Opportunities

Academic Opportunities

Senior Thesis

All Senior Theses are considered Mentored Advanced Projects (MAPs). They are designed to provide students with an opportunity to do a piece of research and writing in any area of anthropology under the direction of two members of the anthropology faculty. A senior thesis may be based on original research, library research, or a combination of the two, but in any case should build on a student's previous course work in anthropology. It should include a thorough review of relevant previous literature and develop an original argument on the topic. In addition to a written paper, students are expected to do a public presentation of their thesis.

More information about planning and proposing your Senior Thesis can be found here.

Awards, Grants, Scholarships, and Fellowships

Asrelsky Prize

The Rachael Asrelsky Anthropology Paper Prize is given annually to the author of an outstanding paper written for an anthropology class in honor of Rachael Asrelsky ('89) who died in the Lockerbie bombing while returning from an off-campus program.

 

Luebben Award

The Ralph Luebben Prize in Anthropology is awarded annually to the graduating senior who best exemplifies the ideal Anthropology student including meritorious scholarly work, breadth in the discipline, field experience, and an anthropological viewpoint on life.

Archaeologist, anthropologist, teacher, scholar—Ralph A. Luebben was the first full-time professor of anthropology at Grinnell College, the first tenured anthropologist on the faculty, the first chair of an autonomous department of anthropology, and the founder of the department’s summer archaeological field school. Ralph Luebben’s affiliation with Grinnell began in 1957. Ralph Luebben retired from Grinnell College in 1983-84. In honor of Ralph Luebben’s many contributions to the department, the Department of Anthropology solicited funds from colleagues and former students and established an endowment fund for the Luebben Prize. Ralph passed away October 19, 2009.

 

Emeritus Professors' Student Research Fund

The Department of Anthropology honors the legacy of its distinguished Emeritus Professors, D. Douglas Caulkins, Ron Kurtz, and Ralph Luebben through the Anthropology Emeritus Professors' Student Research Fund. These competitive funds are intended to expand current student research opportunities when normal College funds are not available. The funds may be used for research or expenses related to travel to disseminate results of research (such as conference attendance). Applications will be reviewed by the department three times a year. Awards will be disbursed at the beginning of each semester for travel and research incurred during the academic year (up to $500) and one for summer research or travel (up to $1000).

All returning anthropology majors are eligible to apply for funds, pending availability. Students should consult with a member of the department before submission of their proposal regarding the nature of the project and requests for funds. After this consultation, applicants should submit a one page description of their project as well as a detailed budget to Marna MontgomeryWhen applicable, copies of receipts and/or letter of acceptance to a conference should be submitted to receive funds.

 

Boren Scholarships

Boren Scholarships provide up to $20,000 to U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin American, and the Middle East.

More information: http://www.borenawards.org/

Application: https://nsep.iieweb.net/nsep/nseplogin.asp

 

Fulbright Grants

In general, there are two types of Fulbright grants:

  • A Fulbright Full Grant, which funds one academic year of overseas study and/or research in one country
  • An English Teaching Assistantship (ETA), which funds one academic year of teaching English in one country

Additionally, Fulbright offers several specialized grants, including Travel-Only Grants (which are usually given to graduate students, and only for Italy, Germany, and Hungary), Fulbright/mtvU Awards, Critical Language Enhancement Awards, Fulbright Business Grants (Mexico, Spain, and the Netherlands), Fulbright Journalism Grants (Germany and UK), and Country-Specific Awards to Australia (CSIRO), Ireland (Irish Language), Italy (Slow Foods and Deaf Studies), Mexico (Graduate Degree and Public Policy); and the Netherlands (Water Management).

More information: http://us.fulbrightonline.org

Application: https://apply.embark.com/student/fulbright/usa/26/

 

Gates Cambridge Scholarships

Gates Cambridge Scholarships are highly competitive full-cost awards for full-time graduate study and research in any subject available at the University of Cambridge.

More information: http://www.gatescambridge.org/

Application: http://www.gatescambridge.org/apply/

 

Marshall Scholarships

Marshall Scholarships finance young Americans of high ability to study for a degree in the United Kingdom. Up to forty Scholars are selected each year to study at graduate level at an UK institution in any field of study.

More information: http://www.marshallscholarship.org/

Application: http://www.marshallscholarship.org/applications/apply

 

Mitchell Scholarship

The Mitchell Scholarship Program, named to honor former US Senator George Mitchell's pivotal contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process, is designed to introduce and connect generations of future American leaders to the island of Ireland, while recognizing and fostering intellectual achievement, leadership, and a commitment to community and public service.

Up to twelve Mitchell Scholars between the ages of 18 and 30 are chosen annually for one year of postgraduate study in any discipline offered by institutions of higher learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

More information: http://www.us-irelandalliance.org/content/3/en/George%20Mitchell%20Scholarship%20Program%20|%20US-Ireland%20Alliance.html

Application: http://www.us-irelandalliance.org/content/43/en/Applying%20to%20the%20George%20Mitchell%20Scholarship%20Program.html

 

Rhodes Scholarships

Rhodes Scholarships, the oldest international educational fellowships, were initiated after the death of Cecil Rhodes in 1902, and bring outstanding students from many countries around the world to the University of Oxford.

More information: http://www.rhodesscholar.org/

Application: http://www.rhodesscholar.org/applying-for-the-scholarship/

Organizations and Activities

SEPC

The Student Educational Policy Committee, or SEPC, is a student-faculty liaison group which provides faculty with student input on professors, candidates, curriculum, and other departmental issues. It also organizes social events within the department.

Research Information

Research Fund

Anthropology Department Emeritus Professors

The Department of Anthropology honors the legacy of its distinguished Emeritus Professors, D. Douglas CaulkinsRon Kurtz, and Ralph Luebben through the Anthropology Emeritus Professors' Student Research Fund. These competitive funds are intended to expand current student research opportunities when normal College funds are not available. The funds may be used for research or expenses related to travel to disseminate results of research (such as conference attendance). Applications will be reviewed by the department three times a year. Awards will be disbursed at the beginning of each semester for travel and research incurred during the academic year and one for summer research or travel.

Eligibility and Application Process

All returning anthropology majors are eligible to apply for funds, pending availability. Students should consult with a member of the department before submission of their proposal regarding the nature of the project and requests for funds. After this consultation, applicants should submit a one page description of their project as well as a detailed budget to Marna Montgomery [montgomm]. When applicable, copies of receipts and/or letter of acceptance to a conference should be submitted to receive funds.

Deadlines

Applications will be reviewed by the department three times a year. A sum of up to $1000 dollars will be available for summer research or travel. Awards up to $500 dollars will be disbursed at the beginning of each semester for travel and research incurred that semester.

  • Summer Research Funds: 2nd Friday of May
  • Fall Funds: 2nd Friday in September
  • Spring Funds: 2nd Friday in February

Details on this award, and other awards in the department, can be found on the page "Anthropology Annual Awards."

 

 

Ronald J. Kurtz

Professor Emeritus of Anthropology

Ron Kurtz, an ethnographer and linguist, became the first full-time anthropologist on the Grinnell faculty and first chair of the department when it became an independent department in 1967-8. With a B.A. in philosophy from Carleton College (1947) and an M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from University of New Mexico (1963), Kurtz taught at Chico State College from 1958-61 before coming to Grinnell. His dissertation research was with the Canyoncito Navajo. Later he conducted field work in Liberia, funded by a Fulbright-Hays award.

Kurtz became a full professor in 1970 and published a book on his ethnographic studies in Liberia as well as articles in journals that included Ethnohistory and Current Anthropology. At Grinnell, Kurtz taught a variety of courses. During his tenure anthropology became a very popular choice for students and attracted many excellent students, including more than a dozen who later earned Ph.D.s in anthropology. Kurtz move to Senior Faculty status in 1989 and later became an Emeritus Professor.

The Kurtz Reading Room honors Ron Kurtz for his many contributions to the discipline of anthropology, the department, the college, and most importantly, to his students, whose donations made this room possible.

Honor Ron with a gift in support of the Emeritus Professors' Student Research Fund.

D. Douglas Caulkins

Professor Emeritus of Anthropology

In 2011, D. Douglas Caulkins became an emeritus professor of the College. In recognition of Doug’s extensive teaching and service to the department as well as his unending support of students, the department of Anthropology has established “The Emeritus Professors’ Student Research Fund”. These competitive funds are intended to expand current student research opportunities when normal college funds are not available. The funds may be used for research or expenses related to travel to disseminate results of research (such as conference attendance).Applications will be reviewed by the department three times a year. Awards will be disbursed at the beginning of each semester for travel and research incurred during the academic year and one for summer research or travel.

Honor Doug with a gift in support of the Emeritus Professors' Student Research Fund.

Ralph A. Luebben

Professor Emeritus of Anthropology

Ralph A. Luebben spent most of his academic career at Grinnell, where he was the college's first full-time anthropologist and the first chair of the independent Department of Anthropology. Starting in 1957, Luebben enthralled students for nearly four decades, teaching about the societies and cultures of peoples around the world, from the former Soviet Union to the communities of Latin America and the American Southwest. Students recall that he brought his field and research experience into the classroom, and he was a meticulous and careful teacher. According to his faculty colleague and former student Jon Andelson '70, Luebben inspired many Grinnell students to pursue graduate studies in anthropology. Luebben was famous for riding his bicycle around Grinnell with wife Janell every day (when weather permitted) up until the age of 85. That year, they logged more than 3,000 miles on their bicycles.

Luebben's archaeological and ethnological interests were primarily in the American Southwest and Northern Mexico. He established a summer archaeological field school for Grinnell, and for many summers in the 1960s and 1970s he led archaeological field sessions, once to Chihuahua, Mexico, and most often to southwest Colorado.

The Department of Anthropology recognized Luebben's many contributions to the college, the department, and the discipline of anthropology by creating an award in his honor. The Luebben Prize is given annually to the graduating senior anthropology major who best exemplifies the breadth of anthropology and service to the department.

Honor Ralph with a gift in support of the Emeritus Professors' Student Research Fund.