2020-21 Honoree - Dr. Elizabeth Sobel

Professor, Anthropology
College of Humanities and Public Affairs
Dr. Sobel’s work illuminates past injustices in the Ozarks and in other parts of the country. Her research explores cultural consequences of those injustices as she partners with cultural descendant groups, and works to raise awareness through public education.  She’s examined Chinookan Native American, communities in the Pacific Northwest and how they changed with the arrival of European fur traders and settlers in the 18th through 20th centuries. In collaboration with MSU students and the local community, she uncovered the role of African American slaves associated with the Nathan Boone homestead. She has also documented the family names of those buried in the African-American section of the national cemetery on Seminole, and obtained grants that led to the creation of a “traveling trunk” exhibit used in public schools.  In addition, she has organized field schools in the Ash Grove area to excavate the company town associated with the Phenix Quarry whose stones were used in public buildings across Missouri.