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Honors Projects

Department of Sociology/Anthropology


Nadia Hashimi and Catherine Scott

Nadia Hashimi - Class of 2010

Nadia Hashimi is an anthropology major and english minor who loves food culture, the way dirt feels between her toes and believes that the best parts of the places she visits are the people. Hashimi plans to study the changing roles of women in Albanian society. She participated in a month-long research project in Albania led by Dr. Mike Galaty last summer, and her experience there made her want to return.

Hashimi recently started her research after her acceptance into the Honors Program. The Millsaps College Honors Program affords students the opportunity to work under the mentorship of a faculty advisor in order to bridge past coursework and rigorous independent study in a field of choice. It allows students to develop and defend original ideas, strongly preparing them for graduate school and careers.

Hashimi is currently tackling a massive amount of literature to help her formulate an extensive understanding of the region's history and traditional ideas of nationality and gender roles. She is also studying traditional and state laws and how the state engages in conflict with family groups.

A majority of her study took place in Albania, where she spent three weeks this summer. She stayed with two families, one traditional and one modern, and took advantage of the opportunity to observe differences between the ways the two approach different aspects of culture.

Hashimi "[tried] not to go in with too many expectations." She kept an open mind because, after all, she was "completely at the will of the people."

While designing her own research project has been an enlightening experience, it has also been "terrifying." She spent the first parts of her days in Albania teaching English, followed by the chance to hang out and learn from those around her.

Her honors committee consists of Dr. Mike Galaty, Dr. Julian Murchison and Dr. Ming Tsui. With backgrounds in archaeology, cultural anthropology and sociology respectively, Hashimi considers them the "ideal group to work with."



Catherine Scott - Class of 2010

Catherine Scott's honors project reflects her fascination with Greece. She will be conducting soil chemistry analysis of a Mycenaean site to determine activity areas and site structure. Double-majoring in anthropology and classics, she loves travel and history.

The Millsaps College Honors Program allows students to work under the mentorship of a faculty advisor in order to incorporate past coursework into a rigorous independent study in a field of choice. It allows students to develop and defend original ideas, strongly preparing students for graduate school and careers.

She is currently amassing broad background knowledge of the process of soil analysis, surveys and excavations and a history of bronze age Greece. Last semester she took the Archaeology of Bronze Age Greece class with Dr. Mike Galaty as well. She feels that working with an expert in her field will prepare her for the project she is planning herself.

Scott conducted a large part of her research as part of a dig at the Grecian site of Iklaina. She participated in the dig with students from University of Missouri at St. Louis. After bringing back some of her own soil samples from the site, she will be able to perform a chemistry analysis to discover how the site was used and what activities occurred there.

Scott will be one of the first students to use the new W.M. Keck Lab, an exciting addition to Olin Hall which will allow anthropology and archaeology students to analyze historical samples. Through these samples, students will gain a better understanding of life in the past. The main piece of equipment she will use is the mass spectrometer, and while it is not currently installed, it will be a central tool in her work.

Although Scott is unsure of her future path, her project is the "first stab" into what she may want to do.