I’m extremely proud to announce that Elena Becker was recently awarded the second place prize in the Society for Applied Anthropology‘s annual Peter K. New Award. The research/paper competition is named after applied anthropologist Peter Kong-ming New, formerly the president of the Society for Applied Anthropology, as well as chairman of the Medical Sociology section of the American Sociological Association. Elena’s prize includes a $1500 stipend and an invitation to submit her paper to the society’s flagship journal, Human Organization. In competition with numerous graduate students with dissertation-focused social scientists, it’s particularly noteworthy that an undergraduate received this award. She joins a list of previous winners that includes anthropologists and sociologists now on faculty at Harvard, CUNY, UMass, and many other excellent universities. That list of winners also includes anthropologist Brian Burke, who recently visited Puget Sound for a research talk with students.
Elena’s winning paper, Malagasy Cookstove Use and the Potential for Alternative Models: A Case Study in Madagascar’s Vakinankaratra Region, exemplified applied anthropology. Using an ethnographic methodology honed in coursework at Puget Sound, Elena deployed those skills to explore how the adoption of new cooking technology might fit with the cultural and practical norms of rural Madagascar. Notably, research for this project was conducted as part of her semester abroad with the School of International Training.
We’re very proud of you, Elena!