Honors Program in Anthropology
Malinowski Prize for Undergraduate Research
Ruth Fulton Benedict Paper Prize
Reza Zarif and Rufina Paniego School of Social Sciences Undergraduate Award for Excellence in Anthropology
Current and Past Malinowski and Ruth Fulton Benedict Award Winners
Lambda Alpha Kappa

Honors Program

The Honors Program in Anthropology is designed to allow undergraduates to pursue field research and write an honors thesis on topics of their choice, under the guidance of Department of Anthropology faculty members. Research projects typically involve a combination of library research, exploratory ethnographic interviews, participant observation, and systematic data collection and analysis. The program is open to all senior Anthropology majors with a grade point average of 3.3 or better overall, with 3.5 in Anthropology courses (at least five courses). Successful completion of the Honors Program and the honors thesis satisfies the upper-division writing requirement.


* To apply for the honors program in 2019-20 (you must except to graduate in spring or summer 2020): Download the Application Form, fill it out, have your advisor sign the form, and then turn it in to Tami Hoksbergen, Social Sciences and Behavioral Gateway 3201 (Anthropology Department Suite) by 4:00pm on Friday, February 22, 2019 for the 2019-20 academic year. This is a firm deadline and no exceptions will be made. You will be notified of application results, via email by Friday, March 8, 2019.



STEP 1: Find a topic and an advisor (ideally during the first half of Junior Year)

At this beginning stage, you should find a professor willing to serve as your research project advisor on the basis of a mutually acceptable abstract that indicates the goal and significance of the study. The faculty advisor must be a full time regular faculty member in the Anthropology Department. Any other potential advisor is subject to the approval of the Undergraduate Director.

STEP 3: Enroll in Anthropology 199 (2 units) for Spring 2018 with Professor Jenks (once accepted, she will contact you about times); also schedule meetings with your advisor

During the Spring quarter of your Junior year, you and the other honors program participants will enroll in a 2-unit course with the Undergraduate Director. The course will meet 5 times during the quarter, and will focus on project development.

STEP 4: Enroll in H190A for the Fall Quarter with your advisor

Having spent time developing your project over the previous spring and summer, you should be ready to start research in the Fall. You and your advisor will set up a meeting schedule for the quarter, during which you will work on a number of important aspects of your project. First, you will finalize a proposal describing the research questions, relevant background literature, and the method of data collection and analysis you will use. You will also apply to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) or Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), which is the university committee that will evaluate the ethical considerations of your research project. You will be aided by your advisor and the Undergraduate Director in this process.

DUE Mid-November 2018: IRB application (to the IRB offices)


DUE Mid-November 2018: UROP application (to the IRB offices)

DUE Late-November 2018: Updated research proposal, delivered to your advisor

STEP 5: Enroll in H190B for the Winter Quarter

You can begin your ethnographic field research as soon as you receive IRB or UROP approval, hopefully during Fall quarter or early Winter quarter. You will spend the bulk of the Winter quarter conducting research. You will also complete an annotated outline of the thesis, including chapter or section abstracts, and bibliographic information.

DUE Monday, March 11, 2019: AT MINIMUM, an annotated outline with chapter or section abstracts, delivered to your advisor

STEP 6: Enroll in Anthropology H191 for the Spring Quarter with Professor Jenks; schedule meetings with your advisor

This course, taught by the Professor Jenks, fulfills your upper division writing requirement. Over the spring quarter you will complete a full draft of the thesis, and turn it in to your advisor and the undergraduate director three weeks prior to the last day of the quarter. After receiving feedback on the draft, you must submit the final version of the thesis by the end of the quarter. Be sure to check all deadlines and plan appropriately.

DUE Monday, May 13, 2019: Full first draft of thesis, delivered to your advisor

DUE Friday, June 7, 2019: Final thesis/draft, delivered to your advisor

NOTE. If you plan on submitting your thesis for a paper prize, these deadlines may need to be revised to earlier dates. Talk to your advisor and the Undergraduate Director for details.

   NOTE. In   order to graduate with honors, you must submit a full draft of your thesis to you faculty advisor by Monday, May 13, 2019. If   you do not submit a full draft of your thesis to your advisor by this deadline, you will NOT receive honors at graduation. The draft should be a complete thesis that requires only minor stylistic or bibliographic work, or easily fixable revisions, before being submitted in final form. This is a firm deadline. The deadline for the final version of the honors thesis is Friday, JUNE 7, 2019.


Anthropology Honors Degree Check Form

Anthropology Honors Students, 2017-2018
Diego Davila Macias
Nan Ding
Jennifer Jones
Sarah Shirori Mahoney
Jack Elliott Smith
Anthropology Honors Students, 2016-2017
Soha Bayginegad
Madison Marie Dixson
Aaron Goeser
Yuneun Pamela Lopez Acosta
Amanda M. Ortscheid
Anthropology Honors Students, 2015-2016
Medha Asthana
Harwood Garland II
Krystina Jarema
Eurie Kim
Natalie Schroeder

 Anthropology Honors Students, 2014-2015

Arielle Margot Arambula
Ricardo Avelar
Jordan Harrison Glenn
Victoria Hoerth Litvin
Allison Stoddard Krebs
Amanda Victoria Ramirez
Ashley Kayrinna Wellls

Anthropology Honors Students, 2013-2014
Ali Shamsuddin Alkhatib
Christopher Bucklew
Sharon Ho
Linh Khai Le
Jacqueline Anh Nguyen
Nadia Nikroo

Samuel Puliafico
Alexander Tron

Anthropology Honors Students, 2012-2013
Jessica Michelle Holland
Shadia Jennifer Mansour
Esther Marie Mealy
Mika Alyssa Smith
Jazmine Ka Yan Wong
Anne Marie Mariscal

Anthropology Honors Students, 2011-2012
Jaime Allen
Autri Baghkhanian
Markie Bear
Meghan Brady
Jennifer Bui
Marc Calilan
Julianne M. Holloway
Emily K. Johnston-O'Neill
Khuyen Lam
Yuliya A. Polovinchik

Anthropology Honors Students, 2010-2011
Anun Arshad
Caroline Clausen
Farley Hamada
Elizabeth McDowell
Merusha Nasoordeen
Nahal Nikroo
Shahrzad Mossanenzadeh
Donna Vuu

Honors Students in Anthropology, 2009-2010
Shaheen Amirebrahimi
Jamie Bennigsdorf
Ian Collins
Hadia Hakim
Kate Rippel
Sarah Seif


Champion of Change Presidential Award

2016 Matine Azadian

Paper Prizes in Anthropology

The Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine, announces two undergraduate student paper prizes that recognize outstanding achievement in anthropological research and writing. The recipient of the paper prize will receive a $150 award.

The Malinowski Prize for Undergraduate Research

The Malinowski Prize for Undergraduate Research recognizes outstanding original research. Original research encompasses independent data collection based on any combination of the following methods: participant observation, interviews, surveys, documentary research, collection of images or texts from popular culture, and/or formal data collection and analysis. Anthropology majors who conduct such studies as part of regular coursework, an honor's thesis, UROP, SURP, EAP, or other such programs are eligible. Papers written in collaboration with faculty members may not be submitted.

Criteria: Students may submit only one paper for consideration for this prize. Papers should be between 20 and 40 pages in length. Honor's theses may be submitted, but must adhere to the length requirement. The winning research paper will be posted and archived on the Departmental website and the recipient of the prize will receive an award at the Department's Spring awards ceremony.

Deadline: May 3, 2019. Please submit your paper to Tami Hoksbergen, Social and Behavioral Sciences Gateway (SBSG) 3201 (Anthropology Department Suite). Faculty may nominate student papers; please submit a copy of the paper with your nomination by May 3, 2019.


The Ruth Fulton Benedict Paper Prize

The Ruth Fulton Benedict Paper Prize recognizes outstanding writing in anthropology. All undergraduates are eligible. The recipient of the paper prize will receive a $150 award.

Criteria: Students may submit only one paper from an anthropology class at UCI. Papers should be between 10 and 30 pages in length. Honor's theses may not be submitted. The paper need not report on original research, but must demonstrate analytical acuity, creativity, and dexterity with the conventions of anthropological writing. The winning paper will be posted and archived on the Departmental website, and the recipient of the prize will receive an award at the Department's Spring awards ceremony.

Deadline: May 3, 2019. Please submit your paper to Tami Hoksbergen, Social and Behavioral Sciences Gateway (SBSG) 3201 (Anthropology Department Suite). Faculty may nominate student papers (only one paper per student); please submit a copy of the paper with your nomination to Tami Hoksbergen by May 3, 2019.


Current and Past Malinowski and Ruth Fulton Benedict Paper Prize Winners

Malinowski Prize:

2018 - Aaron Michael Goeser, "Evading Capture: The Affective Movements of a Samurai Art" (Faculty sponsor, Valerie Olson)

2018 - Amanda Ortscheid (Honorable Mention), "The Inevitable Ascendance of Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Conceptualization of Social and Scientific Progress" (Faculty sponsor, Valerie Olson)

2017 - Madison Marie Dixson

2016 - Medha Asthana

2014 - Linh Khai Le, "Documentary: An Argument for Subjectivity"

2013 - Not Awarded

2012 - Not Awarded

2011 - Farley Hamada, "Of Plight and Providence: Big Pharma and the Effects of Pharmaceutical Advertising on U.S. Patients with RLS, Insomnia, GERD, and GAD"
(Faculty sponsor: Keith Murphy)

2010 - Not Awarded

2009 - Hadia Hakim, "Palestinian Identity-Formation in Yarmouk: Constructing National Identity Through the Development of Space" (Faculty sponsor, Victoria Bernal)

2008 - Ana Siria Urzua, "Gentrification and Displacement: Assessing Responses in Santa Ana, California" (Faculty sponsor, Michael Montoya)

2007 - Kevin Michael Smith and Raul Perez, "Research in Intentional Communities: Past and Present" (Faculty sponsor, Bill Maurer)

2006 - Ashley T. Brenner, "Analysis of the Perception of the Paradigms of Archaeology and the Effect on the Discipline" (Faculty sponsor, Bill Maurer)

Benedict Prize:

2018- Sarah Shiori Mahoney, "The Machiya Boom: Remodeling Identity Through Space" (Faculty sponsor: Sylvia Nam)

2017 - Angela Romea

2016 - Natalie Schroeder,

Carmen Chem, Honorable Mention

2015 - Not Awarded

2014 -Jazmin Martinez, "Join Us In Mouring"

2013 - William Larsen, "Fishing for Answers"

2013 - Mallory Bruno, "Death is Cute: Global Consumer Images of the Supernatural Aspects of Death"

2012 - Not Awarded

2011 - Elizabeth McDowell, "Birth Control, Out of Our Control"
(Faculty Sponsor, Susan Greenhalgh)

2010 - Ariana Keil, "Genital Anxieties and the Quest for the Perfect Vulva: A Feminist Analysis of Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery"
(Faculty Sponsor, Susan Greenhalgh)

2009 - Monica Murtaugh, "Constructing the Haitian Zombie: An Anthropological Study Beyond Madness"
(Faculty sponsor, Angela Garcia)

2008 - Not Awarded

2007 - Katie Harrison, "The Image of the Disney Princess and the Impressions of Feminism"
(Faculty sponsor, Susan Greenhalgh)

2006 - Jeannine Stepanian, "Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Policies in the U.S."
(Faculty sponsor, Tom Boellstorff)

The Reza Zarif and Rufina Paniego School of Social Sciences Undergraduate Award for Excellence in Anthropology

2013 - Not Awarded

2012 - Adrienne Nguyen

2011 - Julianne Holloway

2010 - Claudia Moya
The value of anthropology in Claudia's words: "College has opened my mind and it has expanded it beyond all my expectations...If it had not been for anthropology, I would not have been able to accept the fact that there are more important things in life than letter grades. And this is where anthropology's biggest life lesson comes in: everyone has a story. One of my goals in life is to help tell someone's true-life story and to help make one life easier to live. The more we open our eyes and our minds to the world around us, the more we learn about ourselves. Thus, it is a win-win situation. You just have to be willing to take risks and respect differences."

2009 - Elizabeth McDowell
The value of anthropology in Lizzie's own words: "While nations may be able to amass an impressive arsenal of weaponry, they will not possess the tools to discover the root cause of their conflicts, many of which are seated in cultural differences. That is why anthropology is the most advantageous tool one can possess. By using it, a wealth of knowledge can be gained and applied to propose concrete solutions when we are in dire need of them."

Lambda Alpha Kappa

National Collegiate Honor Society for Anthropology

Membership qualifications:

1. To all declared Anthropology Majors, and Minors

2. All applicants must have at least a Junior class standing with a minimum of a 3.2 GPA in all Anthropology Classes and a 3.2 GPA overall (no incompletes).

3.Must have completed at least four courses or 16 units in Anthropology at UCI at the time of turning in this application.

4.All applicants must show proof of eligibility in grade point average with an official transcript, declaration of major, and class standing.

Note: If you qualify as a member of Lambda Alpha Kappa and you are graduating Spring 2019, you may purchase the cloisonne tack pin bearing the Lambda Alpha Kappa emblem for $10.00. Also stoles are available for $25.00. Please write one check for membership and tie pins/stoles made out to: LAMBDA ALPHA by February 13, 2019 to purchase your items and return toTami Hoksbergen in SBSG 3207. Membership application can be submitted online at this link: https://scout.eee.uci.edu/s/LambdaAlpha.


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