Ortiz Center Fellows
Louise Lamphere Public Policy Fellowship
Cameron Zarrabzadeh is a PhD student in the Ethnology subfield of the Anthropology department at UNM. He graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2010 with a dual degree in English Literature and Studio Art and completed an MA in Ethnology at UNM in 2021. For his PhD research, he seeks to interrogate human rights issues and conflicts that emerge between the interests of different groups in the context of environmental degradation and its impacts on human health in the American Southwest.
He intends to center his research on exploitative environmental and social interactions driven by extractive resource industries in the region. One potential dissertation topic concerns the issue of uranium tailings seeping into water supplies and affecting the human health of a particular Navajo community in New Mexico.
Research interests: semiotics, discourse, science & technology studies, political ecology, social and environmental conflict in the American Southwest
María del Pilar File-Muriel
María del Pilar File-Muriel is a PhD candidate studying Ethnology in the Department of Anthropology. She holds an MA in Anthropology from UNM, an MA in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management, and a BA in Folklore from Indiana University. An activist anthropologist interested in the dynamics of peace building, her dissertation centers on peace practices and the multi-scalar relationships that sustain peace in Colombia, specifically in territories of peace and humanitarian zones. Pilar’s research has been supported by the LAII PhD Fellowship, the Tinker Foundation, the UNM Department of Anthropology, and the Graduate and Professional Student Association. For several years, she has held an Interdepartmental Fellowship through the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, where she has taught introductory language courses as well as upper level topics classes related to her dissertation research. She co-directs the Study Abroad Colombia program and is founder of the Interdisciplinary Colombian Studies Group at UNM. Pilar currently serves as the secretary for the Colombia Section of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA), and as an advisor to the the NGO Witness for Peace Solidarity Committee.
Daniel Shattuck is a PhD candidate in the Ethnology subfield of the University of New Mexico Anthropology Department. He holds a BA in Anthropology (concentration in applied anthropology) from North Carolina State University, and a MA in Anthropology from UNM. His research interests include the anthropology of food, Italy/Europe, and the construction of connoisseurship and knowledge. His dissertation research focuses on the assemblage of taste and taste communities around extra virgin olive oil in Italy. His research has been supported by the UNM Department of Anthropology and the Graduate and Professional Student Association. Daniel also currently works as a Research Associate and Implementation Coach with the Behavioral Research Center of the Southwest, a center of the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. He is charged with data collection, analysis, and project management as well as working closely with sites in implementing strategies to address structural vulnerabilities and health disparities faced by sexual and gender minority populations.
The Alfonso Ortiz fellow for the academic year 2015-2016, Jagna Cyganik, is a doctoral candidate in the Anthropology Department at UNM. With research interests in Native American Southwest, indigeneity, and popular music, Jagna’s dissertation project explores the Dine (Navajo) metal music scene and community in New Mexico and Arizona. Born and raised in Poland, Jagna enjoys New Mexican sun and spending time outdoors, hiking in the Sandias with her children and dog.
Jennifer Cardinal is a PhD Candidate in the University of New Mexico Anthropology Department. She has a BA in Anthropology from the University of Kansas (2003), and MA in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico (2009). Jennifer’s areas of investigation include anthropology of place, mobilities, community development, tourism, and lifestyle migration. Her dissertation research considers community development in the context of the shifting social and physical landscape of the southern Jalisco coast. Jennifer conducted ethnographic research in the coastal Mexican community of La Manzanilla investigating the relationships between lifestyle migrant participation in community development, and how young Mexican entrepreneurs are positioning themselves as agents of tourism and community development. Her research has been supported by research grants from the University of New Mexico Anthropology Department, Office of Graduate Studies, Graduate Professional Student Association, and the Tinker Foundation and Latin American and Iberian Institute. Cardinal will assist the Anthropology Department Colloquium Committee and facilitate two projects, the Ortiz Center sponsored research paper awards in the spring and present a public anthropology project TBA.
Elise Trott is an Ethnology PhD student at the University of New Mexico. She received her BA in Anthropology from the University of Chicago in 2007 and her MA in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico in 2012. Elise is a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her research interests include the ethnography of New Mexico, activism and social movements, political ecology, and the anthropology of the environment. Her dissertation research focuses on environmental and community activism in the Española Valley of northern New Mexico and the South Valley of Albuquerque. Since 2010, Elise has also been involved with a long-term community-based participatory research project supported by the Ortiz Center and the New Mexico Acequia Association that focuses on documenting the traditional knowledge of New Mexico’s mayordomos, or irrigation ditch bosses. As part of that project, she developed and edited an educational film entitled “The Art of Mayordomía.” Her education and research has been supported by the University of New Mexico’s Binford Scholarship, the New Mexico Folklore Award, and the Alfonso Ortiz Public Policy Fellowship.
Sean E. Gantt, Ph.D.
Department of Anthropology, UNM, Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Brown University
Sean Everette Gantt is from Charlotte, NC and earned his BA in Anthropology from Davidson College in 2003. He earned his MA in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico in 2006 and is currently a PhD Candidate in the Ethnology sub-field of the Anthropology Department at the University of New Mexico. Sean has studied both archaeology and ethnography, specializing in Southeastern U.S. Native American Studies. His dissertation is titled “Nanta Hosh Chahta Immi (What are Choctaw Ways): Cultural Preservation in the Casino Era,” investigates the long-term impacts of tribal economic development programs on the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (MBCI) reservation. He is also a videographer and produced numerous ethnographic video projects that have been screened locally and in regional film festivals. His research has been supported by many grants, scholarships, and fellowships, including an Andrew W. Mellon Doctoral Fellowship and the Alfonso Ortiz Center for Intercultural Studies Public Policy Fellowship. Sean has also received the New Mexico Graduate Scholars Award, Frieda D. Butler Award, Critical Engagement with Public Anthropology Award, Ruth E. Kennedy Award, and most recently the American Indian Student Services STARS Award.
For more information on Sean E. Gantt please visit his academic and professional website: seangantt.wordpress.com