2021 LAS Awards

Shannan Craine
Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Museum Studies
A member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, and Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, Shannan Craine is an anthropology student who is interested in material cultural and museology. She plans to continue her education at University of Colorado Boulder in aims to receive her Master’s in Museum and Field Studies. Her research interests are in curation, collections management and community engagement. Her graduate research goal is to study the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs.  
Charles Mathis
Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Cultural Anthropology
A veteran of the U.S. Army, Charles Mathis graduates summa cum laude this spring after defending an honors thesis on moral capital and inequality. Chuck is a broadly read and enthusiastic scholar with significant map-making and applied research experience skills, who combines philosophical and sociological approaches within anthropology. After graduating, Chuck plans to take a year off before attending graduate school in cultural and applied anthropology. When he is not reading or working, Chuck enjoys camping and traveling with his wife.
Keean Matlack
Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Anthropology Dec. 2020
Keean Matlack graduated summa cum laude in December 2020. While his primary focus at UCCS was cultural anthropology, he excelled in every course he took, conducting original research for final projects that often focused on Native North American issues. Keean is preparing to enter a PhD program this fall where he plans to focus his research in Guatemala, considering how Maya children conceptualize their identities and their futures in communities marked by both child labor and genocide. When he is not actively thinking about making the world a better place, he relaxes by cooking, hiking, and practicing archery.
Austin McCoy
Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Anthropology May 2021, Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Linguistic Anthropology
Graduating summa cum laude this spring, Austin McCoy has excelled in cultural and applied as well as linguistic anthropology, delving into complex topics of raciolinguistics, inequality, social justice, and representation. His depth of understanding of the role discourse plays in perpetuating stereotypes within social structures, including media, has enabled him to navigate these topics with respect and creative engagement. This work is reflected in his honors thesis focusing on race and representation in streaming media, questions he plans to continue pursuing in graduate school after taking a year off from his studies. Austin has also served as a teaching assistant for a community-based studies course in cultural diversity within the department. In addition to his studies, Austin is a black belt in tae kwon do who enjoys gaming and consuming media.
Isabella Recca
Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Biological Anthropology
Bella will be graduating summa cum laude this Spring with a major in Anthropology. She has been an asset to our department, excelling in classes, thriving in group discussion, and being an overall joy. Bella accompanied Dr. Tara Cepon-Robins to rural Mississippi in Summer 2019 as a research assistant exploring infectious diseases and child health in low-income communities. She also worked in Dr. Cepon-Robins' lab after that. She helped produce three conference presentations for the Human Biology Association's annual meetings and will be a coauthor on several forthcoming publications. Outside of academia, Bella spends time with a camera in her hand taking nature photos.
Grace Shepherd
Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Anthropological Archaeology
Grace came to UCCS from Connecticut, having earned an associate degree in Liberal Arts and a Certificate in Archaeology as Avocation, graduating Magna Cum Laude. She arrived at UCCS with field experience on a PaleoIndian site in Connecticut and a Roman fortress on the Danube Delta in Romania and will be attending the Warren Wilson College Archaeology Field School this summer in North Carolina, excavating a sixteenth century Native American site with a Spanish Fort. Grace has a number of interests that will take her to graduate level research, but is narrowing down on archaeology and foodways, which led to her senior capstone seminar project, "Quechua Agriculture in the Colca Valley" in South America. She plans to move to the west coast after graduation and apply to graduate schools. Outside of research, she reads and writes poetry, plays viola and kalimba, loves to hike, and reports that she is "a huge Star Trek nerd."
Sophia Zanoni
Outstanding Natural Science Divisional Student Award (Anthropology and Chemistry Double Major)
The Departments of Anthropology and Chemistry & Biochemistry would like to highlight the accomplishments of Ms. Sophia Zanoni in support of her consideration for this year’s LAS Outstanding Natural Science Graduate. While her academic accomplishments are stellar, including completing a double-major in Chemistry and Anthropology in 5 years whilst earning an overall GPA of 3.874, what makes Ms. Zanoni stand out among her peers is her research accomplishments in both the areas of Anthropology and Chemistry. In summary, we believe that Ms. Zanoni embodies the ideals of interdisciplinary scholarship practiced within the UCCS College of Letters, Arts & Sciences, and is an ideal candidate for this award.