Dr. Laura DavisWe are delighted to welcome Dr. Laura Davis to our Department this Fall as our new Undergraduate Advisor. She has energized our program remarkably and inspired many of our students to explore new initiatives and learning. Laura provides a brief sketch of her background and current research: “After hopping around the Midwest in Minneapolis and Chicago, I am happy to try out small town life and have really liked advising and getting to know all of you. I received my BA in history and my MA and Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Minnesota. One underlying question that continues to motivate what I do is: How do we build sustainable and equal communities? In general, I am interested in how people mobilize around issues pertaining to health and safety and how groups influence decision-making and governance within local communities. For my latest project, I have been investigating the legacies of industrial plants and toxic contamination of the environment in the Urbana and Champaign area. This coincides with one of my goals in the Anthropology Department, which is to help develop more community outreach projects and internships.”