IMS Awards

Previous DeCormier Scholarship Recipients

Christopher DeCormier, right, and his father, Robert, in 1976

Original photo on UAlbany website, "Special Students Awards"



Jamilläh Rodriguez, "The interaction of phonology and syntax through grammatical tone in Copala Triqui"

This project investigates the underlying syntax of Copala Triqui in many different environments, particularly through tone lowering. Analyses of grammatical tone connected to syntactic structure exists for languages outside the Otomanguean language family. These accounts look at hierarchical syntactic relationships to account for obligatory tone changes in particular syntactic configurations.

Antonio Martínez Tuñón, "Western Chiapas Territories Archaeological Project"

This project will conduct an archaeological reconnaissance of six archaeological sites in Western Chiapas, to investigate their role in the expansion of social complexity during the Middle Formative Period (1000-400 BC). During this reconnaissance I plan to make archaeological maps, and record surface ceramics. This reconnaissance is intended to be a pilot study for my doctoral dissertation project.




Jamilläh Rodriguez, “Documentation of Tone Lowering Environments at Copala Triqui”

This project seeks to increase the Copala Triqui database with more syntactic environments in which tone lowering is utilized as a productive process. This phenomenon requires many data that represent a large community in many regions, and Jamillah's current data represent only a small fraction of the Copala Triqui population in one diaspora community. She will travel to Oaxaca City to meet with speakers of Copala Triqui there. She hypothesizes that syntactic dominance relations correlate to tone lowering, a process that is analogous to tonosyntax in the many languages of Africa.

Abelardo de la Cruz de la Cruz, “Moteochihuanih (Catechists and Prayer Specialists) as Indigenous Leaders on Nahua Indigenous Communities in Chicontepe"

This project seeks to understand the attitudes of Nahuas of today and evaluate their current responses to Catholicism and the unshakable continuity of their local belief. The fieldwork includes interviews with motiochihuanih, men and women catechists and prayer specialist, who believe in the local religion or el costumbre but who also believe in the Catholic doctrine.


Jeff Bryant "Sourcing the Otoliths and Shell of Mayapán"

This project investigates otoliths (fish ear bones) and shells, from the Post-classic city of Mayapán. Both shell and Otoliths have annual growth rings, which will be analyzed with both microscopic analysis and stable isotopes to characterize the trade networks, fishing behavior, environmental conditions, and to provide a deeper understanding of the role of Mayapán in the Post-classic world.

Abelardo de la Cruz "Fieldwork in Nahua Indigenous Communities in Chicontepec"

This project investigates how the how the work that was carried out by catechists in the early period of Christianity in the Nahua village of Chicontepec has influenced the beliefs of contemporary Nahuas. Through interviews, community members’ responses to the Christian Doctrine will be evaluated in relation to the maintenance of their local cultural belief system in order to understand the impact of the teachings of these catechists.

Rebecca Mendelsohn, Community Outreach in Chiapas, Mexico and Archival Research in Guatemala


Juan Argueta, Intensive Nahuatl Language Study at Yale University 2016

Yahaira Núñez-Cortés, Lomas Entierros Archaeological Project: Documenting the Households


Jeff Bryant, Cerro Jazmín Archaeology Project in Oaxaca, Mexico


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

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

Mounia El Kotni, Defending Women's Rights in Chiapas, Mexico
Crystal Sheedy, Trans-Generational Changes and Continuities in Cultural Practices within a Maya Community in Yucatán

Caroline Antonelli, Agrarian Foundations of Mayapán
James Shuford, Networks of Access: The Effects of Mesoamerican Cultural Reproduction on Farmworker Healthcare Access in New York State

Gabriela Aquino Dehesa, La Fuerza de la Costumbre? Triqui Family and Migration: Between tradition and Change
Christine Vassallo-Oby (neé Preble), Consumption and Commodification: Cruise Ship Tourism in Cozumel, Mexico

Marx Navarro Castillo
Sarah Taylor, To Plant or Protect: Household decision-making on agrarian land use in Yucatán



Courtney Kurlanska, The Birthplace of Migration to Costa Rica: the Nicaraguan Sending Community.
Jason Paling, Mass Analysis of Lithic Debitage from Hamontún and K'o, Guatemala and San Estevan, Belize.

Winston Scott, Beyond the Plantations: Emerging Economic and Social Spaces in Senahu, Guatemala.
Kosuke Matsukawa, Linguistic Documentation of Chicahuaxtla Triqui.
Jared R. Latimer, Sociopolitical Development in the Atlantic Watershed, Costa Rica.

Nadia Marín-Guadarrama, ‘Qué es, qué es, que sit e Obligo no lo Ves?’ Childrearing and the Cultural Confrontation Between Spanish Friars and Nahuas of Central Mexico.

Elizabeth Paris, Economic and Cultural Frontiers of the Highland Maya.

Claudia Dary, Ethnic Identity, Community Organization and Social Experience in Eastern Guatemala.(Received Ph.D. in 2008 with the dissertation: "Ethnic Identity, Community Organization and Social Experience in Eastern Guatemala: The Case of Santa Maria Xalapan.")
Maria Diaz Montejo, Traditional Performance in Jakaltenango: A Preliminary Study of Mayan Tradition and Identity.

Edgar Martín del Campo, Polysemic Analysis of the “Nagual” in Post-Colonial Mexican Folklore.
Jerry Ek, Political and Economic Change on the Gulf Coast Periphery of the Maya Area: Classic to Postclassic in Champotón, Campeche.

Jerry Ek, The Champotón Regional Archaeological Settlement Survey.
Josalyn Ferguson, Reevaluating the Maya “Collapse”: Opportunism, Migration and Cultural Adjustment in the Terminal Classic Period, an Examination .
Bradley Russell, The Mayapán Extra-Muralla Survey.(Received Ph.D. in 2008 with the dissertation: "Postclassic Maya Settlment in the Rural-Urban Fringe of Mayapan, Yucatan, Mexico.")

Jessica C. Child, An Archaeometric and Contextual Study of Figurine Exchange at Piedras Negras, Guatemala.
(Received M.A. in 2002)
Lachlan Duncan, The Syntactic Structure of the Tz’utujil Mayan Language.
Jonathan Maupin, Mesoamerican Cultural Logics and Healing Strategies.

Stewart Brewer, Guatemalan Archival Research on the Chorti Maya.
Elizabeth A. Hoag, Ceramics, Style and the Archaeology of Social Boundaries from the Mixtequilla, Veracruz, Mexico.

Jinsook Choi, Language Choice in a Mayan Community: The Politics of Identity Formation in Contemporary Guatemala.
Miguel Aguilera, A Survey of Maya Villages with Communicating Crosses.



Jinsook Choi, Language Choice and Language Ideology of the K’iché Maya in Guatemala.

Bradley Tatar, Community Politics and Ethnic Persistence: Monimbo, Masaya, Nicaragua
Lisa Montiel, On the Border of the Teotihuacan Empire: Archaeological Investigations in the Yautepec Valley, Mexico.
Timothy S. Hare, Aztec Ceramic Production and Market Systems: Survey and Analysis of Clay Sources in the Yautepec Valley, Mexico.

Annette McLeod, In Search of Nepantla: The Nahua Construction and Maintenance of Churches in Colonial Mexico.
Jan Olson, The Agents of Power: Late Postclassic Aztec Social Differentiation and Community Organization.

Nancy Forand, Maya Religious Pluralism: A Study of Language, Gender, and Social Change.
Timothy S. Hare, Archaeological Survey of the Yautepec Valley, Morelos, Mexico.

Lisa Cascio, Teotihuacan Imperial Relations in the Yautepc Valley, Morelos, Mexico.
Nancy Forand, Viewing the World-System from Below: A Study of the Modern Maya.

Amadeo Meana

Thomas van Alstyne

Silvia Salgado, Social Change in a Region of Granada, Pacific Nicaragua (1000 B.C.-1522 A.D.).

Brent Metz, Experiencing Conquest: The Political and Economic Roots and Cultural Expression of Mayo-Chorti Ethos.

Ricardo Vasquez
Linda Asturias Barrios


Tricia Gabany, Deciphering the Symbolic Heritage of the Tarascan Empire: Interpreting the Political Economy of the Pueblo-Hospital of Parangaricuitiro, Michoacan.
Thomas Jamison, Social Interaction and Architecture in Southern Belize.
Linda Asturias Barrios, Mano de Muher, Mano de Hombre: Producción Artesanal Textil en Comalapa, Guatemala.

Antonella Fabri, Composing the Nation: Politics of Memory and Displacement in Maya Testimonies from Guatemala.
Alicia Re Cruz

Lisa Van Eysden

David Scotchmer
Peter Dunham

Quetzil Castañeda, An ‘Archaeology’ of Chichén Itzá: Discourse, Power, and Resistance at a Maya Tourist Site.

Liliana Goldin, Organizing the World through the Market: a Symbolic Analysis of Markets and Exchange in the Western Highlands of Guatemala.
Catherine Balfour

Erica Verillo, Dialect variations and pronoun usage in Tzotzil of Chiapas, Mexico.
Olya Szyka, Oral history and ethnography in a Tzotzil Maya community, El Bosque (founded by Chamula Indians over 100 years ago, after being exiled as a result of war).

Julie Benyo, Archaeology in the central part of Honduras seen through ceramics.
John Sosa, Yalcoba, Yucatan, symbolic analysis of Yucatec Maya cosmology, rituals, etc.

Duncan Earle, Tzotzil Maya agrarian colony in the Chiapas jungle: land use and self-suffiency.
Staffan Brunius, Symbolic content and ritual functions of Yucatec Maya bee culture: pre-Hispanic and colonial evidence and present-day practices.

Kazuyasu Ochiai, San Andres Larrainzar, a Tzotzil Maya-speaking village in the Highlands of Chiapas, native mythology and ritual energy.

Rosalie Robertson, Quiche-Maya of Chichicastenango in Highland Gutemala.