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Duo Earns Emmy for Best Instructional Series

Published: December 1, 2008

Anthropology’s Marcus Young Owl and Linda Light were recognized recently at the 60th annual Los Angeles area programming Emmy Awards for Best Instructional Series in honor of their help in creating the film “Physical Anthropology: The Evolving Human.”

Young Owl, who joined the university in 1989, and Light, who joined CSULB in 1995, served as national and local advisors, respectively, charged with making sure the images and language were accurate in the film created by the Fountain Valley-based Coast Learning Systems at Coastline Community College for their public broadcast channel 95.

“I was surprised to receive an Emmy,” said Young Owl, who received his doctorate in anthropology from UCLA in 1989. “I didn’t even know there were such things as local Emmys, but I’m glad there are.”

Light also was caught off guard by her recognition. “This is just great,” she said. “I had no idea films like these qualified for Emmys, but I’m pleased they are.”

Light is not only a faculty member at CSULB but a double graduate with master’s degrees in linguistics in 1982 and another in anthropology in 1995.

The Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards are given for broadcast achievements produced or solely financed and controlled by Los Angeles area television stations or cable TV systems.

Young Owl saw his role as a scientific troubleshooter. “I made a lot of suggestions about what they could do,” he explained. “If there was something wrong with their explanation of meiosis, it was up to me to catch it.”

Light saw herself as the go-to person for all things anthropological. “I was one of four local advisors who participated in the organization of the videos, what would be on them, how many there would be and what would be the title?” she said. “It was up to us to decide if something was valid to change or not. It was a very powerful feeling.”

Young Owl, who received the Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award in 1998, is an expert in the nutritional physiology of primates and has worked on a post-doc in the zoology department at the University of Illinois.

Light comes to her expertise in linguistic anthropology through a lifelong interest in languages. She has studied Latin, Japanese, Russian and Spanish, the latter for her research into the L.A.-based Mayan immigrant community from Guatemala.

Young Owl, who is currently recovering from rotator cuff surgery, is pleased with the award. “This is an honor, not only for Professor Light and I, but for the Anthropology Department,” he said.

Light agreed. “There are so many worthy educators in this department, I feel lucky to be recognized,” she said.