Anthropology adds depth and experience with new faculty addition

The Department of Anthropology’s newest addition is Dr. Corey Ragsdale is an Assistant Professor and a Bio archaeologist. Through archaeological research and theory, Dr. Ragsdale is dedicated to better understanding human variation and human social complexity. Dr. Ragsdale teaches courses in biological anthropology, including an introductory course that combines biological anthropology and archaeology (ANTH 111A). I also teach upper-level courses related to forensic anthropology (ANTH 369 and 469), bioarcheology (ANTH 468), and human variation (ANTH 366). Dr. Ragsdale is also adding new courses to our program that specialize in subjects like dental anthropology and paleopathology.  

Current research interests for Dr. Ragsdale are into past populations, and how these patterns are influenced. “I am broadly interested in human migration, and how changing cultural systems (political, economic, etc.) affect the decision to migrate from one place to another. Additionally, I am interested in examining health and stress among both migrants and residents among historic and prehistoric human populations. The majority of my work has been in Mexico and the Southwest United States regions, but I am currently also developing a project to investigate these phenomena in medieval Europe” Says Ragsdale.

Dr. Ragsdale’s teaching methods for Anthropology students is to instill critical thinking skills, as well as foster a scientific/evolutionary perspective of human variation (differences, for example), which are important in our increasingly connected and globalized world. “When students develop these skills they can succeed in a wide variety of career paths, but also possess the intellectual tool kit necessary for navigating many personal challenges in their lives. The students that I mentor are constantly forced to think on their own, and typically do very well in other areas outside of Anthropology.” Ragsdale Replies.

His time here at SIUE has been rewarding and challenging in adapting to a new university. Dr. Ragsdale says, “With lots of support from the university and the College of Arts and Sciences, I have been able to continue my research program, as well as begin to integrate students into various aspects of my work. In my short time here, I have already had the opportunity to see several students grow in their scholastic endeavors. These first couple of years have not been without challenge, however, as I am constantly needing to adapt myself with the always changing student population. In order to keep students interested and involved, I have had to challenge myself to adjust my teaching strategies. These efforts appear to be paying off, however, as I can see an increase in student success over time. The collaborative nature of our faculty at SIUE also makes for a more productive and engaging environment, perfect for those of us that are constantly broadening our research interests.”

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