Kelly Jenks (M.A. Arizona, 2005; Ph.D. Arizona, 2011) came to the University of Arizona in 2003 to study the archaeology of Spanish colonialism in the Southwest. Barnet Pavao-Zuckermanwas the chair of her M.A. and Ph.D. committees, and her other thesis/comps committee members included Terry Majewski, Tom Sheridan, Barbara Mills, J.J. Reid, and Nieves Zedeño. Dr. Jenks’ dissertation research focused on the construction of civic identity in Hispanic New Mexican communities during the late 18th and 19th centuries. Upon completing her Ph.D., she was fortunate to be offered a tenure-track position in anthropology at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. She worked there for four years, earning a “New Faculty Teaching Award” in 2014 and directing her own archaeological field school at a Hispanic village site on the Pecos River. This past spring, Dr. Jenks was offered and accepted a tenure-track position at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. While she was sorry to leave her students and colleagues in Durango, she is delighted to be back in the desert surrounded by the sites, collections, and populations that are the focus of her research.
A little trivia on Arizona connections: Dr. Jenks came to Arizona from Cornell, where she was lucky enough to study under Peter Kuniholm and work in his dendrochronology lab. This background in dendrochronology is part of what drew her to Arizona. She attended Arizona’s archaeological field school in 2002 (directed by Barbara Mills), where she was introduced to various faculty members, graduate students, and to the Arizona campus, which field school members visited unexpectedly after the Rodeo-Chediski fire forced evacuation of the field site. Dr. Jenks met her current fiancé at that field school; he graduated with a BA in anthropology from Arizona in 2003. At Fort Lewis College, Dr. Jenks’ fellow archaeologist (and department chair) was Chuck Riggs (Ph.D. Arizona, 1999) and, in her current position at NMSU, she works with yet another Arizona Ph.D., Bill Walker (Ph.D. Arizona, 1995).
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