Congratulations Dr. Jessica W. Blanchard
Another successful dissertation defense to report and celebrate. Jessica Walker Blanchard (a.k.a. Dr. Blanchard) is a wonderful person and scholar whom I have known and respected for many years. She has just completed her Ph.D. in sociocultural anthropology at the University of Oklahoma (where I was proud to be one of her teachers). I am little behind in reading her dissertation (about a chapter short of finished) but I can say that it is a important contribution to anthropology and Native American studies. Jessica’s focus in her study are the activities of Southern Baptist missionaries (church “planters”) of diverse Native American backgrounds who establish mission congregations in (i.e. “targeting”) particular and specific local Native American communities. Her work was undertaken in congregations in Central Oklahoma, near the communities of Little Axe, Shawnee, and Earlboro. When she is not dissertating, Dr. Blanchard is a researcher at the Center for Applied Social Research at OU. She has been involved in a wide range of complex and important research projects, mainly focusing on the sociocultural aspects of health and wellness in Oklahoma and in general. Congratulations Jessica!