SherriLynn Colby-Bottel, PhD


Dr. SherriLynn Colby-Bottel received her PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of Virginia in 2012, and a BA in anthropology and an MA in music, with distinction, at California State University, Fresno. From 2005 to 2012, with support from the National Science Foundation and the University of Virginia Faculty Senate Fellowship Award for Scholarly Achievement and Excellence in Teaching, she conducted ethnographic research on disaster recovery, nonprofits, urban traditions, authenticity and sincerity in the local production of music, and community-based musical activities in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her research explored issues highlighted by disaster and recovery: how racial inequities align with health disparities, how the built environment and social policy act as determinants of recovery, and the vital role of community in one’s ability to achieve well-being. Dr. Colby-Bottel has worked and volunteered for several nonprofit organizations in the last decade while also researching how nonprofit organizations retain and reward labor. She has worked in higher education for more than 20 years as both faculty and administrator in four distinct university settings. She has been with SIT since 2011.

Courses Taught
Select Publications

Colby-Bottel and Handler. (2021 online, 2022 to print). Making the Scene and the Making of a Scene: The Loose Marbles on Royal Street in Post-Katrina New Orleans. Anthropology and Humanism.

Lanning, Colby-Bottel, Sakash, and Hagos. (2018). Humanizing High Impact Practices: Leveraging Learning Communities. Global Impact Exchange, Diversity Abroad, Special Issue on High Impact Practices, Fall 2018, pp. 28

Colby-Bottel, S. (2021). Review of Dr. Gregory Button’s “Disaster Culture: Knowledge and Uncertainty in the Wake of Human and Environmental Catastrophe”. Environment and Society: Advances in Research, Vol. 3, pp. 123-124

Select Presentations

Colby-Bottel, S. (November 2020). Being an Anthropologist with Students Abroad: Disruption, Identity, and Change [Conference presentation]. American Anthropological Association 2020 Annual Meetings, virtual, USA

Colby-Bottel, S. (November 2018). After Disaster: Critical Explorations of Recovery [Conference presentation, panel organizer, and chair]. American Anthropological Association 2018 Annual Meetings, San Jose, California, USA

Colby-Bottel, S. (November 2010). Civic Associations, Popular Art, and Local Democracies in New Orleans Traditional Jazz Music-Making [Conference presentation]. American Anthropological Association 2010 Annual Meetings, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Research Interests

Holistic community well-being
Ethical considerations of representation
Inclusivity in the practices of study abroad


  • PhD, Anthropology, University of Virginia
  • MA, Music, California State University, Fresno
  • BA, Anthropology, California State University, Fresno
SherriLynn Colby-Bottel, PhD