Emeriti Faculty

Anthropology Emeriti Faculty



Contact Information

Susan Abbott-Jamieson

Susan Abbott-Jamieson joined UK as an assistant professor of anthropology in 1974, became an associate professor in 1980 and served as the chair of the department from 1990-1994. She also conducted extensive research in Kenya and Eastern Kentucky broadly analyzing people’s health and practices. She retired in 1998 and began an applied research and program-development position with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). During this position, she created the Local Fisheries Knowledge Project which trained teachers to have students conduct oral histories in fishing communities and resulted in the Voices from the Fisheries Project. She served as Lead Social Scientist in the NMFS Office of Science and Technology from 2002-2011.

A fellowship established in her name, the “Susan Abbott-Jamieson Dissertation Research Fund Award” is given annually to graduate students in the Department of Anthropology to support pre-dissertation research. Abbott-Jamieson was also awarded a Bronze medal by the U.S. Department of Commerce for her work on Hurricane Katrina’s damage to the gulf fishing industry. Currently, she is the President of Abbott-Jamieson Consulting, Ltd and works on fisheries anthropology, environmental policy, and the oral history of occupations.

Mary Anglin Mary Anglin's Faculty Page mary.anglin@uky.edu
Deborah Crooks

A biocultural anthropologist, Crooks’ research has focused on nutritional anthropology, livelihoods and food/nutrition security, the political-economy of child growth, the biology of inequality and human adaptability in Belize, Eastern Kentucky and Zambia. She combines theory and methods from biological and cultural anthropology to address these issues, using quantitative and qualitative data. Her research has been supported by numerous National Science Foundation (NSF) grants and she has authored many high-impact scholarly articles. Her work is often cited as an exemplar of biocultural research in human biology.

In 2017, Crooks was awarded the Franz Boas Distinguished Achievement Award by the Human Biology Association (HBA) in recognition of her exemplary contribution to human biology in science, scholarship. and professional service. 

John van Willigen

John van Willigen is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Kentucky at Lexington, where he was also appointed to the Department of Behavioral Science, College of Medicine and the Gerontology and Health PhD Program. He has served as Director of Graduate Studies and Departmental Chair at various times. His undergraduate anthropology degree is from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and his PhD studies were done at the University of Arizona. While at Arizona he completed training in community development as well as anthropology. During his graduate studies he was employed by Papago Tribe of Arizona (now the Tohono O’Odham Nation) as Director of Community Development. This work served as the basis for his dissertation.

Van Willigen has published extensively on applied anthropology practice. These publications include the widely used textbook, Applied Anthropology: An Introduction (now in its third edition), the edited volumes, Making Our Research Useful: Case Studies in the Utilization of Anthropological Knowledge (with Barbara Rylko-Bauer and Ann McElroy) and Soundings: Rapid and Reliable Research Methods for Practicing Anthropologists (with Timothy J. Finan).

He has done field research in India, rural Kentucky, and Indonesia. This work has focused on the social aging process, farming systems research, and ethnography of farming and food ways. The products of this work include three research monographs. These are Gettin’ Some Age on Me: Social Organization of Older People in a Rural American Community; Tobacco Culture: Farming Kentucky’s Burley Belt (with Susan C. Eastwood) and Social Aging in a Delhi Neighborhood (with N. K. Chadha).

Van Willigen has made important contributions to applied anthropology in two areas. First is the documentation of applied anthropology practice. He organized the Applied Anthropology Documentation Project at the University of Kentucky Library. This has resulted in a large collection of technical reports produced by anthropologists in the course of their work. These materials have been described in the Sources column of Practicing Anthropology and formed the basis for his publication, Anthropology in Use: A Source Book on Anthropological Practice. Through his work in documentation he has helped increase the understanding of the contribution of applied and practicing anthropologists to the discipline. Documentation helps us understand who were are and what we have done.

The second aspect of his service is in the area of training for application and practice. He served as the chair of a joint SfAA and National Association for the Practice of Anthropology committee that developed Guidelines for Training Programs in Practicing Anthropology. He developed and organized the initial Applied Anthropology Training Program Information Exchanges and served as compiler of the number of SfAA published Guides to Training Programs and the NAPA Bulletin, Becoming a Practicing Anthropologist: A Guide to Careers and Training Programs in Applied Anthropology. He feels that effective applied and practicing anthropologists need to know techniques for practical action, have thorough understanding of the contexts of professional work, and sound strategies for collaboration with communities and other disciplines.

He has also received the Omer C. Stewart Memorial Award of the High Plains Society for Applied Anthropology, two Fulbright Lectureships (India) and a Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Teaching at the University of Kentucky.



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