Professor Elected to Prestigious Post
SUNY Oneonta Distinguished Teaching Professor Dr. John H. Relethford has been elected chair of the Anthropology Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Relethford, who was elected an AAAS Fellow in 2001, will begin his term Feb. 21. He will serve a year as chair-elect, a year as chair and a year as retiring chair.
“AAAS is the world’s preeminent general scientific organization, and merely to be a Fellow requires a nomination process and the demonstration of an extraordinary level of professional accomplishment. These are major names in the field, and the vast majority are located at the top research institutions. To be elected the future chair of the Anthropology section is a monumental honor, and one that is simply extraordinary for a small college like ours,” said Dr. Brian Haley, chair of the Department of Anthropology at SUNY Oneonta.
Relethford earned a bachelor’s degree, master’s and Ph.D. in anthropology at SUNY Albany. He came to SUNY Oneonta in 1981 as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor and professor, achieving the rank of SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor in 1998. He served as chair of the Department of Anthropology from 1992-1996 and again from 1999-2003.
During his 30-year career at SUNY Oneonta, Relethford has been recognized many times for excellence in teaching and scholarship, including receiving the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1994-95, the SUNY Oneonta Susan Sutton Smith Prize for Academic Excellence in 1995 and the SUNY Award for Research and Scholarship in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences in 2002.
A frequent presenter at national conferences and invited lectures, Relethford has published numerous articles, book chapters, encyclopedia entries and book reviews. He has authored seven books, including a textbook titled “The Human Species: An Introduction to Biological Anthropology” that’s now in ninth edition. His book, “Reflections of Our Past: How Human History is Revealed in Our Genes,” was selected as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2003 by Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries and received the 2004 W.W. Howells Book Award, given by the Biological Anthropology Section of the American Anthropological Association.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science, is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world by serving as an educator, leader, spokesperson and professional association. In addition to organizing membership activities, AAAS publishes the journal Science, as well as many scientific newsletters, books and reports, and spearheads programs that raise the bar of understanding for science worldwide. AAAS has nearly 120,000 individual and institutional members and 262 affiliates, serving 10 million scientists in fields ranging from plant biology to dentistry.