Dr. Helen Vallianatos is currently the Associate Dean of Students, in the Office of the Dean of Students, as well as a Professor in the Department of Anthropology. As Associate Dean of Students, she works to connect the Office of the Dean of Students with faculty and staff across campus, to ensure that student needs and issues across faculties are being addressed, and to assess how to improve student experiences at the University of Alberta.
Dr. Vallianatos has also served as Associate Chair (Undergraduate Programs) in the Department of Anthropology, during which time she worked to further develop the experiential learning component of the BA Honors program. She has also incorporated community-service learning in many of her courses, which dovetails well with her collaborative, community-based research approach.
Dr. Vallianatos' research focuses on the topics of food, gender, body and health. In many of her studies, Dr. Vallianatos has used visual methods in conjunction with semi-structured or narrative interviewing. A past winner of the Faculty of Arts research excellence award (2016), she is committed to conducting collaborative, community-based research, and typically works in interdisciplinary teams.
Past and ongoing research includes:
Dr. Vallianatos is a previous winner of the Faculty of Arts teaching award (2012) and her teaching interests overlap with her research topics on food, gender, body and health. Previously offered courses include Anthropology of Gender, Anthropology of Food, Nutritional Anthropology, Health & Healing, Engendering Food, Body and Health, Gender, Age & Culture, and Visual Anthropology. As Associate Chair (Undergraduate Programs), Dr. Vallianatos had taught the Honours students, providing guidance on research ethics, methods, fieldwork, and writing. Dr. Vallianatos had often incorporated community-service learning (CSL), so that students could connect ideas from the classroom to everyday problems and realities. She is currently working with Dr. Alison Dunwoody (Sociology) on pedagogical papers evaluating CSL students' learning.
Dr. Vallianatos has supervised individual undergraduate students in independent research courses. Interested students may register for ANTHR 471 or 472 after consultation with Dr. Vallianatos.
Dr. Vallianatos is currently considering graduate student applicants for both MA and PhD.