April 11, 2011

Anthropology Professor Awarded Coveted Guggenheim Fellowship

Cynthia Beall
Cynthia M. Beall

Late last week, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded 180 fellowships to some of the top minds in the United States and Canada—including Case Western Reserve University’s own Cynthia M. Beall, Distinguished University Professor and S. Idell Pyle Professor of Anthropology. Nearly 3,000 scholars, scientists and artists applied for the Guggenheim Fellowships.

When looking for funding, Beall specifically targeted the Guggenheim Fellowship because of its broad base. “I was very interested in looking for funding sources that were open to a wide range of fields and that in my particular case didn’t require the collection of new data,” she explained. This year’s fellows range in age from 27 to 84 and cover 61 different disciplines, from writing a biography of author Ken Kesey to studying the roles of animals in American culture, economics and politics.

Beall, who holds secondary appointments in the Departments of Anatomy and Global Health & Diseases, applied for the fellowship last fall and learned of the announcement April 7 via email. “I found out in an odd way,” she said. “An email came and it said something very general, such as, ‘The Guggenheim Foundation Selection Board has selected its fellows for 2011,’ and then it gave a website. And so I went to the website and found out for myself.”

So while details remain unclear, Beall is certain of her plans for this coming year: Having studied the effect of high altitude on individuals’ development for about 40 years and after recently being featured on BBC for her research with Nepalese sherpas, Beall will continue her research on recent human evolution at high altitudes. She will conduct the research during her sabbatical, which begins this fall.

During her fellowship, she will travel back and forth from Case Western Reserve to the University of Chicago Department of Human Genetics, where she will work with a population geneticist on data sets that combine genomics and genetics with Beall’s biology work. Beall will return to teaching in the fall of 2012.

For more information on the Guggenheim Fellowship, click here.

Posted by: Emily Mayock, April 11, 2011 08:56 AM | News Topics:

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