Alumni News and Notes


Zafer Fusun Ertug (AB 1977) after amassing a large collection of Anatolian basketry, Zafer Fusun opened it up to the public in Iznick, Bursa.

Janet Levy (PhD 1977) retired from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in December 2016, after teaching there for 36 1/2 years. She is serving on the board of a local arts organization that focuses on ceramic arts, and is president-elect of the Southeastern Archaeological Conference.


Dawn Marie Williams (AB 1984) Dawn Marie and her husband, LTC Gregory Harris have moved from the Washington, DC area and now enjoy living in the beach community of Gulf Shores, AL.


Neathery Batsell Fuller (MA 1985) is semi-retired and teaching 4 college classes a year - all on line. She supports Michael Fuller (PhD 1987) in his research to provide exciting lectures on a variety of cruise ships. They both recently participated in two field seasons as survey archaeologists for the international team conducting the North Jordan Archaeological Survey (coordinated by Universität Bonn). They just celebrated our 35th wedding/fieldwork anniversary! 


Lorraine Eckstein (PhD 1990) married her domestic partner of twenty years in Washington. 


Julia Schiller (AB 1991) published its latest card game titled, Hoard, through her business, Cheeky Parrot. It's a family card game featuring artwork and design by Weta Digital artists. Players vie to steal the most treasure from a slumbering dragon. 


Lisa Schnell (AB 1992) studied edible and medicinal plants of the prairie as a grad student in Kansas, then served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana (Forestry, 1998-2000). Now she writes books for children (High Tide for Horseshoe Crabs, published in 2015). 


Barbara (Smoyer) Peterson (AB 1996) is in her 5th year as an Adjunct Professor at St. Charles Community College and is also volunteering in an English as a Second Language class.


Laura K. Marsh (PhD 1999) started out on an Amazonian expedition in January 2017. Follow the adventure at and @houseboatamazon on FB, Twitter, Instagram


Anna Nekaris (PhD 2000) is the editor-in-chief of the international primate journal Folia Primatologica.

Joshua Polanski (AB 2000) recently published his original research in the Journal of Medical Discovery.


Brian Howell (PhD 2002) will be serving as Anthropology department chair at Wheaton College starting in 2017.


Deborah Bilek (AB 2003) was promoted to Senior Director of Community Outreach for the Urban Land Institute's Washington Office, where she manages a host of programs related to urban planning and policy for the National Capital Region. The Urban Land Institute is a global organization with a mission of providing leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide.

Mili Smith (AB 2003) is serving on the board of The Lawyers Club of Chicago and co-chairing the Commercial Litigation Committee of the Women's Bar Association of Illinois.


Jessica Sperling Smokoski (AB 2004) joined Duke University's Social Science Research Institute and Educational & Human Development Incubator, where she manages the Evaluation & Engagement function.

Beth Leonhardt (AB 2005)  returned to Washington, DC from a conservation project in Peru and took a new position at ACDI/VOCA, which focuses on helping small farmers across the world increase their production and household income. She also became a first-time mom with the birth of a healthy baby boy in June!

Matthew Knisley (AB 2005) received a Fulbright-Hays for dissertation research in Tanzania from 2015-2016, as well as a Wenner-Gren to support additional fieldwork.


Christine Tourkakis (AB 2006) welcomed her second child, Emma Julianna, with husband Ryan Rakel (WU class of 2006) in May of 2016


Blair (Roberts) Costelloe (AB 2007) moved to Germany to begin a new position as a postdoc with the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology. She will be conducting research on the collective behavior of savanna ungulates in Kenya.

Anneke DeLuycker (PhD 2007) recently wed John Leo Blackburn on May 18. 2016.


Kathryn Barnum (AB 2008) started a new job teaching Grade 4 at the American International School of Abuja in Nigeria. Her students are wonderful children whose families are in Abuja with various governmental agencies and NGOs. I've been enjoying learning about a new culture, especially the food and music.

Camille Galdes (AB 2008) had a baby boy, named Luke, on December 5, 2015.


Samantha Schneider (AB 2009) matched into Henry Ford Hospital's Dermatology Residency program in March and will start in Detroit in July 2016. She also ran her first half marathon in May and married her soul-mate, Damon Vincent (B.S. in Chemical Engineering 1995 / B.A. in Biology 1996 / M.D. 2004), in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in June.

Brooke (Genkin) Rogers (AB 2009) was married the past December 28, 2013 to Jason Ryan Rogers. The ceremony took place in Rockleigh, New Jersey, near the bride's hometown. The two met shortly after Brooke's graduation from Washington University in St. Louis in 2009 and spent their first two years together living in the Central West End in St. Louis. They now reside in Miami, Florida where Brooke is obtaining her PhD in Health Clinical Psychology.

Dan Kandy (AB 2009) recently completed his Masters at Columbia University's Earth Institute and began work as a climate policy analyst and researcher at Ecofys in Cologne, Germany.

Sam Steinberger (AB 2009) will begin graduate study at Columbia Journalism School with an expected MS in 2016.

Stefanie Klein (AB 2009) is engaged to be married to Darrin Cohen next May in California.


Vanessa Lukas (AB 2011)  co-authored a chapter in "Essentials of Menopause Management," a medical text to accompany general practitioners and gynecologists in treating women experiencing menopausal symptoms.  Her chapter "Management of Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause (GSM) in Menopausal Women" outlines cases of women experiencing GSM and outlines the method of diagnosis and treatment.


Erin Thimmesch (AB 2012) married John Schneider in a ceremony at WashU in May 2017. 


Ally Rifkind (AB 2013) is engaged to Ryan Bowers (Wash U 2011 Chemical Engineer) and planning a wedding for October 2017.