Retiring professor makes gift to advance anthropology

William Isbell

Distinguished Professor of Anthropology William H. Isbell


A gift from Distinguished Professor of Anthropology William H. Isbell and his wife, Judy U. Siggins, supported the hiring of a tenure-track assistant professor in Andean archeology. The gift, to establish the Andean Archeology Anthropology Faculty Support Fund, is one of the largest ever given by a faculty member to support Binghamton.

Isbell, an archaeologist, explores the prehistoric development of complex societies in Peru and Bolivia. He is expected to retire from the University at the end of next summer after more than four decades on the faculty.

"We wanted to ensure, the best way we could, that the position would continue," Siggins said. "For Bill to leave active teaching knowing that an excellent person is coming in just makes things much more comfortable."

Assistant Professor BrieAnna S. Langlie, the new hire, comes to Binghamton from Loyola University Chicago, where she was a lecturer. Her focus is on paleoethnobotany (the study of relationships between people and plants based on archaeological data) and how people have used plants, particularly for agriculture.

"He's leaving behind a great legacy," Langlie said about Isbell.

She said she looks forward to exchanging ideas with Isbell, discussing emerging research with him and benefiting from his experience and insight, in addition to collaborating with others in the department.

Langlie plans to create a paleoethnobotany lab in Isbell's former lab space, the Andean archeology lab in Science 1. Microscopes for the lab will be purchased over the next year. Graduate and undergraduate students could be trained in the new lab in the next couple of years, she said.

Last Updated: 11/1/17