Dr. Castañeda began to take undergraduate students from the University
of Houston to Yucatán. In the first year, 1994, two students
spent 8 weeks teaching English to the children of the community of Pisté.
In 1995 and 1996, Castañeda brought students from Princeton and
the University of Houston to learn Maya anthropology and ethnographic
research methods. Students participated in a seminar on anthropological
topics such as theory, ethnographic representation, Maya history and
culture. They also were trained in fieldwork methods as they designed
and conducted their own independent research projects.
Twelve undergraduate students participated in
the three field seasons between 1994 and 1996. Student success
is represented by the undergraduate major paper by Laura
Bunt at the University of Houston and a Senior Thesis presented
by Gisela Fosada at Princeton. Laura Bunt
and Gisela Fosada used their fieldwork experiences in Pisté to
enter Ph.D. programs in Anthropology at the New School of Social Research
and University of Michigan.
In 1997 The Field School in Experimental Ethnography
was developed as a project that combined pedagogy with research.
Using the format of an eight week summer training program in ethnographic
fieldwork methods, the School conducted research in three areas. These
three are: The Chilam Balam Project in Memory and History; SELT, or
The School in Experimental Language Training, and the Ah Dzib P'izté'
Project in Maya Art and Anthropology. The Field School conducted research
and training in four field seasons (the summers of 1997, 1998, and 1999
and the fall of 1999).
Between 1995 and 1999, more than 30 undergraduates
and five graduate students participated in the Field School of Experimental Ethnography
Laurie Kovacovic’s experience in
the 1997 and 1998 field seasons motivated her to begin and complete
graduate work in TESOL; she is now a practicing TESOL teacher in Minnesota.
José Saul Martínez wrote
his Master’s thesis at the University of Houston in the anthropology
of education based on his research as the student director of the SELT
program in 1998. Saul is now completing his Ph.D. in anthropology at
the University of Texas.
Having participated in all three years of the Field School (1997 to
1999), Fernando Armstrong Fumero used
his research experiences to complete a combined BA and Master’s
degrees in anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. His Master’s
thesis (2000) explores the focus group research with Pisté artists
that he designed and directed in 1998. Fernando is currently a Ph.D.
student in anthropology at Stanford and conducting his doctoral dissertation
research in Yucatán (2003-2004).
Ana Wandless participated in the 1997
and 1998 seasons where she worked on the Chilam Balam Project in Memory
and History. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in Anthropology at
Lisa Breglia, as Ph.D. student in anthropology
at Rice, participated as Assistant Director in the 1998 and 1999 field
seasons. Building on and extending the research she directed in the
Field School, Breglia designed a dissertation project on the meaning
of and conflicts over archaeological patrimony in Yucatán. After
defending her dissertation in April of 2003, Dr. Breglia has been teaching
at the University of Houston Clearlake and Rice University; in 2004-2005
she is visiting professor at Wesleyan.
Hutan Hejazi (BA University of Houston)
participated in the 1999 field season, focusing on the Maya art project;
he is currently working on his Ph.D. in Anthropology at Rice University.
Students Success and Achievement from OSEA 2005 to present
Mallika Bhandarkar (OSEA 2005) entered the Graduate Program of the School of Public Health Application Service at Columbia University
Isabella Stackl (OSEA 2005) completed a Masters degree at the University of Michigan School of Social Work
Jennifer Telesca (OSEA 2005) entered the PhD program in Law and Society at New York University
Matt Breines (OSEA 2009) returned to OSEA in 2011 to coordinate the Teaching English Language Service Learning Program before taking a Educational Counselor position at the Harlem Children’s Zone Inc. in New York City
Sarah Block (OSEA 2009) entered the Masters program in Anthropology in American University
Evan Holcomb (OSEA 2009) returned to OSEA in 2011 to teach in the Teaching English Language Service Learning Program
Sarah Johnson (OSEA 2009) completed her Masters degree in Latin American Studies at Indiana University
Brianna Myers (OSEA 2009) entered the Masters program in Speech and Hearing at Indiana University
Justin Quinn (OSEA 2009) entered the PhD program in Anthropology at University of Florida continues to do research in Yucatán on issues of Maya involvement in tourism development
Terrance Hall (OSEA 2010) entered the Masters program in Anthropology at Brandeis