AAA and the Committee on Minority Affairs in Anthropology (CMIA) are pleased to announce the selection of Shankari Patel as recipient of the 2011-2012 AAA Minority Dissertation Fellowship. Patel's dissertation, titled "Journey to the East: Pilgrimage, Politics and Gender in Postclassic Yucatan," focuses on "the rise in women's status and authority in the religious institutions of Postclassic (A.D. 909-1519) Maya society following the decline and collapse of the Classic (A.D. 250-909) Maya state." Patel's Dissertation Committee Chairperson, Thomas C. Patterson, PhD, says "Ms. Patel is committed to a career in academic research, teaching and service to students, the institutions, the wider community, and the profession."
Patel received her BA at California State University, Los Angeles in anthropology and continued on to receive an interdisciplinary master’s degree in anthropology, geography, and religious studies. She is currently working on her PhD in anthropology at University of California, Riverside.
Patel will be recognized during the AAA Awards Ceremony at the 2011 AAA Annual Meeting in Montréal in November. Natalie Newton, PhD Candidate at the University of California, Irvine, will be acknowledged as the Honorable Mention at a luncheon hosted by the CMIA. Patel and Newton have been invited to attend lunch and other events with the CMIA during the meeting.