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Professor brings archeology to students, both locally and abroad

Monday, August 15, 2011
Professor brings archeology to students, both locally and abroad
By Eric Reikowski, media relations assistant

For more than four decades,Oakland University's Richard Stamps, Ph.D., has traveled throughout East Asia and led summer study tours to China, where he and his students have visited popular sites like the Great Wall, Forbidden City and Temple of Heaven.

The associate professor of anthropology has also conducted archeological research at local  historical sites such as Port Huron’s Fort Gratiot, an army base utilized during the 19th century. In fact, Dr. Stamps led a group of OU students on a project that unearthed a trove of artifacts from the site, including an array of military weapons and regalia.

Later, the childhood home of Thomas Edison, located on the property of Fort Gratiot, became a subject of Dr. Stamps’ research and his findings have appeared in publications such as the Michigan History Magazine, the Detroit Free Press and in monographs available in libraries and museums.

Dr. Stamps also directed an excavation of the Wisner Ice House, formerly owned by Moses Wisner, the 12th governor of Michigan. In collaboration with the Oakland County Pioneer and Historical Society, Dr. Stamps guided a cohort of OU students who worked for more than a year on the project, uncovering a wealth of artifacts—children’s toys, cookware, tools and more — that paint a picture of life in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Most recently, Dr. Stamps helped launch an initiative with the Oakland County Historical Commission to commemorate the county's involvement in the Civil War. Organizers chronicled this history through the creation of a map highlighting important county sites during the war.

Dr. Stamps is a member of the Rochester Hills Historical District Commission and Study Committee, Oakland County Historical Commission and Oakland County Pioneer and Historical Society. He also serves as a historical consultant to Waterford Public Schools, helping the district discover new ways to integrate archeology into the curriculum.

A member of the OU community since 1974, Dr. Stamps has a great interest in the history of Oakland's campus. He has conducted research at the site of the Giles Austin Farmhouse, which was built in 1864 on what would become campus grounds. The house was purchased by John Dodge, first husband of OU founder Matilda Dodge Wilson.

In the classroom, Dr. Stamps teaches a variety of courses, such as Introduction to Anthropology, Anthropology Field Methods, Anthropology Museums, Peoples and Cultures of China, and The Asian-American Experience. He also teaches an International Studies course on China and has taught a course examining business issues in China for students in Oakland's Master of Business Administration program. He also serves as chair of the Leonard Woodcock Legacy, an organization dedicated to promoting the study of China at OU.

Dr. Stamps holds a B.A. in Anthropology and an M.A. in Archeology from Brigham Young University. He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology and Asian Studies from Michigan State University and his diverse contributions have been recognized throughout the community. He received the OU Teaching Excellence Award and was honored by the International Students and Scholars Office for his work with international students on campus. He also earned a Black and Gold Award from the Office of Student Activities and is a recipient of the Earl Borden Historical Preservation Award from the city of Rochester Hills.