Joyce E. Sirianni

Title: State University of New York Distinguished Teaching Professor, Anthropologist
Company: University at Buffalo
Location: Youngstown, New York, United States

Joyce Sirianni, Anthropologist and State University of New York Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University at Buffalo, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in the field of anthropology education.

Dr. Sirianni prepared for her career as a student at the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB) where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1965. She continued her academic pursuits, working as a research assistant in anthropology at UB from 1965 to 1966, and earning a Master of Arts in 1967. Dr. Sirianni worked as a research assistant in anthropology at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle from 1968 to 1969, and began serving as an assistant professor of anthropology at UB in 1972. She continued her higher education, graduating with a PhD from UW in 1974, and worked as a visiting scientist to the Regional Primate Research Center at UW until 1979.

In 1978, Dr. Sirianni rose to the rank of associate professor at UB, and in 1986, became a full professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology. That same year, she took on the role of vice provost of Graduate Education, and dean of the Graduate School, serving in all three positions until 1992. In 1992, Dr. Sirianni became a SUNY distinguished teaching professor in UB’s Department of Anthropology, a designation she continues to hold to this day. In 1998, she earned an MDiv from Colgate Rochester Divinity School, and in 1999, she became an ordained Presbyterian minister.

Dr. Sirianni’s achievements include research in the growth and development of the primate head, as well as historical and biological research on the Erie County Poorhouse and Cemetery. She is most proud of creating the course “Comparative Primate Anatomy,” an undergraduate course that is the largest of its kind in the United States. The course is highly technical and prepares students for the medical and dental field. Dr. Sirianni created the entire course herself, in which students dissect monkeys and compare them with ape, chimpanzee, baboon or human cadavers. She wrote “Longitudinal Growth and Development of the Pigtailed Macaque,” “Comparative Primate Anatomy,” and has contributed numerous articles to professional journals.

In addition to her professional pursuits, Dr. Sirianni maintains memberships to a variety of anthropological and scientific organizations. She is a member of the New York Academy of Science, the International Primatology Society, the American Association of Anatomists, and the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, among others. Dr. Sirianni cites Dr. James Anderson and Dr. Daris R. Swindler as mentors and influences in her career. She has been recognized for her excellence with a Chancellor’s Award from UB, and on occasion, she leverages her expertise to assist the police with forensic investigations. At the end of 2019, she plans to publish her latest book, discussing the excavation of the Erie County Poorhouse and Cemetery on UB’s campus, where she uncovered more than 480 sets of human remains.

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