Site Content

Inside WFU

Wake Forest news for faculty and staff

Museum of Anthropology

Whittington accepts position at National Mining Hall of Fame

20120117anthropology7378Stephen L. Whittington, director of Wake Forest’s Museum of Anthropology, has accepted a position as executive director of the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum in Leadville, Colo.

As of March 3, Sara Cromwell will serve as interim assistant director and will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Museum. Steven Folmar, assistant professor of anthropology, will serve as interim academic director.

Continue reading »

Bryner elected to vice-chair position

Kyle BrynerKyle Elizabeth Bryner, the registrar and collections manager at the Museum of Anthropology, has been elected as the vice-chair of the Southeastern Registrars Association (SERA).

The Southeastern Registrars Association (SERA) encourages high standards of museum practice and fosters professional growth among museum registrars in the southeastern region of the United States. SERA promotes the exchange and dissemination of information and ideas through educational seminars, publications and other means. SERA initiates and supports activities and projects which help create an atmosphere of cooperation and communication among and between registrars, other museum professionals, and those in related service fields, and pursues further development of professional practices in the field.

September 2013 comings & goings

See a list of employees joining and leaving the University in September 2013: Continue reading »

Whittington has active role at conference

Stephen WhittingtonStephen Whittington, the director of the Museum of Anthropology, participated in a panel discussion entitled “Under the Umbrella: Museums Governed by Larger Organizations” at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Museums Conference in Savannah, Ga., on Oct. 8. Whittington, who is the regional representative for the Southeast on the board of the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries, also hosted a reception for AAMG members and organized a meeting of AAMG state representatives.

MOA will hold 50th anniversary gala

The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) will continue to celebrate its 50th anniversary this fall. The anniversary date of the Museum’s opening was Monday, Sept. 23, which was the first day of classes in 1963.

A Golden Anniversary Gala is planned for Saturday, Oct. 19, from 6-8 p.m. Patrons will enjoy a culinary tour of the world, featuring heavy hors d’oeuvres relating to each of the museum’s exhibits, wine and beer. As the Gala is being held in conjunction with Wake Forest’s Homecoming & Reunion Weekend, alumni are welcome to come straight from the game.

Tickets are $30 each ($20 for MOA Friends). To purchase tickets, please contact Sara Cromwell at 336.758.5282 or For more information, see the MOA website.

Whittington’s work uncovers the mysteries of Cerro Amole

Steve Whittington (right) worked on GPS mapping with Kate Yeske (‘07, left).

Steve Whittington (right) worked on GPS mapping with Kate Yeske (‘07, left).

What can pieces of pottery and a GPS-generated map tell us about a past civilization? Since 2000, Steve Whittington, adjunct associate professor of anthropology and director of the Museum of Anthropology, has been helping to uncover the mysteries of the Mixtec people through archeological survey and excavations in Southwestern Mexico’s state of Oaxaca. This spring, Whittington, along with Wake Forest graduate Kate Yeske (‘07) and Mexican colleagues, used powerful GPS equipment to map structures of an ancient Mixtec city, partially hidden beneath layers of dirt and pine needles on top of Cerro Amole, a heavily forested mountain.

The core of the project is to record archaeological remains within the area of the Mapa de Teozacoalco, an early Colonial map of the mountainous region made in 1577. Cerro Amole appears on the map with a two-tiered building and red cross on top of it.

More information

Whittington’s published work about his research on Cerro Amole entitled “El Mapa de Teozacoalco: An Early Colonial Guide to Cultural Transformations” (2003, PDF) was featured in the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) Archaeological Record.

The archaeologists mapped the locations of mounds, stone walls, pottery, the vestiges of abandoned palaces, temples, and the second largest ritual ball court in Oaxaca, Whittington said.

“Archaeologists working in Oaxaca generally believe the Mixtec people lived on mountaintops with monumental architecture during the Classic period of 300 to 900 AD,” said Whittington, “but by getting a better look at the structures and analyzing artifacts like pottery, we are finding compelling evidence that they lived on top of this mountain for a relatively short span, from about 1085 to 1321, during the Postclassic period.”

Whittington hopes to return to the site next May to finish mapping the mountain and expand his GPS survey to multiple municipalities in the area.

Museum of Anthropology to participate in Forsyth Photo Adventure

Wake Forest University Museum of AnthropologyThe Wake Forest Museum of Anthropology (MOA) is one of 13 local attractions participating in the second annual Forsyth Photo Adventure contest. Residents can enter to win the grand prize of a $250 VISA gift card by visiting any or all of the participating attractions and taking photos now through July 4.

“There are a lot of great places to visit in our area. We’re encouraging people to visit these family-friendly attractions where you can learn, play, and just get out and enjoy what Forsyth County has to offer,” said MOA staff member Sara Cromwell, who is also president of the Association of Visitor Attractions of Forsyth County (AVA), sponsor of the contest.

To enter, visitors must post their photos to each attraction’s Facebook page. Entrants will be qualified to win individual prize packs awarded by each attraction, as well as the grand prize of the VISA gift card.  Each attraction will select their winner as the photo judged to best show “fun” at that attraction.

The Museum of Anthropology will award a MOA Friends family membership to its winner.  The Forsyth Photo Adventure’s $250 winner will be randomly selected from the names of all official entrants posting at any of the attractions. “The more sites at which you post, the better your chances are to win the gift card,” Cromwell said. In all, 13 prize packs will be awarded in addition to the selecting of a grand prize gift card-winning entry. Continue reading »

Smith’s work with middle school featured in article

Tina SmithTina Smith, the museum educator at Wake Forest’s Museum of Anthropology, was recently featured in an article in the Mt. Airy News. The article highlighted the curriculum for eight-graders at Central Middle School in Pilot Mountain, N.C. Smith helped judge projects by students who worked to design portable exhibits that explained the Holocaust to 4- and 5-year-olds.

Read more about Smith and the program »

Anthropology Museum receives award for website

Sara Cromwell (left) accepts the award.

Sara Cromwell (left) accepts the award.

The Wake Forest Museum of Anthropology (MOA) received a North Carolina Museums Council (NCMC) Award of Excellence for website design during the NCMC Annual Meeting in Raleigh. NCMC Awards of Excellence recognize, encourage and promote outstanding achievement in the museum community across the state.

The Museum of Anthropology was recognized for its new website,, which was introduced to the public in May 2012. Museum staff, working closely with Wake Forest’s Office of Communications and External Relations (CER), created the site.

“We are greatly indebted to CER for their technical knowledge and design skills which made it possible for us to complete this project,” said Sara Cromwell, the PR, Marketing and Membership Coordinator.

The website has a number of new features:

  • An “Artifact of the Month” feature highlights the breadth and depth of the Museum’s collections.
  • A “Plans and Policies” section provides the general public with insight into the Museum’s operations and museum professionals with sample documents.
  • Downloadable curriculum standards and outreach kit inventories for K-12 teachers.
  • Downloadable versions of exhibit scavenger hunts for teachers and parents.
  • Downloadable examples of how Wake Forest professors use the Museum in their teaching.
  • An interactive Google map of the Museum’s location.

The Museum of Anthropology is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free.

The North Carolina Museums Council’s mission is to enhance public education by improving the administrative, interpretive and collections practices of museums, historic sites, science centers and related facilities in North Carolina; and to stimulate public support for the work performed by these facilities. This is the North Carolina Museums Council’s 50th year of providing a unified voice for museums and museum professionals in North Carolina.

Bryner named Emerging Museum Professional

Kyle Elizabeth BrynerKyle Elizabeth Bryner, the registrar and collections manager at the Wake Forest University Museum of Anthropology, was one of two recipients of the “Emerging Museum Professionals Award” from the Southeastern Museums Conference.

The Emerging Museum Professionals Award, initiated in 2007, recognizes emerging professionals who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in museum activities at their institutions, within the museum profession as a whole and especially in the southeast region.

Bryner was nominated by museum director Stephen Whittington. North Carolina Museums Council President Lindsey Lambert and North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources Chief of Collections Management LeRae Umfleet submitted letters of support.

The award was presented during the Southeastern Museums Conference 2012 Annual Meeting in Williamsburg, Va., on November 8.