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Anthropology Student Earns National Recognition
Dawn Stricklin, an anthropology major at Southeast Missouri State University, has been nationally recognized for her hard work and dedication to anthropology.
Dawn is the recipient of the Carrie Hunter-Tate Award, given by the National Association of Anthropologist (NASA), a section of the American Anthropological Association (AAA). NASA began offering the Carrie Hunter-Tate Award in memory of a NASA officer who passed away in 1995. The merit-based award considers both academic excellence and service to the profession.
Dawn will be awarded $200 and is invited to attend the American Anthropological Association awards ceremony held in November in San José, Calif.
Dawn’s academic achievements including authoring an article titled “Namesakes, Name Changes, and Conflicting Evidence: The Search for the Mother of Little John Crow” which will be published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly in December. Dawn said the article, which reconstructs the genealogy of Little John Crow without the benefit of paper documentation, was difficult to compile because of the Sioux’s oral tradition, but she put in the necessary hard work. The result is a thorough, accurate article which includes federal records and oral history.
Dawn said the best experience she had as a Southeast student was discovering her niche.
“As a non-traditional student, I entered college believing that at my age, I was supposed to already have my interests figured out.”
She said she realized she was mistaken during the spring of 2005 when she enrolled in two anthropology courses, Observing Other Cultures and American Indians. Dawn then signed up for an ethnography assignment, defined as a qualitative description of human social phenomena based on fieldwork. She interviewed and observed a female military policewoman at Fort Leonard Wood in Pulaski County, Mo.
“During that time, I became so enamored with my research that I asked to continue my work in a summer independent study,” said Dawn.
Dawn, no stranger to research, had previously owned and operated a business called Hidden in the Hills Research. She conducted historical research for a wide variety of clientele with varying objectives, including those seeking enrollment in federally acknowledged Indian tribes, those wishing to establish kinship to receive their portion of a relative’s estate, those wishing to locate lost relatives, and documenting historical buildings.
Dawn said the time she spent conducting the ethnography and researching various native peoples convinced her to continue her education at Southeast’s Department of Anthropology.
“When I returned to the University in the fall of 2005, I walked into the Foreign Language and Anthropology Department knowing I belonged there,” said Dawn. “That was a defining moment in my life.”
While classroom exercises contributed to Dawn’s growth as a scholar, she said her advisors’ support was most significant. Dawn said she was fortunate in her assignment of advisors because they were supportive of her educational and career goals.
“They graciously helped me work out the ‘red herrings’ in my degree audit, and they even cheered me on and congratulated me when I succeeded,” said Dawn. “Every mentor is an advisor, but not every advisor is a mentor. My advisors have made it clear that they look forward to hearing from me even as I enter graduate studies at another university.”
Dawn said her son, Marin High Bull, is the top priority in her life. She said she spends a lot of time attending second grade classroom parties, Christmas plays and karate championships. When she isn’t supporting Marin in his endeavors, she enjoys researching American Indians, especially within federal records. She conducts historical and genealogical research on tribal members. The Lakotas, part of the Great Sioux Nation, is the tribe she is most interested in.
“My son is Lakota, and we have lived at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation on and off for several years,” said Dawn.
Dawn is busy filling out graduate school applications for further study in anthropology. In the fall of 2007, she will begin her concentration on paleoethnobotany, the study of plant remains from archaeological sites, and physical anthropology, the study of human genetic evolution.
Dawn said she enjoys talking to people from different cultures.
“Don’t underestimate Cape Girardeau,” she said. “Even though it is a relatively small city compared to many others, it contains a wide variety of people from all over the world. I love to visit Cape’s multi-cultural grocery stores and restaurants.”
Dawn said college is a formative time in one’s life and non-traditional students are no exception.
“Southeast helped nurture and mold the talents I had already formed,” said Dawn. “Don’t place considerable pressure upon yourselves when declaring your major and don’t be afraid to explore other fields of study.”