Introducing the 2017 Cohort of SoA Graduate Students

Today we welcome the School of Anthropology’s 2017 incoming graduate students!

Adam Crane (left) is a first year Ph.D. student in the archaeology program working with Associate Professor James Watson. He is originally from Indianapolis, IN, but has lived in Bloomington, IN for most of the past decade. Adam completed his B.A. in Anthropology at Indiana University in 2014, where he worked with Dr. Della Cook on a survey of spinal pathology in the Lower Illinois Valley. Adam has also worked on and off as an osteologist for Indiana University’s Office of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) for the past four years. In 2016, Adam received his M.Sc. in Palaeopathology from Durham University in Durham, England. His thesis involved an assessment of osteoarthritis as a source of impairment among the elderly in the post-medieval population at St. Bride’s Church, London. Adam’s main area of research is paleopathology, with specific interests including disability, care provision, and age identity in the past. In addition, he is interested in the history and ethics of repatriation in the United States, as well as the ways students of physical anthropology are taught about these topics in the university setting.

Gitanjali Gnanadesikan (right) is a Ph.D. student in biological anthropology, where she is continuing her work with Assistant Professor Evan MacLean after a year as the laboratory coordinator for the Arizona Canine Cognition Center. Gita grew up in New Jersey and graduated from Princeton University in 2014 with a bachelors in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Her senior thesis explored differences in the genetic regulation of dogs and wolves, closely related species with distinct behaviors. After college, she taught English and music at an elementary school in rural China. Gita’s research focuses on cognitive evolution, social behavior, and domestication. She is especially interested in designing cognitive experiments that enable meaningful comparisons across species. She also hopes to combine genetic and epigenetic methods with these cognitive paradigms to explore the biological underpinnings of complex cognitive and behavioral traits. When it’s not too hot, Gita enjoys spending time outside and taking pictures. She also likes to knit, bake, read all sorts of fiction, and sing in choirs.

Julia Jahasz (left) is a Ph.D. student in the Mediterranean Archaeology department. Born and bred in North Carolina, she received her B.A. in Classical Archaeology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2014. In 2015 she earned the post-baccalaureate certificate in Classics (also at UNC-CH). She completed her M.A. in Classical Archaeology at Florida State University in 2017. Her thesis examined the major transition periods in the Late Bronze Age on Crete by comparing data compiled from the large survey projects that have been conducted on the island. Throughout her undergraduate and graduate career, Julia has participated in excavation and survey in Greece and Turkey, primarily on Crete.
As a Ph.D. student, Julia intends to continue studying comparative survey archaeology in the Aegean Sea region, with a focus on changes in settlement patterns during the transition from the Bronze Age to the Early Iron age. She has also recently discovered a passion for cultural heritage protection, and hopes become more involved in that field while here at Arizona.

John Keck (right) is a first year Ph.D. student in the Archaeology of the Mediterranean World concentration through the School of Anthropology. After serving in the United States Army from 2004 to 2008, John received a summa cum laude dual major B.A. in Anthropology and Classics with Honors from the University of Arizona in 2014 with an Honors Thesis titled “The Classic Roman House: Form and Function.” During his undergraduate career at Arizona, John also received an Honor’s College research grant to investigate the remanent magnetization of Mediterranean potsherds, which he presented at the Honors College Research Exposition in 2014 and as the keynote presentation of the Southern Arizona Social Sciences Symposium hosted by Pima Community College that same year. He completed his M.A. in Classical Archaeology from Florida State University in 2016 with a Master’s paper titled “Local Ethnicity and the Pediments of the Temple of Aphaia on Aegina.” Previous fieldwork projects in which he has participated include the ongoing excavations in Greece at the site of Mt. Lykaion, the American Excavations at Cosa, Italy, the Florida State University-led excavation at the site of Cetamura del Chianti in central Italy, and the American Excavations at Morgantina, Sicily. He has also worked on multiple survey and data recovery projects in the CRM sector in Southern and Central Arizona with WestLand Resources, Inc. and Tierra Right-of-Way. John’s research interests include classical art and archaeology, the impact of economics on social dynamics, projections of identity in art, and Mediterranean dendrochronology.

Mairead Poulin (left) is a first-year Archaeology student. She grew up in Western Massachusetts, where she has worked for the past year in collections and administration at the Williamstown Historical Museum. Mairead holds an A.B. in Anthropology from Smith College (2016) and was an undergraduate participant in the University of Arizona’s Rock Art Ranch Fieldschool in 2015. She has also done fieldwork in Trim, County Meath, with the Irish Archaeology Field School, and in Southwest Colorado as a field intern at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. Mairead is interested in communities of the prehistoric American Southwest, and particularly in studying iconography, symbols, and design in rock art and material culture as products and representations of societal complexity, identity and change.

Laura Romero (right) is pursuing a Ph.D. in Anthropology. She was born and raised in Mexico. She identifies two facts from her childhood that brought her closer to anthropology: the ritual of the burned rag doll at Tehuantepec, Oaxaca during Christmas Holidays and the traditional oral stories about the black charro and the salquiotas (young women with horse heads) told by her great-grandmother Esperanza, who was born in Oaxaca.
Laura received her B.A. in Archaeology at the Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia in Mexico. From the beginning, her main interest was to get involved in the archeological studies of caves and cenotes of the Maya area. After finishing her B.A. degree, she joined the Underwater Archaeology Department, and collaborated in the archaeological research for the study and protection of Cenotes and flooded caves at Yucatan Peninsula. Later she developed her own research about the ritual configuration of the temple-cave complex Kisim Nah Group from the Late Postclassic at Quintana Roo. For her Ph.D. research she will focus on the ancient use of caves in the Usumacinta region throughout the prehispanic past, as well as understand its contemporary importance for local communities.
Aside of her passion for caves, Laura loves dogs, diving, running, painting, and Japanese manga series.

M. Bailey Stephenson is a Ph.D. student in Sociocultural Anthropology. She grew up in Oklahoma but moved to Chicago, IL shortly after high school to attend DePaul University. After completing her B.A. in Modern Language, Literature, and Linguistics, Stephenson returned to Oklahoma, where she pursued an M.A. in Sociocultural Anthropology and completed a Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Stephenson’s research focuses on the relationship among environmental activism, extractive industries, place, and experiences of identity and belonging in Oklahoma. Her research interests broadly include environmental justice, social movements, community health, and environmental education and outreach.

No biography is available for Razia Solana.