2011 Meeting

2011 SACC Annual Meeting in Omaha, Nebraska

SACC’s 2011 Annual Conference took place April 6-9, 2011 at the Embassy Suites in the Old Market area of Omaha, NE. The meeting theme was Cultural Diversity in the Community College and Teaching Anthropology.

SACC member Dianne Chidester’s eloquent summary of the Omaha meeting, organized by President Mel Johnson, that she sent to the listserve is published here:

It was a wonderful SACCfest in Omaha! Mel, you did such a terrific job of organizing and keeping us on track. As usual, SACC takes me to places that are new, interesting, and where I might not otherwise go.

The hotel was unbelievable. I think it’s the best I’ve experienced at SACCfest! We had suites, free breakfasts, and, most importantly, a free happy hour when we were back at the hotel in time.

The location of the hotel was terrific. If folks didn’t explore the gastronomic opportunities in Old Market, they really missed out. I had Omaha steaks, some of the best Persian food ever, and ate at a French Café. I heard the Italian restaurant was really good, too. I’m sorry I didn’t have more time to explore!

The keynote lecture on Using Four-Field Anthropology in Forensic Science by Melissa Connor made me realize the important role and practical application of forensic anthropology, though some of the visuals weren’t easy to look at.

The students from the University of South Dakota (Dona Davis is calling them the “SACCettes”) presented excellent papers and were fun to hang out with. I hope we didn’t scare them off!

Becky, thanks again for organizing the papers so they were all part of a cohesive whole. How do you do that? And thanks to presenters for sharing their knowledge.

The tour of the Primate Center at the Henry Doorley Zoo given by supervisor Christine Dupre was unbelievable. I can’t believe we got so close to those wonderful silverbacks. I had to stand with my hands in my pockets to keep from making contact. I doubt that I will ever get another opportunity to be that up close and personal with gorillas!


Mel, thank you for working so hard to make it possible for us to visit Little Priest Tribal College and meet Paul Robertson, the president. The college received us with such kindness and hospitality. The drumming and prayer were especially moving and important for me. Hearing from the Tribal Council Chairman was particularly interesting. The college representatives were all so open to any questions we had even though they had said they didn’t want us to be like anthropologists asking lots of questions. I hope they got as much out of our visit as I did. I gotta get a recipe for fry bread!

I never would have gone to Boys Town but now that I’ve seen what they do and how they do it and hearing the testimonies of our two young guides, I’m ashamed that I didn’t visit there when I lived in South Dakota. It just goes to show that Margaret Mead was right: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Laura Gonzalez at Boys Town

Laura Gonzalez at Boys Town

And, it was so cool to wander around the Elephant Hall at the Nebraska State Museum of Natural Science in Lincoln, where we had our final dinner with friends in such an extraordinary place. Ribs, anyone?

Mel Johnson and Laura Gonzalez

President Mel Johnson and President-elect Laura Gonzalez at the Nebraska State Museum

Photographs courtesy Lloyd Miller

Last, but not least, one of the best things about SACCfest is renewing friendships. Mel and Leatha, thank you so much for making this such a special SACCfest. Thanks to everyone who contributed to another memorable event.