Department Stories

Summer 2010

Part-time faculty member Corbett Torrence and his anthropology students hosted a kind of "open house" for the press and members of the community at their excavation site this summer by the Lamoille River. The class has been working with local farmers, community members and organizations, as well as the Vermont Division of Historic Preservation, with the goal of contributing to the understanding and preservation of the Lamoille River’s cultural resources.

Spring 2010

In March Dr. Gina Mireault and two undergraduates, Allison Myrick and Brittany Perdue, presented a poster of their findings at the International Conference on Infant Studies in Baltimore. Their research was very well received, gaining positive response from infancy researchers from all over the world. They made excellent contacts and learned a tremendous amount — especially with regard to research methodology and technology currently being used to investigate such young babies. “It’s been validating to know we are making a real contribution to the field and are on the right track with our research design and hypotheses regarding the minds of young infants,” Professor Mireault noted.

Professor Mireault also received another grant from the Vermont Genetics Network. The grant, for “social referencing to parent ‘clowns’: Infant humor perception and attachment,” will support continued, naturalistic observation

of infant humor development already under way, but employ an experimental method. Dr. Mireault was newly recognized as a VSC Faculty Fellow for 2010-2011 at the April meeting of VSC trustees.

December 2009

Professor Gina Mireault and JSC students Allison Myrick and Brittany Perdue have submitted a poster to the International Conference for Infant Studies to be held in Baltimore in March 2010. The poster includes preliminary findings from their research on humor development in infants.

Summer 2009

Research on infant humor by Professor Gina Mireault and her students continues to receive attention. Vermont Public Television aired a story about the research over the summer. In addition, Gina presented preliminary results from the ongoing project at the annual conference of the Vermont Genetics network this summer. The title of the presentation was "A Naturalistic Observation of
Humor Perception and Creation in 3- to 6-Month Old Infants: Preliminary Descriptive Findings."

A summer JSC anthropology field course taught by Corbett Torrence brought WCAX, WPTZ, the Burlington Free Press, and the Transcript/News and Citizen to the excavation site at Boyden Farms. The story aired on WCAX and WPTZ, and the Free Press made it a front-page feature. through the course, JSC  archaeology students explored the Lamoille River's cultural history. In Phase I of the Lamoille Project, they focused on the section of river between the falls in Fairfax and Johnson. Initial site inspection of the Boyden Farm site in Cambridge indicated that the site is about 1,000 years old, and students identified more than 100 artifacts.