Staff Biographies


Robert Preucel, Director

Robert Preucel is Director of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology and Professor of Anthropology at Brown University. Trained as an anthropological archaeologist, he is particularly interested in the relationships of archaeology and society. His fieldwork projects include the archaeology of a utopian community in Massachusetts (the Brook Farm Project) and a post Pueblo Revolt community in New Mexico (the Kotyiti Research Project).

Robert Preucel received his doctorate from UCLA in 1988. He was a member of Jim Hill's Pajarito Archaeological Research Project. He received a Postdoc at SIU Carbondale in 1989 and organized a conference on the Processual/Postprocessual debate. In 1990, he took an Assistant Professor position at Harvard University. In 1995, he left Harvard for an Associate Professor position at the University of Pennsylvania. He was made Sally and Alvin V. Shoemaker Professor of Anthropology in 2009 and served as Chair of the Department (2009-2012) and Curator-in-charge of the American Section at University of Pennsylvania Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology (2010-2012).
Visit the Brown University Research Profile Page for Robert Preucel



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Kevin P. Smith, Deputy Director / Chief Curator

Kevin P. Smith became deputy director and chief curator of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology at Brown University in August 2002. He is responsible for the supervision its staff members, oversees daily museum operations, coordinates collections access, research, and co-directs exhibition projects (including Kayak, Umiak, Canoe; Warp Speeds, and Believing Africa). As an adjunct lecturer in Brown University’s Department of Anthropology, he team-teaches courses in its Master’s program in Museum Studies and guest lectures, frequently, for several departments and institutes at Brown and RISD. Kevin is an archaeologist interested in complex societies, state formation, law, and human ecology who has worked extensively in Alaska and on the Viking age and Early Medieval periods in Iceland, as well as on the archaeology of mobile hunter-gatherers in Scotland and throughout the continental United States. His Icelandic research has included work on Viking period iron-production, early medieval farming, and a subterranean Viking Age site interpreted variously as an outlaw shelter or ritual complex. He is currently doing research in western Iceland, focusing on a district surrounding the historically important farm of Gilsbakki, a Viking Age chieftain’s center that has been occupied continuously for 1100 years. His publications include numerous articles on the archaeology of early historic northern Atlantic societies and on inter-relationships between indigenous texts, oral history, and archaeological data.

Before coming to Brown, Kevin served as associate curator and head of the Anthropology Division at the Buffalo Museum of Science where he was head of research and collection management, ethnographic, and archaeological collections. Exhibits he curated while there include: Through a Clouded Mirror: Africa at the Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, 1901 (2001 – 2002), The Day of the Dead in Mexico/El Dia de los Muertos en Mexico (1999 – 2000), Whem Ankh: The Cycle of Life in Ancient Egypt (1998 – ongoing), and Along Rivers, Across Seas: Indigenous Watercraft from the Collections of the Buffalo Museum of Science (1994).

Kevin has presented work at numerous national and international conferences, seminars, and workshops. His articles have been published in many publications, including the Cambridge University Press’s Bad Year Economics, The Anthropology of Iceland (University of Iowa Press), and World Archaeology.

Click here to view some of his recent publications.

Kevin earned his B.A. in Anthropology at Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania, and his M.A. in Anthropology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is currently a doctoral candidate (A.B.D.) at the Department of Anthropology, University of Michigan.



Thierry Gentis, Curator/NAGPRA Coordinator

Thierry Gentis is Curator of the Haffenreffer Museum and an assistant in the Museum Studies courses at Brown University. He works with Brown University students in museum exhibit development.  He also provides faculty with the opportunity to work with Museum objects in their courses by leading classes at Manning Hall or at the Museum's Research Center in Bristol and creating course-related object displays.  He has a B.A. in Philosophy with associate degrees in Anthropology and Art from Roger Williams University. He has written several articles on the arts of Africa and curated exhibitions and given lectures on the subject.


Geralyn Ducady, Curator of Programs and Education

Geralyn Ducady coordinates the Museum's educational programs which include public lectures, performances, workshops, tours, K-12 school outreach programs, and curriculum materials.  She also serves as the CultureLab manager.  In addition, she oversees the Haffenreffer Museum Student Advisory Board comprised of Brown University undergraduate and graduate students. Geralyn's research interests include Native American and African American stereotypes, multicultural education, and issues of "race" and ethnicity in America from anthropological and social perspectives.  She aims to dispel and break down stereotypes through her work in the Museum's school programs.  Before joining the Haffenreffer, Geralyn served as the Education Coordinator at the San Diego Museum of Man, as the Education Outreach Coordinator for San Diego State University's Archaeological Collections Management Program, and as an archaeologist in the San Diego area. Geralyn received her B.A. in Anthropology and Archaeology from Boston University and her M.A. in Anthropology from San Diego State University.








Rip Gerry, Exhibit Designer/Photographic Archivist

Rodney (Rip) Gerry has been a versatile and vital member of the museum staff for nearly 15 years. He currently serves in a variety of roles including in-house exhibit designer, photo archivist, and collections storage manager. He works closely with student and staff curators to transform exhibit concepts into engaging installations. He has been primarily responsible for the design and installation of the Haffenreffer's exhibits including the recently created gallery in Manning Hall. Rip has also done documentary photography and video production to accompany exhibits. Rip studied animation, illustration, and graphic design at Columbia College in Chicago before entering the museum world as assistant to the director of the May Weber Museum of Cultural Arts, also in Chicago.


Nathan Arndt, Assistant Curator


Nathan Arndt plays an active role at the museum as our Assistant Curator. He joined the museum in the fall of 2009 as a Collections Intern and has been very involved since.  His work is widespread but he spends much of his time updating the collections database ARGUS, preparing exhibit instillations, and managing and caring for the collections. Nathan has also been a part of the preservation training classes for students who wish to work within Culture Lab.

Nathan’s research focuses on the African American migration across the Midwest during the 19th century and the comparison between black communities in cities compared to the smaller farming communities. Nathan earned his MA at the University of Rhode Island in 2011, studying American History with an emphasis on material culture and archival methods. He earned his BA in American history from Buena Vista University in 2007. He also studied museum management in Bangor, Wales while serving as a Collections Intern at the Gwynedd Museum and Art Gallery.


Carol Dutton, Office Manager

Carol Dutton became Office Manager in August, 2006. She has an extensive background in office management and business administration, having been employed in the payroll department at the University of Rhode Island and as Office Manager of a multi-level hospitality corporation in Newport. After vacationing in Rhode Island on multiple occasions, Carol and her family had the opportunity to move from New Jersey to Newport, where they have lived for over eleven years. Her record of employment in New Jersey includes substantial experience in the non-profit sector, particularly her twelve years of service as School Business Administrator in the Margate Public School system and five years of service as Board Secretary in the Egg Harbor Township Public School system. Carol has organized and performed extensive, volunteer mission work throughout the country, her most recent efforts bringing her to the Mississippi Gulf Coast in April, 2006 and New Orleans in April, 2007, where she provided disaster relief as the result of Hurricane Katrina. Carol studied Business Administration at the College of Continuing Education at the University of Rhode Island and Community College of Rhode Island.







Anthony M. Belz, Museum Guard and Greeter at Manning

Anthony M. Belz joined the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology as the museum’s Guard/Greeter in July 2008. After receiving his Associate in Arts Degree from Heartland Community College and Bachelor of Science Degree in Anthropology from Illinois State University both in Normal, IL, Anthony worked as an archaeologist for the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center in Ledyard, CT and for Public Archaeology Laboratories in Pawtucket, RI. Anthony received his Masters of Library and Information Studies at the University of Rhode Island in December 2012.


Kathleen Silvia, Education Outreach Coordinator

Kathleen Silvia teaches in the Museum's Culture CaraVan outreach program and visits K-12 schools as well as family and adult organizations.  She also helps to develop and maintain the Museum's K-12 educational programming.  Kathy joined the Museum as a docent and led school tours and programs at the Museum's Bristol location when it was open for school field trips.  Kathy also developed and taught some of the Museum's summer camps.  Kathleen has a Master's Degree in Elementary Education and formerly worked in the Bristol Schools as a teacher for thirty years.


Barbara A. Hail, Curator Emerita

Barbara A. Hail retired in June 2002 from her position as Deputy Director and Curator and was subsequently appointed Curator Emerita of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, Brown University. She was trained in history and anthropology at Brown University, Cornell University, and Columbia University. Her research interests include North American material culture, ethnology and ethnohistory. She is the author of two books that discuss stylistic and cultural aspects of the material culture of these areas: Hau Kola! The Plains Indian Collection of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology (1981, 1983, 1988) and Out of the North: The Subarctic Collection of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology (with Kate Duncan, 1989), both published by Brown University, and was principal essayist for Patterns of Life, Patterns of Art: The Rahr Collection (of Dartmouth College), University of New England Press, 1987.

Hail's recent research has included the history of museums. She contributed a chapter to the 1994 book Passionate Hobby: Rudolph Haffenreffer and the King Philip Museum (Krech, ed. 1994). She is co-editor with Shepard Krech of the book Collecting Native America, 1870-1960, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1999. From 1995 to 1999, she collaborated with a number of descendants of 19th century Kiowa and Comanche cradlemakers on an ethnohistorical study of these cradles, resulting in a two-year traveling exhibit (November 1999-January 2002) and accompanying catalogue, Gifts of Pride and Love: Kiowa and Comanche Cradles. She is a board member of the Wampanoag Indian Program at Plimoth Plantations, and a former board member of the Native American Art Studies Foundation and the New England Museum Association.