George J. Bey III
Professor of Anthropology
George J. Bey III is Professor of Anthropology, Chisholm Foundation Chair in Arts and Sciences, and Dean of International Studies. He began reading about the Pre-Columbian civilizations of North America in high school and moved from New Jersey to New Mexico in 1973, where he studied anthropology at the University of New Mexico. After spending two semesters in Mexico studying and visiting its famous archaeological sites, he fell in love with the country, its people, and its pre-Columbian heritage.
Dr. Bey received his Ph.D. from Tulane University in 1986. After several years of digging at the Maya site of Ek Balam, in 2000 he began work with Mexican colleagues at the 4500-acre Kaxil Kiuic biocultural reserve, operated by Millsaps College. His work at the ancient city of Kiuic has rewritten Maya history and is the focus of a recently released National Geographic documentary entitled “Quest for the Lost Maya."
In 2006 Dr. Bey was named the outstanding anthropology professor in undergraduate teaching in the United States by the American Anthropological Association and in 2007 the CASE US Professor of the Year for the state of Mississippi. When George is not thinking about archaeology, he likes to read and watch science fiction.
James E. Bowley
Professor of Religious Studies
James E. Bowley is Professor of Religious Studies and chair of the Department of Religious Studies. He earned his Ph.D. in 1992 from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where he studied in a joint program with the University of Cincinnati’s Department of Classics. He is a member of the Board of Governors of Hebrew Union College, which for many years has overseen the archaeological excavations at Tel Dan in Israel.
Dr. Bowley also studied archaeology and historical geography in Israel and has led study tours to Israel, Egypt, and Jordan. He is joint editor of the official Dead Sea Scrolls Concordance. He is also affiliated with the Tel Zeitah project in central Israel, where he and Millsaps students have dug.
“What I really am is a STUDENT – a student who gets paid for having fun in the dirt and in texts and in historical investigations!" James believes that his real job is to ask questions about texts, religions, and history, and then devise meaningful and enjoyable ways of exploring those questions.
Associate Professor of History
David Davis, Associate Professor of History, also serves as Associate Dean of Arts and Letters. After receiving his Ph.D. in African History from Northwestern University, he taught for four years at Brown University before joining the Millsaps faculty in 1988.
Dr. Davis' academic interests range from precolonial African history to the contemporary Arab-Israeli conflict. He uses oral traditions and cultural artifacts to shed light on the precolonial history of the Mamprusi and Dagomba of northern Ghana. Field surveys along the Gambaga Scarp and surface collections at the abandoned city of Yendi Dabari greatly enhanced our understanding of iron-working in the region and provided a useful typology for dating 17th and 18th century clay smoking pipes.
Since coming to Millsaps, Dr. Davis has also excavated at Isthmia in Greece where his focus was the harbors of the Corinthia, particularly Lechion and Kenchreai. He has recently visited archaeological sites in the Yucatán, Kenya, Indonesia, and Israel.
Michael L. Galaty
Professor of Anthropology
Michael L. Galaty is Professor of Anthropology and specializes in the archaeology of Mediterranean Europe. He received a B.A. with honors in anthropology from Grinnell College and M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
He and his students dig in Albania and Greece. In Albania he works in the remote high mountains, studying the origins of Europe’s last tribal peoples. With Albanian colleagues he runs the Projekti Arkeologjikë i Shkodrës (PASH), which is studying the prehistoric origins of the Illyrians. In Greece he leads an international team excavating at Alepotrypa Cave, site of a massive 7000-year-old Neolithic village.
In the field of archaeology, Galaty’s work has received national recognition. He is a trustee of the Archaeological Institute of America. In 2010, he received the AIA’s prestigious Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching award – an award given annually to one college or university professor in the field of archaeology.
When he is not in the field digging, you may well find him in front of a television set, seated with his son, Liam, cheering on the Green Bay Packers.
Associate Professor of Geology
Stanley Galicki is an Associate Professor of Geology. He earned a B.S. from Wittenberg University, a M.S. from the University of Memphis, and a Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi. His research interests include wetland biogeochemistry, paleoenvironmental interpretation, dendrochronology, and stormwater runoff characterization and remediation.
Stan is the director of the Millsaps College Sorbent and Environmental Laboratory. He has accompanied hundreds of students on international field courses and research projects in Albania, Mexico, Turkey, and Australia. Domestically, geology field programs focus on the Pacific Northwest, Yellowstone National Park, and the Appalachian Mountains.
Stan is an active builder and craftsman. His latest project is the construction of an all electric motorcycle.
Tomás Gallareta Negrón is a senior research associate with the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) in Mexico, and the Millsaps Scholar of Maya Studies. He has conducted and participated in archaeological projects at various Northern Maya sites, such as Coba, Yaxuná, Chichen Itza, Isla Cerritos, Can Cun, Komchén, and Xocnaceh. His current interests are excavating and mapping ancient communities in the Puuc Region of Yucatán in the vicinity of Labna and Kiuic, and exploring the rise of civilization in the Northern Maya Lowlands. Tomás is the Director of the Millsaps Puuc Archaeological Research Center (MPARC) in Oxkutzcab, Yucatán, Mexico.
Keck Center Postdoctoral Fellow
Jiyan Gu is a Postdoctoral Fellow working in the W.M. Keck Center for Instrumental and Biochemical Comparative Archaeology at Millsaps College. He received his B.S. in chemistry from Nanjing University, China and Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Wake Forest University. He now applies his analytical chemistry expertise to the solution of complex problems in archaeology. He enjoys teaching students how to analyze artifacts by shooting laser beams and X-rays at them and by dissolving them in acid.
Dr. Gu has extensive experience working with various commercial instruments, such as ICP-MS, PXRF, GC-MS and LC-MS/MS, all of which are found in the Keck Center. He has published a number of papers in international journals and received two awards for his work in the field of instrumentation design.
When he is not working with the instruments and zapping artifacts, Dr. Gu enjoys playing basketball and tennis. Some of his favorite athletes include Michael Jordan, Roger Federer, and Yao Ming!
Professor of Geology
James Harris is Professor of Geology and specializes in near-surface geophysics. He has undergraduate degrees in geology (from Eastern Kentucky University) and geophysics (from the University of Houston) and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Kentucky. Harris has developed an active field-based research program focused on seismic imaging of the shallow subsurface. He and his students have been involved in geophysical surveys at archaeological sites in Turkey and the Yucatán.
Harris’ expertise in geophysics is widely recognized. In recent years he has travelled to Italy to present an invited paper on near-surface seismic methods, and served as a keynote speaker for an international geophysics conference in China. In 2006 he was named Millsaps Distinguished Professor, and in 2009 was recognized as the Mississippi Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
When not in the classroom or in the field, Jamie can be found on the tennis courts at Millsaps where he serves as a volunteer assistant coach for the men’s tennis team.
Instructor of Classics
Jennifer Lewton-Yates is Instructor of Classics and Coordinator of the Latin Pedagogy Initiative at Millsaps College. She graduated summa cum laude from Ohio Wesleyan University and was a Summer Member at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens before beginning her graduate study in Classics at Brown University. Jenni is currently completing her Ph.D. at Brown with a dissertation focusing on the relationship between the Ancient Novels (fabulous stories about lovers separated by shipwrecks and men who get turned into donkeys) and Greek Tragedy (more fabulous stories about wives who have been replaced by ghosts and heroes who rescue their friends from the clutches of Death).
In addition to teaching a variety of Latin, Greek, and courses in translation for the Classical Studies Department, she organizes the annual Mississippi Junior Classical League convention at Millsaps. If you see hundreds of high school students racing chariots and wearing togas on campus, she won't be far away.
When she isn’t pondering the wonders of ancient literature or cheering on the next generation of Latin enthusiasts, Jenni spends her time with her husband Dave, daughter Lily, and two feline children Guinan and Prof. Minerva McGonagall. And, as you might have guessed from the names of her cats, she enjoys all things Harry Potter and most things Star Trek.
Bennie H. Reynolds III
Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
Bennie H. Reynolds III is Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies. He received a B.A. (cum laude) from Wofford College and an M.Div. (magna cum laude) from Duke University. He received an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Reynolds teaches and conducts research on ancient Mediterranean Religions with a special focus on the languages and cultures of the Levant. He is an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls and has authored or edited four books, including most recently, Between Symbolism and Realism: The Use of Symbolic and Non-Symbolic Language in Ancient Jewish Apocalypses 333–63 B.C.E. (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2011).
Dr. Reynolds has studied and conducted fieldwork in the archaeology of the ancient Mediterranean / ancient Near East with such figures as Jodi Magness, Eric Meyers, and Max Miller. His current research interests include an investigation of the demonology of the Dead Sea Scrolls and an analysis of the earliest interpretations of the Book of Genesis (interpretations that took place long before the Bible existed).
When he is not examining ancient Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts, Dr. Reynolds is most likely to be found playing superheroes or video games with his two sons, Hilton and Huck.
Holly M. Sypniewski
Associate Professor of Classical Studies
Holly M. Sypniewski is an Associate Professor of Classical Studies who teaches Latin and Greek, Roman Civilization and study abroad courses in Italy. She earned a B.A. in Classics from the University of Cincinnati and M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her research focuses on Vergilian poetry and the Classical tradition, particularly the influence of Greco-Roman authors and texts on later writers and artists. An intrepid traveler and amateur archaeologist, Dr. Sypniewski loves taking Millsaps students to see the ruins of Classical culture abroad. Her new obsession is Turkey, and she’s developing a new study abroad course on Greece, Rome, and the Near East for Summer 2013.
When she’s not reading Latin or traveling, you can see her walking her three dogs all around Jackson.
James H. Turner
Adjunct Professor of Anthropology
James Turner is an Adjunct Professor of Anthropology specializing in North American archaeology, particularly the archaeology of the southeastern United States, as well as the field of Cultural Resource Management, also known as Contract Archaeology.
He received Bachelor of Arts degrees from Mississippi State University in both Anthropology (with an emphasis in Archaeology) and in Philosophy (with an emphasis in Religion). He continued his education at Mississippi State University where he received a Master of Arts degree in Anthropology, further specializing in Bioarchaeology, the archaeology of human skeletal remains. Turner has worked in academic, governmental, and private settings and has conducted archaeological research throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States, as well as in the Middle East.
Turner is a huge fan of British television and cinema and enjoys spending time with the wife, Tere, and son, Erik.
Timothy J. Ward
Professor of Chemistry
Timothy J. Ward is Professor of Chemistry and Associate Dean of Sciences. He received his B.S. degree from the University of Florida and his Ph.D. from Texas Tech University. Dr. Ward serves as Director of The W.M. Keck Center for Instrumental and Biochemical Comparative Archaeology.
In addition to his research interest in archaeology, he is a specialist in chiral separations and the development of analytical LC and CE methods. Dr. Ward served as chair of the International Symposium on Chirality, July 2007 in San Diego, the largest conference in his field.
Dr. Ward has been recognized for his work, receiving the Outstanding Contributions to Science Award from the Mississippi Academy of Sciences and Chemist of the Year Award from the Mississippi Section of the American Chemical Society. He also has received the prestigious Distinguished Professor Award from Millsaps College.
When he is not in the laboratory or classroom you can find him riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle or following his daughters’ Celtic and Bluegrass band.
Assistant Professor of Classics
David Yates is an Assistant Professor of Classics and specializes in ancient warfare and politics. He received his B.A. with honors from the University of Virginia, an M.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and his Ph.D. from Brown University.
He is currently writing a book on the ancient commemorations of the Persian War. He is also working as the Classical-to-Byzantine historian for The Diros Project, an on-going archaeological survey of the Mani region of the Peloponnese, and in the coming years will be co-authoring a sourcebook on ancient warfare.
When not pouring over ancient texts, David enjoys classic cinema, deep fried anything, and doting on his daughter (not in that order!).