(Posted June 1, 2015)

At left, Larry Mutti, professor of geology, and Paula Wagoner, associate professor of anthropology
At left, Larry Mutti, professor of geology, and Paula Wagoner, associate professor of anthropology

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Two Juniata College faculty members who retired at the end of the 2014-2015 academic year were honored recently at the faculty retirement dinner in April. The retirees are: Larry Mutti, professor emeritus of geology, and Paula Wagoner, associate professor emerita of anthropology.

Larry Mutti, a resident of Alexandria, Pa., joined the Juniata faculty in 1978 directly after earning a doctoral degree in geology from Harvard University. Mutti earned a bachelor's degree in geology in 1971 from Beloit College, in Beloit, Wis., and earned a master's degree in 1976, also from Harvard University.

Mutti taught Mineralogy, Petrography and Petrology at the beginning of his three-decade Juniata career and has since taught those essential courses, plus Introductory Physical Geology/Environmental Geology; Economic Mineral Deposits; Geological Research Methods; Mineral Economics, Politics and Law; Introduction to Geochemistry; The Geochemistry of Natural Waters; and Energy, Minerals and Society. He also has taught Heart of India, a cultural analysis course, Remote Field Course, Sustainable Agriculture in Pennsylvania and Introduction to Soil Science.

An active researcher, Mutti started his academic research focused on the petrology of metamorphic and igneous rock and the structural geology of mountain cores. In the aftermath of a sabbatical year at the University of Kansas, working in 2002 with Juniata alumnus Robert Goldstein, professor of geology, Mutti's focus has been on fluid inclusions (droplets of paleowater entrapped in rock) and documentation of mineral growth. As part of his phased retirement, Mutti will continue to teach part time and work with Juniata research students.

Mutti has been honored many times for his teaching, including the Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1982 and the Beachley Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1995.

In 1986 he was one of several Juniata faculty who traveled to India as part of a Fulbright-Hays grant. It was that experience that led Mutti, with Klaus Kipphan, professor emeritus of history, to launch the course "Heart of India." In 1989, he and a contingent of Juniata faculty traveled to the then-Soviet Union as part of another Fulbright-Hays grant. He also was the principal writer of a $300,000 grant to buy a SEM microscope for Juniata.

Earlier in his career, Mutti spent sabbaticals teaching and doing research at Johns Hopkins University (1985-1986), where he learned techniques of high resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy and conducted petrographic studies of rock from the Isle of Mull, Scotland. In 1992 he worked at the Smithsonian Institution, where he investigated the use of Rietveld analysis as a means toward estimation of mineral proportion in rocks.

He was promoted to associate professor in 1982 and was promoted to full professor in 1988. He also has worked as an exploration geologist for Superior Oil Co. and as a geology field assistant doing molybdenum and tungsten exploration for Union Carbide Corp.

He has published scholarly articles in a variety of professional journals and currently is a member of the Mineralogical Society of America and the Geological Society of America.

Mutti has also been an active volunteer in Huntingdon County, performing in several bands with his family, singing in the Juniata Choral Union and remaining active within the Huntingdon Friends Meeting. He is past president and current secretary of the Huntingdon Arts Council and an appointee of the Huntingdon County Planning Commisssion. He also was a charter member and first chair of the Huntingdon County Agricultural Land Preservation Board. During the 1980s, Mutti was one of the principal local organizers for the Campaign for a Nuclear Weapons Freeze, and he was actively involved in prison visitation as a member of the Pennsylvania Prison Society.

Paula Wagoner, a resident of Huntingdon, Pa., joined the Juniata faculty in 1997 after working as a lecturer at Oglala Lakota College, in Martin, S.D.

She was promoted to associate professor at Juniata in 2003. Earlier in her career, Wagoner also worked on archaeological sites with renowned archaeologist Louis Leakey.

Wagoner earned an associate's degree in modern language from Sheridan College, in Wyoming, and a bachelor's degree in anthropology from Smith College, in Northampton, Mass. She went on to earn a master's degree in 1995 and a doctorate in 1997 in anthropology from Indiana University, in Bloomington, Ind.

In pursuing her education and research, Wagoner received many fellowships, scholarships, and grants from organizations such as the National Science Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship at the Indiana Center on Global Change and World Peace, and the American Indian Studies Research Institute.

Over her career Wagner has organized more than a dozen symposiums or academic panels at various conferences. She also has presented 26 research papers at the American Anthropological Association. She was invited as a plenary speaker at the Peace and Justice Studies Association annual meeting and has spoken at other academic conferences.

She is the author of the book "They Treated Us Just Like Indians," published in 2002 and published her work in "Droits et cultures" and a chapter in the book "Property Relations." Her most recent publication is "In Search for an Honest Man: Iktomi Hcala as a Humanistic and Ethnohistorical Conundrum," a chapter in the book "Transforming Ethnohistories." She also published book reviews in "American Ethnologist," "South Dakota History" and "Journal of the West."

In 2003 she was named a Distinguished Alumna from Sheridan College, in Sheridan, Wyo. And delivered the college's commencement address. In 1993 she received the Lieber Associate Instructor Award for Outstanding Teaching at Indiana University.

In addition to Native American ethnohistory, she also has researched colonial processes, anthropology of law and 19th and 20th century Great Plains ethnohistory. Wagoner also has research interests in cultural pluralism, U.S. treaties with American Indian groups, and cultural connections to place and land tenure policies in the Americas.

Most recently, she spent her sabbatical researching community attitudes concerning the decommissioning of a chemical weapons depot in Hermiston, Ore. as well as the actual and perceived environmental impacts of incinerating various chemical agents stockpiled in the depot.

She holds memberships with the American Anthropological Association, Society for Cultural Anthropology, Law & Society Association, Central States Anthropological Association, the Society for the Anthropology of North America, and the Association for Political and Legal Anthropology.

Contact Gabe Welsch at welschg@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.