2021 IMS Scholarships Awardees


Congratulations to our 2021 awardees!

Christopher De Cormier Memorial Scholarship in Mesoamerican Studies

Rebecca Dinkel, “Mismatches between Coordination and Subordination in Copala Triqui”

Copala Triqui is an Oto-Manguean language of the Mixtecan branch and originates from San Juan Copala, Oaxaca. Because of migration, Copala Triqui is now spoken in other parts of Mexico and the United States, including the Capital Region of upstate New York where this project takes place. Copala Triqui is of interest for its complex tone system which has both phonemic and morphological functions, and for its less common word order of VSO (Verb Subject Object). This project examines an understudied aspect of Copala Triqui – it's clause linkage types, or how its clauses are joined together. Canonical examples of clause linkages are coordination and subordination. However, Copala Triqui has constructions types that are 'mismatched' or portray mixed properties of both coordination and subordination.


First Encounter Scholarship for Mesoamerican fieldwork

Alondra Aca, "Impact of Covid-19 on Latinxs college students attending HIS institutions in New York City"

This is a masters research study that will help me prepare for future research involving Latinx young adults and transnationalism. While my research study will be based in New York City, the inclusion of Latinx students from Mesoamerican diaspora is crucial to understanding the effects Covid-19 had on young adults. My focus is to examine the impacts college students faced specifically focusing on the psychological, economical and educational disparities. This research project will not only help strengthen my research skills but it will also allow me to continue expanding future empirical research involving the young adulthood population and eventually undertake a research initiative to examine the ways young adults navigate a transnational life and define their identity in the regions of Latin America and Mesoamerica specifically Mexico and Guatemala.


David Scotchmer Essay Award

Antonio Martínez Tuñón, “Topography and Topology. Locational
advantages of Santo Domingo Tonaltepec relative to the broader site network of the Mixteca Alta, Oaxaca

This paper expands the results of the archaeological survey in Santo Domingo Tonaltepec, in the Mixteca Alta of Oaxaca to interpret the political development of Tonaltepec in relation with the emergence and interaction of regional polities. A previous analysis, based on settlement patterns and distance to the political centers, suggests that during the Late and Terminal Formative Tonaltepec was relatively isolated from the peer-polity network of the region. These relationships changed with time and by the Postclassic period, Tonaltepec was strategically situated in one of the main communication routes among the main polity centers.

To further explore these ideas, I developed a spatial model of the interactions among polities and sites. The model combines aspects of a Cumulative Cost Path (CCP) analysis (Verhagen 2013) and an interaction model based on a gravitational principle (Alden 1979). The results of the model strongly support our previous interpretation and suggest the condition of isolation or connection of Tonaltepec was based on the relationships among the surrounding polities and their main centers. The model shows that even when interactions among sites are influenced by their geographical location and the topography, the arrangements of the nodes in the site network, sometimes referred as topology, plays a major role on the connections or insolation of any given site or region. Locational advantages are not defined solely by the geographical position but by the way the broader network is organized.

Click here to learn about the 2020 award winners.