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BABAO Mentorship Award 2021

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At the 2021 Annual Meeting, BABAO’s second Mentorship Award was awarded to Dr Anwen Caffell.

Anwen Caffell has been affiliated to Durham University for a number of years, and throughout this time has supported and guided a large number of osteoarchaeologists, bioarchaeologists, and forensic anthropologists. Many of these individuals are now passing on Anwen’s wealth of knowledge and understanding by educating the upcoming generation of scientists whether in a commercial, academic, or non-government role. Anwen is thoroughly deserving of recognition by BABAO for not only her longstanding service to education in supporting students, but also her commitment to BABAO in her various committee roles.

At the bare bones, Anwen is an osteologist, but with experience that has impacted on so many other individuals who are working in much wider disciplines. Anwen’s skillset in assessing skeletal remains is immense. Her vast knowledge and extreme attention to detail has been the standard that her students aspire to work towards, and her unfailing enthusiasm to share her phenomenal osteological knowledge and experiences in higher education and commercial spheres (in her unique Anwen style of patience, compassion, and good humour) makes her an exceptional and inspiring mentor. Because of this, the students Anwen taught continually seek to be supportive as a mentor to the new generation of students and they judge the quality of their work by Anwen’s example.

Beyond the academic environment, Anwen has been encouraging. She has provided countless recommendations for scholarships and jobs to those she has taught, and this has been instrumental to a number of individuals who are now working and progressing in the field as a result. Anwen also encourages commercial experience, incorporating students work into her own and informing teaching through the work she has undertook.

On a personal level, Anwen has been compassionate, patient, and kind. It does not matter how small the question or big the problem is, or whether it is personal or professional. Anwen has always found the time to listen and help, and she possesses a very unique attribute as she can make a student feel important, supported, and heard.

We cannot overstate the impact that Anwen has had on her student’s education, career, and development as professionals. Like so many others, we doubt that we would be anywhere without Anwen’s continuing support. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Anwen, not only for all that she has taught us, but how she also taught us to teach it. Anwen is truly deserving of the BABAO mentorship award. 

Text prepared by Dr. David Errickson (nominator), and supported by Dr. Leslie Quade, Dr. Claire Hodson, Jordan Snyder, Dr. Kayla Crowder, Dr. Benn Penny-Mason, and Dr. Sophie Newman.