Student Spotlight: Cheyenne Gordon

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Student Spotlight: Cheyenne Gordon

Cheyenne Gordon grew up in Madison County, Georgia where she attended Madison County High School. While there, she actively participated in Future Farmers of America, Yearbook staff, Band, and Book Club.  Ever since she was 7 years old she was determined to pursue a degree in forensic anthropology. As one of the 40 or so students out of her 249 student class to pursue higher learning at a university she began to make her dream into a reality.

Cheyenne graduated from University of North Georgia with an associates degree in anthropology in August 2016.  She transferred to UGA to further her education in the field of anthropology and is currently working towards a bachelors in Anthropology with an emphasis in Forensic Anthropology. She plans on pursuing a doctorate in this field and hopes to use her degree to land her dream job to work for the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

Cheyenne currently holds 2 jobs at both the UGA campus bookstore and Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe.  She is an active college student who participates in clubs such as the Asian American student association and LAMBDA.  Cheyenne is also one of the editors on the world largest Harry Potter encyclopedia sites on the internet. The site is called The Harry Potter Lexicon and has even been used by J.K. Rowling herself to remember specific information about the books.

Cheyenne has a love for bones and understanding the human body.  She put her passion to the test last semester by working with the University’s archeology lab to help catalog and identify human remains.  Cheyenne was handed a box full or random bone fragments and was tasked to determine how many individuals were present as well as their age, sex, and any identifying features such as arthritis, trauma, or infections.  She slowly and meticulously reconstructing the skeletons one by one, working to gain a better understanding of why these people passed away.

Cheyenne participated in another Internship at UGA this past Fall with Dr. Roberta Salmi.  She worked in the primatology lab researching the mating calls of silverback gorillas from the Atlanta zoo.  This research was used to help Dr Salmi further understand the similarities and differences of mating rituals of great apes in captivity and great apes in the wild.

Cheyenne, who is currently a senior at the University of Georgia, is in the process of completing her thesis paper. She is studying the shape of the sacrum, a bone located in the human pelvis, in early hominids. She has focused her work on Ardipithecus africanus to understand how this shape affected the development of bipedalism.  She’s been researching this topic for about 4 years and hopes to have her research finished within the next year or two.

Cheyennes research doesn’t stop there, as she is in the works of getting another research paper on how college aged Pagans cope with death of their peers.  Pagans are people who hold religious beliefs that are different from the major world religions, and include religions such as Roman Polytheistic Reconstructionism, Hellenism, Slavic Native Faith, Celtic Reconstructionist and many more.  She started her research in the spring semester of 2017 when she performed an Ethnographic study on individuals at the university of North Georgia after a pagan individual that attended the university passed away in a car accident. She did the study at a remarkably young age, whereas most anthropologists wait to perform their studies until they are entering graduate school, but Cheyenne did hers as a junior.  Her paper is on the verge of being published and is currently being reviewed by a scientific journal committee.


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