Title

Anthropology Department Honors

(Last revised 1/2019)

Honors shall be conferred through the following processes and criteria.

Criteria for Honors in Anthropology:

  1. Cumulative GPA of 3.5 in all Anthropology courses
  2. No incompletes at time of application
  3. Good standing in the department (determined by faculty consensus)
  4. Completion and defense of Honors thesis

I.  Application

If you are considering doing an Honors project, consult with your potential Honors Project advisor as soon as possible.  Your application may only be submitted following careful planning with your honors project advisor. Your Honors Project advisor may be different from your Anthropology Major advisorThe application packet must be emailed to the Department Chairperson by February 15th of the Junior Year. Please note that if February 15th falls on the weekend, then it is due to the Department Chairperson the following Monday. The application must include the following four items:

1)     A 1- to 2- page essay summarizing the student's anthropology work and development while at Ithaca College. The essay should mention any awards, noteworthy activities, or special service performed in the Department, the College, or the wider community.

2)     An abstract or brief statement describing the project or paper proposed for honors.

3)    Evidence of a 3.5 GPA in Anthropology courses

4)    A suggested Honors Thesis committee. The committee consists of your project advisor and two additional faculty members, one of who must be a member of the Anthropology Department. The Honors Project advisor does not need to be the same person as your anthropology major advisor. You should suggest your two additional committee members in consultation with your honors project advisor. 

5)    Timeline decision. There are two timelines for completion of the honors project. The student will choice one of these timelines at the time of application. The timeline cannot be altered after the application has been approved by the department. Please note that receipt of honors will appear on graduation day materials only if the first timeline is chosen.  

Response from Anthropology Department Chairperson: By March 1st, the Anthropology Department (Departmental Business Committee) will review the Application Packet to determine the applicant’s good standing and decide if the student should be admitted to the honors program and proceed with the proposed project.  The Chairperson will inform the student, via email by March 5th  that the application has been accepted, as well as the constitution of the Honors Project committee.  If the application is incomplete or the proposed project or paper appears inadequately considered or inappropriate, then the Chairperson will so inform the applicant by March 5th , explaining in writing the reasons for rejection of the application. Please note: If March 5th falls on a weekend, an email from the Chairperson will be sent by the following Monday.

II. The Honors Project/Thesis

Responsibility for developing the project and writing the paper rests with the individual student; honors candidates are expected to display individual initiative and capacity for independent work.

The Honors Thesis is the chief basis for honors evaluation.  The paper can reflect anthropological research either in the library, in the laboratory, or in the field.  It can be an original paper written specifically for honors consideration or a significantly re-worked and expanded version of a paper turned in for a previous course; if the latter, the earlier paper, with the professor's comments and grade on it must also be turned in to the committee.  If the project involves fieldwork, then the student should also turn in field notes or a field journal (as stipulated by the honors advisor). 

III. Honors Timelines

The thesis advisor will have an initial meeting with the student to discuss the project and to schedule additional consultations as the project progresses. By April 1st of the Junior Year, the student will meet with the Honors Project Committee to discuss the details of the project. This includes specifics regarding the methodologies employed in the research e.g., library research, survey, interviews, ethnography, performance, archaeological field work, primate behavioral observations, genetics research, skeletal analysis etc. The discussion will include any requirements for research approval by the Institutional Review Board (IRB), Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), and/or Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC).

Following this meeting with the Honors Project Committee, there are different timelines associated with completion of the thesis process. The student must indicate at the time of application which timeline they will follow. 

First Timeline - 12/1 Completion:

  • Junior Year – Spring Semester:
  • 2/15 Honors Application Packet due to Department Chairperson
  • 3/1 The Anthropology Department Committee meets to vote on application
  • 3/5 Anthropology Department Chairperson emails decision to applicant
  • 4/1 Meeting with student and their Honors Thesis Committee to discuss details of the project
  • Senior Year – Fall Semester:
  • 9/15 Complete, substantive thesis due to Honors Project advisor
  • 10/1 Advisor sends any final comments and suggested edits to student
  • 10/15 Student sends draft of thesis to Honors Project Committee
  • 11/1 The Honors Project Committee meets (without the student) to discuss the thesis. The Committee will decide if the student thesis is accepted and appropriate for oral defense. If accepted, the Honors Project Committee will draft recommendations and suggested edits for the thesis. The Honors Project advisor informs the Honors candidate of the committee decisions, and the documentation of recommendations/edits if appropriate.
  • 12/1 The final thesis is due. Presentation/defense of the thesis takes place no later than December1st. Committee meets to discuss conferral of Honors.

Second timeline (dates listed are for 2019/2020) - 3/20 completion:

  • Junior Year – Spring Semester:
  • 2/15 Honors Application Packet due to Department Chairperson
  • 3/1 The Anthropology Department Committee meets to vote on application
  • 3/5 Anthropology Department Chairperson emails decision to applicant
  • 4/1 Meeting with student and their Honors Thesis Committee to discuss details of the project
  • Senior Year – Fall Semester:
  • 11/1 Complete, substantive thesis due to Honors Project advisor
  • 11/15 Advisor sends comments and suggested edits to student
  • 12/19 (or last day of the Fall semester) Student sends draft of thesis to Honors Project Committee
  • 2/3 (2/1 falls on a Saturday) The Honors Project Committee meets (without the student) to discuss the thesis. The Committee will decide if the student thesis is accepted and appropriate for oral defense. If accepted, the Honors Project Committee will draft recommendations and suggested edits for the thesis. The Honors Project advisor informs the Honors candidate of the committee decisions, and the documentation of recommendations/edits if appropriate.
  • 3/2 (3/1 falls on a Sunday) The final thesis is due.
  • 3/20 Presentation/defense of the thesis takes place no later than Friday of the week following Spring Break. Committee meets to discuss conferral of Honors.

III.  Decision by the Department:

  1. The Honor Project Committee will meet (November 1 or February 1 depending on timeline) without the Honors candidate to discuss the Honors Thesis. The committee will vote to determine whether the thesis is approved for oral defense, with a 2/3 majority determining the decision.  Criteria for judging include (but are not limited to) originality of data and/or approach, command of relevant literature, adequate description of methodology (if appropriate), clarity of writing, and observance of standard formal aspects of academic writing. Standard anthropological citation and bibliographic styles are expected. The paper should demonstrate significant academic accomplishment.  Evaluation uses standards that would make the paper potentially publishable in an undergraduate journal. Each project/thesis is judged on its own merits. There is neither a minimum nor a maximum number of awards per year. If the thesis is approved for oral defense, the Honors Project Committee will draft final recommendations and suggested edits for the thesis. The Honors Project advisor informs the Honors candidate of the committee decisions, and the documentation of recommendations/edits if appropriate. The final version of Honors Thesis is due no later than December 1 or March 1 depending on timeline.

While the Honors Paper is usually the major component used for evaluating an honors candidacy, the Department may alter the criteria or evaluation as appropriate, as for example in using a different weighting to reflect a different mix of fieldwork or other activities and the paper. (e.g., If an extensive field project or musical performance is undertaken specifically for an honors project, the paper might constitute a smaller portion of the total achievement that is evaluated.  If the final project involves such a medium as a display, film, or public presentation, the paper might be weighted somewhat less in the final decision on honors.  But in every case a high caliber paper is essential.)

  1. Upon acceptance by the committee, a presentation of the thesis will be scheduled no later than December 1st/March 20th. The presentation is open to the public and anyone can attend and ask questions.  The presentation shall be 15-20 minutes long, followed by a question and answer period.  The whole event shall last no more than one hour. Immediately following the presentation and Q&A period, the Honors Project Committee will meet to discuss conferral of Honors. The committee will vote to determine whether Anthropology Honors is conferred, with a 2/3 majority determining the decision. The Honors Project advisor will notify the student of the outcome of the Honors Project Committee evaluation.  If Honors are granted, the Department Chairperson will promptly notify the relevant College officials.

Anthropology Honors

2017

Maggie Butler: "Breast is Best": Mothers in Ithaca, NY real the complexities of choosing to breastfeed
Danie Martin: Shattering Glass Ceilings: How one nonprofit empowers female leaders

2016

Alison Armour: Cayuga Smoking Pipes and Peaceful Relations: A 15th century case study from the Myers Farm Site

2014

Macy O'Hearn: A Critical Examination of the Existing Typology for Haudenosaunee Ceramics and an Analysis of the Decorated Ceramics Assemblage from the Myers Farm Site, King Ferry, New York
Marcy Weber: Simulating the Social Network, Population Demography, and Translocation of an Endemic Sri Lankan Monkey

2013

Jamie Hom: Self Identity and Consumption Among Modern Educated Chinese Women
Brittany Kenyon: The Interaction of Human and Non-human Primates: Understanding Behavior through an Ethnoprimatological Lens
Brieanna Mele: Expressing Catholicism through Culture: Symbols, sacraments, and conflicts
Adam Zimmer: The Men of the "Wither'd Chin": Physiological and social effects of castration of male Italian opera singers in the 17th and 18th centuries