Student Research

I believe students become active learners when they recognize the real-world value of their education and when they experience equilibrium between structure and autonomy while pursuing their own intellectual curiosities. Toward that end, my teaching and research goals align to facilitate independent study, faculty-student research, and collaborative publication efforts.

I take great pride in the instructional work outside of my regular teaching assignment. I work regularly with students seeking to become involved in research and have helped them to secure internal and external funding for investigative and community development projects. The student projects I supervise cover a range of topics, including deaf education in Cambodia and Khmer Sign Language; the reproductive care of bonobos in captivity; compassion fatigue among veterinary staff; Palestinian identity in the diaspora, parents of autistic children, women’s role in public perceptions of the environment, volunteer tourism in Costa Rica and internships at Jacksonville’s Museum of Science and History. I coach students to apply for UpStream grants, Fulbright Scholarships, Critical Language Studies Scholarships, internships, and graduate programs. My DIS students regularly present research findings at the Florida Undergraduate Research Conference, the UNF Showcase of Osprey Advancements in Research & Scholarship, and the Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work Student Symposium.

Kaitlynn Himmelreich

Kaitlynn Himmelreich graduated Summa Cum Laude from UNF in May of 2020. She earned two degrees – a Bachelor of Arts in Deaf Education and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, and was also an active member of Hick’s Honors College.

Kaitlynn and I worked together to study the development process of Cambodian Sign Language (CSL). In summer 2018, she conducted field research in Cambodia and used photovoice methodology to analyze the socio-linguistic implications of CSL and opportunities through specialized deaf education.

Kaitlynn presented her research findings at the Inaugural Conference of the Florida Digital Humanities Consortium and for her Honors Capstone thesis. Her research won her an Office of Undergraduate research grant and was recognized by an Outstanding Research Award in the International Studies Program at UNF.

Kaitlynn won a 2020-21 Fulbright U.S. Student Scholarship to continue her research among deaf students and educators in Cambodia.

Tylyn Dagsaan

Tylyn Dagsaan graduated from UNF in May 2019 earning two degrees – a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She was the Outstanding Anthropology Graduate in 2019.

Tylyn’s research, investigating the socio-sexual behaviors of Bonobos at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, earned her an Office of Undergraduate Research grant and Honors in Anthropology. Her article “Birth Control Behind Bars: An Anthropological Perspective on the Care of Captive Bonobos” is published in Pandion: The Osprey Journal of Research and Ideas (Vol.1 No.1, 2020).

Student Research & Projects

2020 Advisor, Structural Violence and Current Events
Maria Encinosa, Directed Independent Study, Honors Capstone Project

2018 – 2020   Advisor, Cambodian Sign Language: Development and Impact, Honors Capstone Project
Kaitlynn Himmelreich, Academic Distinction Award, OUR Grant winner, Outstanding Research Award in International Studies & 2020 Fulbright Student Scholar to Cambodia

2020   Advisor, Session Co-Organizer: Digital Methods in Undergraduate Anthropology at UNF
Collin Mullis (Co-Organizer), Shelby Foy, Monica Murray & Cheyenne Black, FL Digital Humanities Consortium Conference

2017 – 2019   Advisor, Birth Control Behind Bars: Anthropological Perspectives on Captive Bonobo Care
Tylyn Dagsaan, Honors in Anthropology, OUR Grant Winner, Outstanding Anthropology Graduate (2019)

2019   Advisor, Photovoice in Researching LGBTQ Issues – UNF Digital Humanities Showcase
Collin Mullis, Outstanding Anthropology Graduate (2020)

2019   Reader, Palestinian Identity in the Diaspora, Honors Thesis
Dominic Mitchell, Honors in Anthropology

2019   Advisor, Rising Nationalisms and the Migrant “Crisis” in the European Union, Honors Thesis
2017   Advisor, Museum of Science & History Collections Internship
Julia Rivera-Whalen, Honors in Anthropology

2018   Advisor, Volunteer Tourism – Who Benefits?
Claire Hoeschele, Directed Independent Study

2017   Reader, Project Brush Up
Tylyn Dagsaan, Winner United Way UpStream Grant ($10,000 award)

2017   Advisor, Elevating Refugee Peers
Julia Driscoll, Upstream United Way – People’s Choice Award

2017   Advisor, Jacksonville Historical Society Internship
Michalla D’Allessandro, Honors Capstone Project

2017   Advisor, Saving Fido’s Friends: Compassion Fatigue in Veterinary Support Staff
Wendy Jureski, Directed Independent Study

2017   Advisor, Autism: A Parent’s Access to Information
Sarah Stevens, Directed Independent Study

2016   Advisor, Museum of Science and History Collections Internship
Desiree Simpson, Directed Independent Study