Emeritus Professor Receives International Service Award

From the August 2017 Desktop News | Before knocking on his door, visitors can’t help but take a second to admire the décor surrounding it. The door’s perimeter is surrounded by a collection of artifacts that could only have been collected through a lifetime of travel, including nametags from various conferences, a small shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe, and a medal earned for years of service hanging on the door itself.

Dr. Dick Diehl, a professor emeritus in the Department of Anthropology, was recently awarded the Medalla de MAX from the Museo de Antropologia de Xalapa, the Veracruz state archaeology museum in Mexico. The medal recognized his service to the state, the University of Veracruz, and Veracruz anthropology.

Among this service includes teaching at the university, contributing to research, helping to bring in grants, and doing his best to form and upkeep relationships with the people of the university and of the state.

Throughout his time at UA, beginning in 1986 as chair of the anthropology department, Diehl traveled back and forth from Mexico working with the University of Veracruz, watching and assisting in the growth of its archaeology program, which Diehl said started with one faculty member and about three students.

“I have spent at least 100 months of my adult life in Mexico and spent a lot of that time in and out of Xalapa and Veracruz,” Diehl said, sitting among a collection of souvenirs from his travels. “I remember when the museum first opened.”

Diehl recently travelled back to Mexico for the first time in four years to receive his award, reconnect with old friends, and give a presentation at the awards ceremony.

Throughout his time at UA, Diehl served as director of the School of Music and director of university museums in addition to his work as chair. Despite retiring in 2006, he still teaches one class a year at UA, volunteers at DCH, and teaches classes on archaeology through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

He will be returning to Mexico in a few months to teach a course at the University of Veracruz, in part to repay being awarded the Medalla de MAX.