Dr. Ruth Thompson-Miller has had a productive career in academia, winning many awards and honors, while publishing and presenting her work in many forums. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida in 2004, as a McNair Scholar and University of Florida Scholar. She later when on to receive her doctorate in Sociology from Texas A & M University in 2011. After graduate school, she accepted an Assistant Professor position at the University of Dayton. Her research focuses on the long-term psychological consequence of trauma in the black community in the south; a form of collective PTSD—segregation stress syndrome. She anticipates that future research will delve deeper and focus on the impact of violence against women of color and how the legal system played a part in sanctioning human rights violations and crimes globally.

Dr. Thompson-Miller on her time at UF:

I have fond memories of walking through Turlington Hall at the University of Florida. As an undergraduate, I wasn’t sure about a major until I attended a class taught by Dr. Kesha Fikes. Dr. Fikes powerful insights, brilliance, intellect, and her thoughtful way of giving students the tools to grapple with our common sense knowledge, changed my life. Her class created an avenue for me to reevaluate the way that I viewed the world and my life in ways that still resonates with me today.  The professors in the department of anthropology sparked a passion that continues to inform my research, scholarship, and academic career. I will be forever be thankful for the Dept of Anthropology at the University of Florida.

Publications and Presentations

  • Currently, she has published two books, four articles, nine book chapters, and three essays—one in the Chronicle of Higher Education, and two in the American Sociological Association newsletter.
  • She has published seven encyclopedia entries; three other published academic works (including a podcast for the journal Violence Against Women, a three part series in the BlackAtlanticStar, and a teacher’s handbook for the documentary, You Belong To Me).
  • Dr. Thompson-Miller was featured in the documentary, “You Belong to Me” and featured on the Discovery Channel show, “A Crime to Remember: The Shot Doctor.”
  • Recently she completed a Ted Talks type Video where she talks about her research on segregation stress syndrome
  • She was also recently invited to be a Michael Davis Lecture Series at the University of Chicago
  • She has given more than 20 academic conference presentations, including two internationally in South Africa. She has presented in Seattle, Washington; New York, Chicago, Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Philadelphia. The conference focuses on social justice and human rights issues throughout the United States.

Honors and Awards

Dr. Thompson-Miller’s commitment to scholarly productivity has also been acknowledged in the honors and awards she has received throughout her career.

  • She has received the University of Dayton Seed Grant in 2012, 2013, and 2015
  • She was awarded a National Institute of Mental Health Fellowship by the American Sociological
    Association from August 2006 to 2009
  • Additionally, she received honorable mention two years in a row for the prestigious Ford
    Foundation Minority Fellowship; one year she was the first runner up
  • In the summer of 2011, she was selected to attend a summer training workshop at the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research Institute for Social Research (MCUAAAR).
  • Currently she is in the process of rewriting a grant to resubmit to the National Institute of Health for the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities
  • In addition, she has applied for the Ford Foundation Postdoc Fellowship

UF Alumni Ed Gonzalez-Tennant’s work in Rosewood, FL was recently featured by WFSU. See the link below to read the article:


Photo of Yasemin Akdas

Email: yakdas@ufl.edu


  • Ph.D.
  • M.A.
  • B.A.


Cultural Anthropology


Dr. Lance Gravlee

Research Interests

Medical Anthropology, Social Inequalities in Health, Gender and Sexuality, Race and Ethnicity, Political Economy, Epidemiology

Selected Publications



Grants, Fellowships, and Awards


This student has graduated from the program so the information on this page may not be current.

Summer Graduations

Ph.D.’s were awarded to Ellen Lofaro and Abiyot Seifu.  Congratulations to both of you!

Job Placement

Dr. Ellen Lofaro has accepted a position at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville as Curator of Collections.

Ashley Sharpe (who will graduate in Fall 2016) has accepted a position at STRI, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

Allysha Winburn has accepted an adjunct teaching position at the University of New Hampshire. 

Job Ad


The University of California, Santa Barbara, Department of Anthropology, Integrative Anthropological Sciences (IAS), invites applications for a tenure-track position at the Assistant Professor level, beginning July 1, 2017. We seek a scientist specializing in any area of biomedical anthropology or biomedical demography. Subfield expertise includes human biology, health and infectious disease, epidemiological transitions, human development and plasticity, aging, demography, human/animal disease transmission, host-parasite coevolution, stress, nutrition, reproductive biology, life history, life course epidemiology, global health, evolutionary medicine, genetics/epigenetics or related fields. Research program should be theoretically rigorous, and candidates with an active field program integrating biomedical and/or demographic data gathered in contemporary human populations will be preferred. Candidates will be preferred who can ground their research with respect to the unifying themes of evolutionary and ecological theory. It should effectively complement and augment existing strengths to help bolster the mission of the IAS Unit (see Department website: http://www.anth.ucsb.edu/graduate/specializations/ias). Research program should also contribute expertise to the Broom Center for Demography. Geographical area of specialization is open.

The successful candidate will demonstrate ability to teach lower-division introductory courses in quantitative methods, and upper-division courses in evolutionary medicine, public health or other areas related to the anthropologist’s areas of specialization. The ability to direct graduate students and to obtain extramural funding are critical requirements.

Applicants must have completed the Ph.D. at the time of appointment. Please apply and submit via https://recruit.ap.ucsb.edu/apply/JPF00719 : (1) a statement detailing past and current research experience, (2) a five-year research plan, (3) a statement on teaching experience, (4) a curriculum vitae, (5) names and email addresses for three reference letter writers, (6) three representative publications, and (7) a brief cover letter. Please direct any questions to Professor Michael Gurven, Chair, IAS Search Committee, at searchias@anth.ucsb.edu. For primary consideration, submit application and materials on or before August 15, 2016. Interviews are expected to be conducted by mid-October.

The department is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching, and service. The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Congratulations to the following new Ph.D.s and MA students:


Kristina Altes

Carrie Brown

Jessica-Jean Casler


Megan Cogburn

Ed Haning

Jessica Jenkins

Taylor Polvadore

Riley Ravary

Sydney Roberson