Miriam Chaiken became the new Dean of the William Conroy Honors College on August 1, 2014, following the retirement of William Eamon. Dr. Eamon created a vibrant organization in the Honors College, and she will continue that legacy of fostering excellence and opportunity for students at NMSU. She joined NMSU in 2009 as a new Department Head in Anthropology, after having worked for more than 20 years at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Chaiken is an applied nutritional anthropologist who has combined professional activities in academia with research and consulting in international development in Africa and Southeast Asia. She has collaborated with humanitarian organizations such as Save the Children and UNICEF to help create effective and culturally sensitive programs to address hunger, malnutrition, food security, and gender equity in developing countries. She is committed to helping improve well-being for rural populations through participatory strategies in planning humanitarian response.
Her publications range from examples of traditional scholarship in academic journals and books to more popular accounts of her adventures in anthropological fieldwork. Her years of fieldwork internationally have provided her with many tales to tell, feel free to ask her about traffic lights on toast, pig bombs, monitor lizards in her Kenyan kitchen, penguins in South Africa, Balinese temples, Mozambiquan mosquitos, or life as a slash and burn farmer in the Philippines.
As an anthropologist, she finds people endlessly fascinating and looks forward to working with students and faculty in the Honors College.