Southeast Anthropology Student Nationally Recognized for Excellence


Photo of Dawn Stricklin

Dawn Stricklin, an anthropology major at Southeast Missouri State University and resident of Middlebrook, Mo., has been nationally recognized for her hard work and dedication to anthropology.


Nov. 15, 2006 – Dawn Stricklin, an anthropology major at Southeast Missouri State University, has been nationally recognized for her hard work and dedication to anthropology.

Stricklin, a resident of Middlebrook, Mo., is the recipient of the Carrie Hunter-Tate Award, given by the National Association of Anthropologists (NASA), a section of the American Anthropological Association (AAA). NASA began offering the Carrie Hunter-Tate Award in memory of a NASA officer who passed away in 1995. The merit-based award considers both academic excellence and service to the profession.

Stricklin will be awarded $200 and is invited to attend the American Anthropological Association awards ceremony held this month in San José, Calif.

Stricklin’s academic achievements are what stood out from the other applicants; specifically, her article titled “Namesakes, Name Changes, and Conflicting Evidence: The Search for the Mother of Little John Crow” which will be published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly in December. Stricklin said the article was difficult to compile because of the Sioux’s oral tradition, but she put in the necessary hard work. The result is a thorough, accurate article which includes federal records and oral history.

Stricklin is no stranger to research. She used to own and operate Hidden in the Hills Research out of her home, a business which conducted historical research for a wide variety of clientele with varying objectives, including those seeking enrollment in federally-acknowledged Indian tribes, wishing to establish kinship in order to receive their portion of a relative’s estate, locating lost relatives, and documenting historical buildings.

“Most of my research was concentrated in local, state and federal records,” said Stricklin. “The work was often demanding, but it paid well.”

When Stricklin became a full-time student, she was unable to continue the research business due to time constraints, but she said it gave her valuable experience.

Stricklin said the best experience she had as a Southeast student was discovering her niche.

“As a non-traditional student, I entered college believing that at my age, I was supposed to already have my interests figured out,” said Stricklin.

She realized she was mistaken during the spring of 2005 when she enrolled in two anthropology courses, “Observing Cultures” and “American Indians.” Stricklin then enrolled in an ethnography, defined as a qualitative description of human social phenomena based on fieldwork. She interviewed and observed a female military policewoman at Fort Leonard Wood in Pulaski County, Mo.

“During that time, I became so enamored with my research that I asked to continue my work in a summer independent study,” said Stricklin.

 Stricklin said the time she spent conducting the ethnography and researching various native peoples convinced her to continue her education in Southeast’s Department of Foreign Languages and Anthropology.

“When I returned to the University in the fall of 2005, I walked into the Department of Foreign Languages and Anthropology knowing I belonged there,” said Stricklin. “That was a defining moment in my life.”