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Promising Anthropologists Selected as 2015 AAA Leadership Fellows

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November 5, 2015

Contact Name: Anne Kelsey
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Contact Phone: 571-483-1171

Promising Anthropologists Selected as 2015 AAA Leadership Fellows

Carrie C. Heitman, Vanessa Esther Martinez-Renuncio and Aaron Thornburg, have been selected to serve as 2015 AAA Leadership Fellows. The AAA Leadership Fellows program is designed to provide a unique opportunity for anthropologists early in their careers to learn about AAA and leadership opportunities and to encourage future leadership in the Association.

Carrie C. Heitman is an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) and a faculty fellow at the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities. Prior to starting at UNL in 2013, she was an American Council of Learned Societies New Faculty Fellow in the department of anthropology at Northwestern University. She holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Virginia. Dr. Heitman has helped oversee the building of the Chaco Research Archive and her research continues to explore how digital technologies can help us better understand human complexity.

Originally from San Sebastian, Puerto Rico, Vanessa Martinez-Renuncio is a trained cultural and medical anthropologist whose research specializes in how social inequities impact access to medical care and educational opportunities. In 2014, she completed her Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Dr. Martinez-Renuncio currently holds three positions at Holyoke Community College: associate professor of anthropology, sociology/anthropology department coordinator and honors program coordinator. She is an experienced diversity consultant and college administrator with leadership and training experiences including, but not limited to, a year-long 2011–12 Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact, a 2013 Social Justice (Conflict) Mediation training, and a 2014 New Organizing Institute (NOI) training on student leadership and community organizing.

Aaron Thornburg is an assistant professor of anthropology at Eastern Oregon University. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology from The University of Florida, a Master’s of Philosophy in Linguistics at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland, and a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology with a Graduate Certificate in Education Policy Research at Duke University. Along with fellow anthropologists Mariela Nuñez-Janes (U North Texas) and Angela Booker (UC San Diego), Dr. Thornburg has edited a collection of essays titled Deep Stories: Practicing, Teaching, and Learning Anthropology with Digital Stories, which is under license to publish with De Gruyter Open.

Each year a group of three to five Leadership Fellows is paired with a mentor chosen from among AAA leadership.  Mentors are available to Fellows throughout the year to answer questions related to AAA and Fellows shadow their mentors at the AAA Annual Meeting. This year’s mentors are Bernard Perley, Lorena Madrigal and Ted Hamann.

The Fellows will be honored in an award ceremony at the 114th AAA Annual Meeting on November 19, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. The AAA Annual Meeting is a gathering of more than 6,000 anthropologists who will shed light on some of the world’s most pressing issues, including: public health, racial tension, the Middle East, social change and climate change.

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Founded in 1902, the American Anthropological Association, with more than 10,000 members, is the world’s largest professional organization of anthropologists. The Association is dedicated to advancing human understanding and tackling the world’s most pressing problems.

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