Buikstra named to National Museum of Natural History board

May 5, 2009

The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History advisory board includes former U.S. Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor, ambassador William Luers and PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger. Now, Arizona State University bioarchaeologist Jane Buikstra is taking her place among these notables.

Buikstra is understandably moved by the appointment. “I’m overawed. I’ve been going to the museum since I was a child. The thought of actually helping to shape policy is remarkable.” Download Full Image

Located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the National Museum of Natural History is equal in size to 18 football fields and houses over 126 million specimens and artifacts, as well as research facilities and laboratories. Several field stations—from Kenya to Alaska—and a marine research facility in Fort Pierce, Florida, are also under the museum’s auspices.

With the mission to “inspire curiosity, discovery, and learning about nature and culture through outstanding research, collections, exhibitions, and education,” this branch of the Smithsonian is charged with a profound task, one that Buikstra has long supported in various capacities.

As she explains, “I’ve been engaging in research there since 1970 and hold the research staff in high respect. I’ve served on departmental review committees for anthropology and a review committee for the museum as a whole. I am currently a member of the Repatriation Review Committee.”

Buikstra attended her first advisory board meeting April 2 and found it remarkably productive. “We heard a series of proposals for the museum’s ‘Big Ideas’ competition, which encouraged staff to think outside the box and develop proposals for future initiatives; the concepts were required to be interdisciplinary and visionary,” she says. “Our input helped shape the National Museum's action plan and near-term future.”

Currently, Buikstra is co-designing field school curricula—with an emphasis on advanced training in archaeology—for the Center for American Archeology in Kampsville, Illinois, which received the 2009 Society for American Archaeology’s Excellence in Public Education Award. She is also working on an introductory text in forensic anthropology, a global history of paleopathology and a volume focused on bioarchaeology and identity. And she is moving into the next phase of a research project that uses the humanities and social, life and physical sciences to explore the construction of ancient Andean identity.

Buikstra is a Regents' Professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change and director of the school's Center for Bioarchaeological Research in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Considered a pioneer in the field of bioarchaeology, including paleopathology, she was presented with two prestigious lifetime achievement awards in 2008: the T. Dale Stewart Award from the Physical Anthropology Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American Association of Physical Anthropologists’ Charles Darwin Lifetime Achievement Award.

Rebecca Howe

Communications Specialist, School of Human Evolution and Social Change


Apply for Spirit of Enterprise Awards to honor Arizona businesses

May 5, 2009

Despite the recession, many Arizona businesses are thriving, pushing forward to create new jobs and contribute to the state’s economic recovery. Some of the best businesses in the state will be honored with this year’s Spirit of Enterprise Awards from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Companies are being encouraged to apply now for the 13th annual awards.

Past winners include such diverse companies as Cold Stone Creamery and Grand Canyon Railway. The awards recognize businesses that demonstrate ethics, energy and excellence in entrepreneurship. Businesses are noted for creating a positive culture both internally and in the community as a whole. Also, this year, a new category called the Gary Trujillo Minority Enterprise Award is being added. Download Full Image

About 1,000 Valley business and community leaders are expected to attend the annual awards luncheon when the winners are announced on Sept. 24 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix.

The award application deadline is July 9. Applicant businesses must:

1.)    Be a for-profit enterprise in business for at least four years,

2.)    Be incorporated, headquartered or have primary business operations in Arizona,

3.)    Have three or more full-time employees,

4.)    Demonstrate profitability over the last three years.

These awards are just one focus of the Spirit of Enterprise Center at the W. P. Carey School of Business, which helps hundreds of businesses each year. The center offers companies the chance to recruit and meet with top student talent, while students get hands-on business experience. Through the center, businesses can access short, non-degree programs for busy professionals and create connections to other Arizona StateUniversity resources. Teams of W. P. Carey School of Business students also conduct research to help Valley companies. The center is self-funded and utilizes community sponsorships and volunteers.

For more information on the center or an awards application, go to www.spiritofenterprise.org">http://www.spiritofenterprise.org/">www.spiritofenterprise.org. For sponsorship opportunities or awards luncheon reservations, please contact Gary Naumann at (480) 965-0474 or SpiritofEnterprise">mailto:SpiritofEnterprise@asu.edu">SpiritofEnterprise@asu.edu.