News from the Chair
Our 2007–2008 academic year was saddened by the loss of our esteemed colleague, Professor Daphne Berdahl, whom we feature in this issue of World Views. Professor Berdahl was an inspiration to us all in her multi-year bout with cancer. She was a tower of strength to the end. We commemorated her at a wonderful symposium and dinner held at the University of Minnesota McNamara Alumni Center on
February 28, 2008. Thanks to the generosity of the Berdahl family, the Daphne Berdahl Memorial Lecture will be an annual event. Please see pages 10 and 11 for more information about the Daphne Berdahl Memorial Lecture.
Despite our sadness at Professor Berdahl’s loss, we look forward to the coming academic year with optimism. We are especially pleased to congratulate our new faculty members, Mike Wilson and Kieran McNulty, on their first successful year of teaching and research. Professor Wilson is the latest member of our faculty to receive the prestigious McKnight Land Grant Professorship, which he will begin next
year. Professor McNulty received a Leakey Foundation Grant for his fieldwork on Rusinga Island, Kenya. We welcome Amy Nordlander, our new front office administrator, who has an M.A. in applied anthropology and is an alumna of the Department of English at the University. We are delighted to have two new faculty members joining us this fall. Katherine Howlett Hayes is our new historical archaeologist coming to us from the University of California, Berkeley, where she completed her Ph.D. degree. Gilliane Monnier will be familiar to many of our students, having taught highly successful Paleolithic archaeology courses in the department in the past. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, this fall we will be welcoming cultural anthropologist Professor Barbara
Wolbert for the next three years as an exchange professor under the sponsorship of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Professors Hayes, Monnier, and Wolbert are profiled within.
I am thrilled to note that our faculty and graduate students have received a record number of awards this year. You will be pleased to read more about them on pages 18 and 19. One award needs to be highlighted. Our own premier department administrator, Terri Valois, received the CLA Staff Outstanding Service Award from the University this year. We congratulate her on this well-deserved award, and also on her upcoming retirement at the end of academic year 2008–2009. We will all miss her. She has been the heart and soul of the department for more than thirty years. The Undergraduate Anthropology Club held its 39th Annual Conference at the University of Minnesota Arboretum this spring. The theme was “The Anthropology of Death." We also hosted a major archaeology symposium titled “Humans Through Deep Time: Archaeology and the Pace of Change" which brought a stellar group of internationally famous archaeologists to campus for two days of stimulating papers. An outstanding Colloquium and Brown Bag series brought many distinguished visitors to campus this year. Our department continues to grow and thrive. In addition to our new faculty members, we will be welcoming ten new graduate students in the fall. Both our undergraduate enrollment and the number of our majors have increased this year. I wish to offer my sincere thanks to our colleagues, students, and alumni, as well as our University and College administration for their support during my first full year as chair of the department. It has been an exciting and pleasurable time. I look forward to the future with optimism and pleasure.
William O. Beeman