research on the rate of growth and development in Neanderthals versus anatomically modern humans. The quality of the research, synthesis of the issues, and writing are outstanding!”
Lucero is a current junior who is interested in the overlap of natural history and anthropology as different hominids, cultures, and ages interact with and understand their natural environment differently. She is planning to graduate in December and wants to then continue to work in science education and understanding in an interpretive setting. Outside of her studies, she enjoys exploring nature and spending time with her favorite people.
Eugene Ogan Prize (Service Award)
Each year, the Department of Anthropology awards the Eugene Ogan Prize to students who have provided outstanding service to the undergraduate anthropology community. This year the prize was awarded jointly to the Club president, Zoe Quinn, and Treasurer, Leah Kellgren.
Zoe is currently a senior at the University of Minnesota, double majoring in History and Art with a minor in Museum and Curatorial Studies, with concentrations in material culture and early modern women’s history. On campus, she is the president of the Anthropology Club and is working on a research project at the Weisman Art Museum that aims to re-envision their American art collection. Additionally, she is working as a zine artist with the East Side Freedom Library in St. Paul. After graduation, she is planning on working in arts administration and aspires to travel and teach English abroad. For fun, Zoe enjoys hiking, biking, and exploring the Twin Cities.
The Undergraduate Anthropology Club provides a space for students to explore and enrich their interest in anthropology through discussions, field trips, professor meet and greets, game nights, de-stress events around finals, and more. In addition to these weekly activities, the club organizes, facilitates, and funds the annual undergraduate anthropology conference, which saw its 44th conference this year.
As a part of Anthropology club, Zoe has been involved as a member, secretary, and president, which has allowed her to fulfill a variety of administrative duties. As president, she provides leadership and organization to the club, making sure that the club’s activities are running in an organized fashion and keeping in line with overall goals. A large portion of the year is spent keeping officers on schedule in planning the annual conference, a process that starts in the late summer. She enjoys collaborating with the other officers, the anthropology department on campus, and people involved in the field outside of Minnesota as well.
Leah is a second year student at the University of Minnesota, majoring in anthropology with a minor in Spanish studies. She is the treasurer of the Anthropology Club on campus and has a strong passion for sociocultural knowledge and research. After graduation, she hopes to work as a cultural anthropologist, traveling globally and researching different communities to bring awareness and justice to our world. In her free time, she enjoys playing guitar and chess, hiking, and reading historical fiction novels.
The Anthropology Club is a discussion-based club where we examine and dissect a variety of global phenomena that appear natural in our society. The club explores their passion for anthropology and social justice through field trips, professor meet and greets, the annual Undergraduate Anthropology Conference, and more. The officers spend over six months of the year collaborating with the department and keynote speakers to ensure success of the conference.
As the treasurer of the Anthropology Club, I fulfill financial duties of the club, such as applying for grants throughout the year to fund our annual conference. I also work with spreadsheets and our financial advisor to ensure accurate and detailed records of our club’s incomes and expenses.