Anthropology professors win Roosevelt Global Citizenship Awards

UBC Okanagan program recognized for community action

Anthropology professors Robin Dods and Hugo De Burgos in the Community, Culture and Global Studies Unit at UBC's Okanagan campus have won Public Anthropology's Eleanor Roosevelt Global Citizenship Awards. The awards recognize the professors for inspiring university students to take part in the global community and think critically, respond intelligently, and act responsibly.

"This honor is based on their exceptionally effective participation in Public Anthropology's Community Action Online Website Project as well as their wider activities in the public sphere," says Rob Borofsky, director of the Center for a Public Anthropology and professor of anthropology at Hawaii Pacific University.

"Only a select few - less than five per cent of the faculty teaching introductory anthropology courses across North America - receive this award," Borofsky says. "Congratulations to Professors Dods and De Burgos, the Anthropology program, and the Barber School of Arts and Sciences on this honour."

Twenty students from Professor Dods' and De Burgos' Anthropology 100 classes this term were awarded Public Anthropology Certificates. Dods and De Burgos also noted that the work was ably supported by graduate teaching assistants Michelle Walks and Tabitha Steager.

This is the second time in just a few months that UBC Okanagan faculty and students have been recognized for their work in public anthropology and community action. In December, UBC Okanagan's anthropology students were top performers in a major competition involving 4,000 students at 28 universities and colleges across North America.

Taking part in the Public Anthropology Community Action project, students in the Anthropology 100 introductory course taught last term by Associate Professor Diana French were challenged to write opinion-editorial (op-ed) pieces suitable for newspaper publication. The opinions focused on the plight of South America's Yanomami people, arguing for the return of Yanomami blood taken for research purposes in the 1960s, and currently stored in the United States.

Papers were peer-reviewed and 19 UBC Okanagan students were among the award recipients. The top UBC Okanagan student was first-year Arts student Cody Decker, who placed third out of 2,000 competitors from 18 post-secondary institutions.

In addition to performing well in the writing competition, UBC Okanagan students also published the highest number of op-eds at 50, finishing well ahead of Southern Methodist University with 40, and Indiana University with 17. UBC Okanagan students had the second-highest percentage of publications - nearly 27 per cent - just behind Southern Methodist University with almost 31 per cent.

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