Lauren A. Ziegler, is the Coordinator for the School of Advertising and Public Relations and a Ph.D. Student in the Department of Anthropology (UTK). She received a B.A. in Anthropology with a certificate in Islamic Studies from The Ohio University. Lauren attended one of the top Africanist programs at Ohio University for her graduate coursework in International Studies with a concentration in African Studies. During her graduate work she focused on U.S. foreign policy in the Horn of Africa countries of Somalia and Eritrea and U.S. counterterrorism operations in the region. Her graduate research was funded by the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship for language studies in Arabic and Somali.
Lauren also holds certificates in North African studies, counterterrorism studies and the anthropology of social media, as well as, several other social media and political communications certificates.
Her dissertation focuses on the development and formation of counterinsurgency operations by the United States through Africa Command Operation (AFRICOM). It focuses on how the U.S. constructed and expanded its military operations in Africa as a method to bolster human rights and humanitarianism, while exploring militarized forms of humanitarianism via drone warfare and covert operations.
As a public anthropologist, she has worked in higher education for nearly a decade, focusing on student outreach to diverse and underrepresented students. She has used her experience in anthropology to inform her background in social media strategy, outreach programs, and event planning for a variety of organizations like the American Islamic Congress, African Students Union, Byrd School of Business, and more. She works with students, young alumni, and faculty developing outreach programs, creating web and social content, and providing support to the department. Lauren sits on a number of committees at the university including Social Media Week; CCI Diversity and Inclusion committee; and the Disasters, Displacement, and Human Rights biannual conference committee.