In an external review, Dr. A.H. Peter Castro of Syracuse University and Dr. Michael A. Little of Binghamton University noted the “stellar quality” of “what surely is one of the best undergraduate Anthropology programs in our country” and singled out the high quality of the faculty as a distinguishing characteristic.
Courses are taught by six full-time and three part-time faculty with expertise in a variety of specialties. For example:
- Assistant Professor Tracy Betsinger conducts research on medieval populations in Poland and prehistoric populations in eastern Tennessee.
- Associate Professor Brian Haley wrote a book examining discrimination against and accommodation of Mexican immigrants in a small farm town in California.
- Professor Don Hill is an ethnomusicologist with a collection of approximately 5,000 Caribbean music recordings dating back to 1902.
- Distinguished Teaching Professor John Relethford is the author of a widely used introductory textbook on biological anthropology and a new textbook on human population genetics.
Small class sizes allow faculty members to establish relationships with their students. Outside of class, students collaborate with faculty on research and participate in experiential learning. For example, students in Associate Professor Renee Walker’s summer Archeological Field School spend four weeks excavating and documenting Native American artifacts at a field site 20 minutes from campus.
Opportunities like these are the reason Diane Mancini of Rochester chose SUNY Oneonta over the University of Michigan. A sophomore majoring in Anthropology and Spanish, Diane credits Assistant Professor Sallie Han with helping her to secure a summer research grant to study the Raizal culture on a Colombian island in the Caribbean.
“I’ve just been amazed by how supportive the faculty is and how many opportunities I’m getting,” said Diane. “That one-on-one attention is something I couldn’t get at a bigger school.”