Through the generous vision and support of Professor Robert B. Lemelson, the Department of Anthropology has re-envisioned its Honors program, establishing the Lemelson Anthropological Honors Program at UCLA in 2013. Professor Lemelson is a psychological anthropologist, documentary filmmaker, and distinguished educator widely recognized for his progressive philanthropic leadership -- much of it at UCLA. His Foundation for Psychocultural Research (FPR) is a non-profit foundation supporting research and training bridging the neurosciences and social sciences.
Professor Lemelson and the department share the belief that close mentoring relationships and creative, problem-oriented field research skills are of crucial importance in training active and engaged anthropologists. As an undergraduate, Lemelson found a mentor who had a profound influence on his academic experience and ultimately impacted his choice of career. “The mentor relationship helps build identity and shapes you as a scholar,” he says.
Undergraduate anthropology students selected for the Honors Program will learn how to develop concrete research problems; work in team research settings; conduct original anthropological research; and see that research through to completion -- all skills of a successful academic scholar. The Honors Program encourages close mentoring relationships between participating faculty members and undergraduates who conduct problem-oriented research -- preferably with a strong field component. Professor Lemelson’s visionary support will allow students to travel farther, to gather more data, to extend time in the field -- all allowing Honors participants to go deeper into their research problems.
The Lemelson Anthropological Honors Program will provide inspiration and top-notch research skills training for the next generation of anthropologists.