Department of Anthropology Student Awards

Every year the Department of Anthropology distinguishes 12 graduating seniors with awards recognizing their accomplishments and contributions to the fields of Anthropology and Sociomedical Sciences.

Rose-Marie Chierici Award in Sociomedical Sciences

Former Chair of the Department of Anthropology at SUNY Geneseo, in 1996 Dr. Rose-Marie Chierici created project H.O.P.E. in Borgne, Haiti, a development project that supports “Haitian Solutions for Haitian Problems”. This organization is an exemplary model for a community-focused and sustainable development program. Their work building hospitals and mobile clinics has been recognized by organizations such as Doctor’s Without Borders. The Rose-Marie Chierici award in Sociomedical Sciences goes to a student with a demonstrated commitment to taking their skills and knowledge into the world to enact positive change. The 2023 awardee is Chizoba Okorie.

Leith Mullings Award in Sociomedical Sciences and Social Justice

Leith Mullings was a Jamaican-born anthropologist involved in organizing for progressive social justice, racial equality and economic justice. Her research and writing focused on structures of inequality and resistance to those structures in New York City. The Leith Mullings Award in Sociomedical Sciences and Social Justice is given to a graduating senior in sociomedical sciences who demonstrates a strong commitment to social justice. The 2023 awardee is Peighton Cervoni.

Paul Farmer Award in Sociomedical Sciences and Clinical Medicine

Paul Farmer was an American medical anthropologist and physician whose commitment to the fields of both anthropology and medicine led him to pioneer novel community-based treatment strategies in resource-poor settings in the U.S. and globally, demonstrating that access to high quality healthcare, rather than culture, contributes to health inequality. The Paul Farmer Award in Sociomedical Sciences is given to a student who demonstrates a strong commitment to both the allied health fields and to the field of anthropology. The 2023 awardee is Alexandra Galle.

Nancy Krieger Award in Sociomedical Sciences and Public Health

Nancy Krieger is an epidemiologist whose groundbreaking research focuses on the relationship between racism, social class, and health in the United States. The Nancy Krieger Award in Sociomedical Sciences and Public Health is given to a student who demonstrates a commitment to public health and health equity. The 2023 awardee is Gabrielle Reid.

Outstanding Research in Sociomedical Sciences Award

The Outstanding Research in Sociomedical Sciences Award is awarded to a student who demonstrates a strong commitment to research and scholarship. The 2022 awardee is Taylor Hansen.

Pavel Sabovik Award in Anthropology

Pavel Sabovik was a brilliant economic anthropologist, a devoted teacher, and a model of strength and survivorship to all who knew him.Pavel was a gifted intellect, but his achievements came only as the result of his own efforts and achievement. He was born in an extremely poor, peasant household in Czechoslovakia. When the Soviet Union took Eastern Europe after WWII, he helped set up a radio station protesting the takeover and he helped distribute a mimeographed copy of George Orwell's Animal Farm. He was subsequently arrested by the Communist authorities and sentenced to hard labor in the state uranium mines. These years were cruel and hard, particularly since an appeal of his sentence, launched without his knowledge while he was imprisoned, was rejected and additional years were added to his imprisonment for the audacity of appealing the sentence. Part of this time was spent in solitary confinement in body-size pits in the earth. After his release, Pavel was made something of a minor celebrity in Prague, until he came to feel endangered by the attention he was receiving. Plans by the U.S. embassy for his escape were botched at the last minute and it was only through the help and heroism of the Canadian government that Pavel escaped to freedom in the West. Pavel Sabovik earned a degree in Economics from the University of Prague. He was a Reader at Yale from 1966-67; curatorial assistant in the Peabody Museum, Yale University, 1969-70. He completed his Ph.D. at Yale University in 1973 in Cultural Anthropology. His Ph.D. dissertation was entitled, "Spanish Irrigation Agriculture and Its Control." He received a Master in Library Science from SUNY Geneseo in 1977. Pavel Sabovik served as faculty member in the Department of Anthropology at SUNY Geneseo from 1970 - 1976 . Professor Sabovik spoke Slovak, Czech, German, English and Spanish and read Russian and French. He was a member of the American Anthropological Association; held a Yale Fellowship and a National Institute of Health Research Grant and Fellowship. He traveled throughout Europe. After leaving Geneseo, he served for a decade as the librarian for the Slavic Section at the University of Arizona at Tucson, where he died in 1988. This award was not given in 2023.  

Lewis Henry Morgan Award in Cultural Anthropology

Is considered one of the founding fathers of modern anthropology. As a young lawyer in Rochester, New York, he founded a local club, The Grand Order of the Iroquois, whose members championed Iroquois rights to their land, claimed by the Ogden Company. The 2023 awardee is Abigail Cahill.

Jane Goodall Award in Biological Anthropology

Jane Goodall is an English primatologist and anthropologist. Seen as the world's foremost expert on chimpanzeesgoog, Goodall is best known for her 60-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzee. The 2023 awardee is Erika Vincent.

Wendell Rhodes Award in Archaeology

Wendell was a US Marine Corps Korean War Veteran. Dr. Rhodes was hired at SUNY Geneseo in 1959 where he was an Emeritus Professor of Anthropology and served as the Chairman of the Department from 1968-1987. He received the Chancellor's Academic Excellence Award for Teaching in 1981. The 2023 awardee is Fiona Shackleton.

Harold Battersby Award in Linguistic Anthropology

Harold was a Turkish anthropologist, archaeologist, linguist. National Defense Education Act fellow. He was an Emeritus Professor of anthropology specializing in linguistics at SUNY Geneseo. The 2023 awardee is Aurora Merwin.

John Wesley Powell Anthropology Department Service Award

John Wesley Powell was historic and heroic for being first to lead a daring expedition down the Colorado River in 1869. Ninety nine days later, he emerged from the Grand Canyon to acclaim. A major who lost an arm in the Civil War, he was an explorer, geologist, geographer and ethnologist. This award was not given in 2023.

Anthropology Department Recognition Award

This award is given to a student that the faculty and staff want to recognize. The 2023 awardees are George Macko, Margaret Phipps, and Colleen Politoski.