Welcome Back from Michael Blake, Department Head

Welcome back to campus for the start of our 2017/18 academic year. I’m very happy to say that we have virtually no building renovations scheduled for this year—instead we can focus all of our attention on the amazing community of students, postdocs, staff, faculty and visitors that constitute our growing department. We have (as of late August) just over 4500 student enrolments in some 65 courses—ranging from 1st year intro classes to advance undergraduate and graduate seminars. Keeping this all humming along is our dedicated staff team led by Eleanore Asuncion—with Joyce Ma running the main office and undergrad advising, and Patricia Ormerod managing the Lab of Archaeology. And—great news!—beginning September 1st, Lori Lee joins our intrepid team as the new Graduate Program Assistant and Head’s Secretary, taking over from Anthony Grzegorzewski who has done a superb job in this post over the summer (and who will be with us until mid-Sept. helping with the transition). Lori comes to us from UBC’s Go Global Program where she has an impressive track record working with virtually all departments and programs across the university and with students from around the world.

I’m very pleased to welcome Professor Sabina Magliocco to our department. She comes to us from Cal State University, Northridge (CSUN) where, most recently, she served as Chair of the Anthropology Department. Check out her department webpage to glimpse the fascinating research she is conducting and her wide range of publications.

It is also a great pleasure to let you know that Dr. Camilla Speller will be joining the department as Assistant Professor with a specialization in archaeological science/bio-archaeology. She will join us in July of next year after completing her many obligations at York University in the UK.  Dr. Speller’s expertise in the study of ancient plant and animal DNA and proteins is helping to change the way archaeologists study resource use and diet in the past.

Finally, but certainly not least, please join me in congratulating both Dr. Sara Shneiderman and Dr. Nicola Levell who have now received letters from UBC President Santa Ono, granting tenure and promoting them to Associate Professor—in recognition of their outstanding contributions to research, teaching, and service.

I very much look forward to my second year as Department Head.  One of the great joys of this post is the chance to get to know all parts of the Department and to work with all of you during the year. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you’d like to chat, pass along suggestions, ask some questions, or just let me know what you are up to.  Best wishes for a productive and fun academic year.