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Phone: 520-621-2585 and 520-621-6298
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SoA Undergraduate Awards for Fall 2015

For the SoA Scholar’s Award, the student must exhibit a record of outstanding academic achievement and activities that involve the practice of anthropology. Amber Burt-McClary will graduate in Fall 2015 with a double major in Anthropology and Sociology and a thematic minor in world cultures. While the fields have many areas of commonality, Amber strove to explore their areas of divergence with exceptional self-efficacy. She is member of national and international Honor Societies. Prior to enrolling at the UA Amber, after six years with the U.S. Army, was deployed to the Middle East in Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, where she cultivated a sincere desire to learn about cultures and societies both in times of crisis and of calmness, of conflict and collaboration. Amber was singled out for her exceptional work with UA Disability Resource Center, especially with helping veterans and Train a Dog, Save a Warrior (TADSAW; a program that trains service dogs for warriors with PTSD, MST, and traumatic brain injuries). In her free time, she sews travel blankets given to Tucson veterans with new service dogs (see photo of Amber at work). As recently announced in Anthro News, Amber was also awarded the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Excellence in Leadership and Community Engagement Award for Fall 2015, a collaborative nomination among the units of Anthropology, Sociology, and the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies. This SBS award is given to a graduating senior “who has demonstrated exemplary leadership skills through their involvement on and off campus and their impact on the lives of others.” After graduating, Amber is moving to Washington, DC with her spouse, where she hopes to get a position in the State Department.
Scholar’s Award winner Riley Christopher Duke will graduate in Fall 2015 with a major in Anthropology and a minor in Spanish. He was nominated for this award by a large group of SoA and Arizona State Museum members. Riley has made the most of his experience in theUA School of Anthropology. In his time here, he has volunteered as a student curatorial assistant at the Arizona State Museum (ASM) repository; been employed as a laboratory assistant at the ASM Homol’ovi Lab, focusing on lithic analysis; and participated in both the University of Arizona’s Preservation Archaeology Field School at Mule Creek, New Mexico, and the Rock Art Ranch Field School in Winslow, Arizona. Riley has taken his knowledge of lithic analysis and participated in outreach activities such as the Steam Pump Ranch Fall Festival and the Southwest Indian Arts Fair and disseminated the results of his lithic analysis research in a professional setting at the annual Society for American Archaeology Meeting. Riley has demonstrated a commitment to anthropology and archaeology in a wide range of scholarly activities, including being a preceptor for an upper division class (Clovis to Coronado), always being willing to lend a helping hand at the museum, and dedicating himself to excellence in his research. Riley plans to pursue a career in anthropology and archaeology and apply to a graduate program that would facilitate his future research.
The SoA Leadership Award is given to a student who exhibits a record of outstanding academic achievement and leadership in School, campus-wide, and/or community activities beyond academic course requirements. Dia de la Viña is an outstanding scholar and leader. She will graduate in Fall 2015 with a major in Anthropology and a minor in Creating Writing. She was born, grew up, and attended school in Tucson, Arizona. Her father is a retired professor and alumni of the College of Education at the University of Arizona (specific to bilingual education); her mother went to school in her native Colorado. Both of her parents encouraged Dia to pursue higher education and activism within the community, which has sparked her interest in local politics, education, and immigration reform, as well as humanitarian aid. Dia has walked in anti-SB1070 rallies, attended lectures on border issues, volunteered for humane borders, and done research and spoken on bilingual education in TUSD at the Southern Arizona Social Science symposium, as well as taken part in multiple local food festivals that promote healthy, native agriculture and resources (Tucson Meet Yourself, and a project with Professor Rodriguez in Mexican-American studies). In Fall 2015 Dia excelled as curatorial assistant for the production of the exhibit “100 Years of Anthropology at UA” at Tucson Meet Yourself. Outside of school, she works and makes time for friends and family. She also likes to cook and garden.
For a list of recent award recipients, please click here.