The Deanna Kingston Memorial Graduate Teaching Assistantship

The Anthropology program is proud to offer the Deanna Kingston Memorial Graduate Teaching Assistantship to an indigenous North American aspiring anthropologist, on an annual basis. With support from the Director of the School of Language, Culture, and Society, this GTA position offers a full academic year (3 terms) of tuition remission, stipend, and health benefits at a .3 FTE level.  Each term, the awardee will serve as a graduate student instructor of an anthropology undergraduate course.  Successful applicants to the Masters degree program (MA or MS) will be eligible for up to 6 terms (2 years) of GTA support. Successful applicants to the PhD program will be eligible for up to 12 terms of GTA support.

The Deanna Kingston Memorial Graduate Teaching Assistantship is designed to promote the advancement of indigenous North Americans in our program, university, community, and state.  It is also designed to commemorate the achievements and legacy of Dr. Deanna Kingston, PhD, a long-time member of the anthropology faculty at Oregon State University. 

Eligibility for the award will be determined by an applicant’s self-identification as an indigenous or Native North American.  To apply, interested students should first apply for admission to either the Masters or PhD program in Applied Anthropology, and state their interest in the position in their statement of purpose. Applicants should also use their statement of purpose to briefly discuss their tribal affiliations and engagement with tribal communities. At least one letter of recommendation included in the application should also briefly address applicants’ relations and engagement with tribal communities.

Dr. Deanna Paniataaq Kingston dedicated her career to studying and honoring the culture of her ancestors: the Inupiat of King Island, Alaska.  In addition to her pioneering work on traditional ecological knowledge, she studied traditional kinship systems, as well as the role of songs and hunting dances in preserving cultural identity. Her research was uniquely informed by her personal understanding of the colonization and relocation of Native peoples.

Dr. Kingston interned at the Smithsonian’s Arctic Studies Center, and worked on a film collection of King Island life, now housed at the National Museum of Natural History. In 2003 she received a National Science Foundation grant to document and compare scientific knowledge with traditional knowledge of King Island, for the betterment of all. 

Later in life, Dr. Kingston also worked with State Rep. Sara Gelser on a prescription drug repository bill to help uninsured cancer patients who couldn’t afford prescription drugs. In 2010, Kingston received the Phyllis S. Lee Award from OSU for her dedication to social justice. She dedicated much of her time to supporting Native students at OSU, and served as an advisor for the university's Native American Longhouse.

In 1993 Kingston received a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a focus on anthropology, from OSU.  In 1999, she completed her Ph.D. at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.  She died in 2011 at the age of 47 from metastatic breast cancer.

Deanna meant so much to so many people at OSU and beyond.  This GTA position is one way the Anthropology program honors her and all indigenous North Americans.