Student Engagement Fund

Through the generous donations of Sociology/Anthropology alumni, our department has developed the Student Engagement Fund. The Student Engagement Fund is designed to promote research and experiential learning among majors in the Sociology/ Anthropology department. Funding supports travel to field sites and conferences, purchase of materials and equipment, and access to libraries and other research facilities.

Applicants should submit their documents to the department chair ( and the department administrative assistant ( 

Please complete the Student Engagement Fund Application.

Travel Grant

Ryan Wheeler

Approved Spring 2024, payment pending ($500)

 Ryan Wheeler will conduct research at the Museo Egizio in Turin, Italy in Summer 2024. His project focuses on the museum’s objects belonging to King Taharqa, a pharaoh from the 25th Sudanese dynasty (the “Black Pharaohs”). By researching the religious prominence of King Taharqa, as well as the original archaeological contexts of his religious statues, Ryan seeks to better understand how this king participated in the religious and geo-political conflicts in the early Biblical Iron Age, alongside his prominence and importance to the people of ancient Egypt.

Summer 2024 Research Travel Grant 

Janet Martinez

Approved Spring 2024, payment pending ($500)

Janet Martinez will accompany Dr. Sharon Steadman in Summer 2024 to conduct archeological field work in Çadır Höyük, Turkey. Janet will work on building a database focused on redware ceramics (where the items are found, quantities, age, etc.). This research is part of a project focused on ancient plants, diet and trade in the area. 

Conference Travel Grant

Kathryn Cosman

Approved Spring 2024, funded Spring 2024 ($500)

Kathryn Cosman will present her work on community-based archeology from an undergraduate perspective at the 2024 Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in April 2024. He presentation focuses on her time conducting fieldwork on Sitkalidak Island, Alaska in Summer 2024. Part of her time was spent at the Nuniaq Culture Camp, learning about native Alaskan activities, and sharing her knowledge about site excavation.

K Cosman 5_1_24 SEF.jpg

Equipment Purchase

Ryan Baumgartner

Approved Spring 2024, funded Spring 2024 ($150)

Ryan Baumgartner applied for funds to pay for soil testing kits to date samples collected from sites in Turkey and Alaska. He will test the soil samples for nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium to assess the effects of major climate events on soil health. He will use these data in his honors thesis focused on theories about human responses to climate events.

ANT 329: Historical Ecology

Funded Fall 2023

For their final project, students in ANT 329: Historical Ecology are each researching a piece of the history of human engagement with Onondaga Lake and creating a professional poster to showcase their findings. In lieu of a final exam, they hosted a public poster session to present their research to the campus community on Friday, December 8, 2023 from 1-2:30pm in Moffett 120. The posters covered topics such as Onondaga Nation’s relationships with the lake, the salt industry, recreation on the lake, pollution, cleanup efforts, and environmental justice. The poster session was an opportunity for students to practice public presentation skills, prepare a professional poster, and is good experience for any future conferences that they may participate in, such as Transformations or other professional conferences within their disciplines.

 Dr. Hollis Miller requested funds to cover the costs of printing the 6 student posters.

Student standing with research poster

            Research Poster

Ronde Wood, double major in Anthropology and New Communication Media, Senior

Jenn Baker, double major in Sociology and Anthropology, Senior


Conference Travel Grant

Caleigh Pfalzer

Approved Fall 2023, funded Spring 2024 ($350) 

The Student Engagement Fund provided partial support for Caleigh Pfalzer, a dual anthropology and criminology major, to present her research from her 2023 Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship at a conference in Cuba. Caleigh worked with Dr. Kent Johnson to inventory comingled skeletal remains donated to the Department twenty years ago. The remains are likely indigenous in origin and the inventory work conducted is the first step in repatriating the remains to their descendants. 

For a more detailed description of the project, check out this article posted in Campus News Three Cortland students attended the international conference.  You can read about their experience an article posted in Campus News.

Caleigh Pfalzer at summer research fellowship in Cuba Caleigh Pfalzer presenting during summer research Caleigh Pfalzer discussing her research with a poster of data