Anthropology Students, Alumna Conduct Research on Race

By Gail Hairston

Two University of Kentucky graduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Anthropology have been awarded National Science Foundation (NSF) grants, and an anthropology alumna will be conducting her research at University of Cambridge.

Daniel Joseph, a fourth year doctoral student from Les Cayes, Haiti, was awarded an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant (DDIG) to conduct research on people of Haitian descent, many of whom had lived their whole lives in Dominican Republic until their deportation in recent years. Joseph is conducting cultural anthropological research in the refugee camps in Haiti, near the border of Dominican Republic. He hopes to understand how identity plays into these historical relations of race, colonialism and entwined economies. For more information about Haiti and Dominican Republic, visit

Chhaya Kolavalli, a third year doctoral student in anthropology, was also awarded an NSF DDIG for her research on race and urban food systems in Kansas City, Missouri. The title of her project is "We are being left to 'blight.'" She will investigate understandings of food insecurity in a Kansas City neighborhood targeted for food justice work.

In other news, a UK anthropology alumna has been offered a research position at Cambridge to study anti-racism movements in Latin America. Maria Moreno Parra, a doctoral graduate of the UK Department of Anthropology, has been offered a two-year post-doctoral position at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Her research project is a European Social Research Council-funded project titled “Latin American Antiracism in a ‘Post-Racial’ Age.” The project is directed by Monica Moreno Figueroa of the University of Cambridge and co-directed by Peter Wade of the University of Manchester. 

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: #uk4ky #seeblue


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