2014 IMS Scholarships Awardees

Please join us on May 13th at 2:30 in the Alumni House for our annual De Cormier Award Ceremony. This year's ceremony will recognize the following projects:


Christopher De Cormier Memorial Scholarship in Mesoamerican Studies

Collin Gillenwater, “Preliminary Survey of Early Colonial Sites in the Provence of Maní”

My proposed research seeks to investigate political and economic changes of profound impact on Maya society (1458-1542) in northern Yucatán’s province of Maní. Mesoamerican reaction, adaptation, and or, rejection of cultural and physical reorganization from the Postclassic to the early Colonial period is a topic of comparative anthropological significance. In order to contextualize the macro-scale events of Contact period economic change at the local level, this research will focus primarily on economic strategies among four specific northern Yucatán settlements. The proposed research is a PHASE I archaeological survey project that will establish the feasibility and scope of my doctoral research.

Rebecca Mendelsohn, “The Izapa Household Archaeology Project: Dating the Deposits”

This project investigates how the urbanization of the early Mesoamerican city of Izapa (850 BC- AD 200), located in the Pacific coast region of Chiapas, Mexico, affected commoners living at the site. Funds from the Christopher DeCormier scholarship will be used to submit samples of carbonized materials recovered during excavations to better understand the chronology of the site.


First Encounter Scholarship for Mesoamerican Fieldwork


Isabelle Poitras, “Documentation of a Dialect of Tseltal: A Contribution to Epigraphic Analysis”

The main purpose of my dissertation research is to provide new data on a conservative dialect of Tseltal by documenting the morphological structure, the lexicon, the metaphorical constructions and idioms, all across different contexts of use, particularly focusing on everyday conversation. The new data will help refine previous historical reconstructions and the documentation of various contexts of language use can be useful to the communities of speakers themselves for the creation of pedagogical material aimed at language maintenance or revitalization.


David Scotchmer Essay Award

Sarah Heins, "White-tailed deer bone breakage at Post-Classic Mayapán"

This study explores extensive animal bone fragmentation at Mayapán. Examination of cultural breakage, fragment size, and spatial patterning of breakage indicates bone tool making was occurring in certain workshops. These results suggest bone craft production was occurring in crafting houses rather than at the household level.