My Other Research

My research projects span a variety of fields.

  1. In the fields of teaching and learning, my research focuses on the use of educational technologies, digital culture, Open Educational Resources (OERs), and Prior Learning Assessments (PLAs) to enhance student access, affordability, and online-learning experiences;
  2. In the fields of archaeology and material culture, my research and publications geographically focus on Mesoamerica, native peoples of the Eastern United States, and Puerto Rico; and
  3. In the fields of cultural studies and cultural anthropology, my research and publications focus on communities of WNY (see Buffalo Project page for project details.)

Below I have highlighted some of my ongoing research below:

Digital Studies Research


Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL), Virtual Exchanges & Developing Intercultural Competencies, OER Development & Implementation Projects (2010-present)

Since 2010, I have been very involved in the both OER and Open Education initiatives. I have worked hard to utilize digital technologies creatively in my on- and off-line classrooms in order to cut down student textbook and material costs. To do so, I have developed, reused, and modified OERs as well as made numerous presentations across SUNY campuses/Open SUNY about effective ways to implement OERs in college assignments and courses. Based on my work in this area, I was honored with the following opportunities and accolades:

  • (AY 2014-present) OpenSUNY Center for Online Teaching Excellence (COTE) -Innovation and Research Fellow. See work here:
    • Award: AY 2015-2016 OpenSUNY COTE Inaugural Online Effective Practice Community Award 
  • (AY 2015-2016) pre-tenure reassignment to develop Latin America OERs.
    • As part of this project, I traveled to Spain, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico to record footage at archaeological and historical sites. Upon my return to the US and with the help of SUNY Empire Educational Technologists (formerly Faculty Instructional Technologists-FITs) Allison Moreland and Adam Deyglio and the external design firm, The Quilted Squirrel, I developed these resources into OERs (e.g., educational videos, microlectures, and interactive tutorials). See Latin American OERs website here:
    • As a way to encourage OER development at ESC, Adam Deyglio and I also co-created three (3) faculty training tutorials to teach faculty how to develop their own OERs using the digital tools Screencast-o-matic, Blogger, and Microsoft Photosynth (the latter software is now defunct.) See training videos here:
    • Read AY 2014-2015 OER Reassignment Final report here: FINAL OER Reassignment Project Report RR 9 2015v2 
  • (AY 2016-2017) I was selected as a Tools of Engagement Project (TOEP) Peer Mentor and Fellow
  • (AY 2017 – present) Virtual Exchanges,COIL, Digital Culture, and Developing Intercultural Competencies in students
    • As part of my continued work in OpenAccess and OERs, I co-developed a few Google websites with colleagues at the American University of Technology – Kaslik, Lebanon, SUNY Empire State College, and SUNY Old Westbury. View sites and descriptions here:
    • “Learning in the Digital Age” Open Access Google site (Collaboration between American University of Technology – Kaslik, Lebanon, SUNY Empire State College, and SUNY Old Westbury collaboration):
      • Module Description: The digital age has fundamentally transformed many facets of the human experience, including how we communicate, the platforms we seek out for entertainment, and how we engage in learning. The rapid rate at which learners are acquiring and building new knowledge today is something scholars are only starting to understand and analyze; thus, the combination of our two courses, The Exceptional Learner and Digital Culture & Society. We envision that the combination of these courses will contribute to this emerging dialogue through the application of the anthropological perspective of ethnographic analysis (i.e.,digital anthropology/netnography) and the educational paradigms of the learning sciences. Specifically, by facilitating a deeper understanding of gaming platforms (e.g., app games, board games, and online/video games) and its connection to learning, this module is designed to help students gain insight into the gaming phenomena and its application to learning environments. Another aim is to help students explore the intersection of the digital world and intercultural competencies (e.g., the role of sensitivity towards ability/disability, linguistic proficiency, privilege, gender, culture, learning approaches, and other variables.) By gaining an understanding of the ways in which technology can both reveal and marginalize peoples, students will be better equipped to promote the use of digital learning resources in a more culturally sensitive way.
    • “Developing Intercultural Competencies in the 21st Century” Open Access Google site (Collaboration between SUNY Old Westbury and SUNY Empire State College):
      • Modular Description: This module was originally built to support the collaboration of SUNY Old Westbury Professor Dr. Hashey’s Positive Behavioral Supports and Interventions course and SUNY Empire State College Professor Dr. Rogers’ and Anthropology of Art course. As the world continues to become more interconnected through commerce, education, and politics, the need for developing intercultural competencies is even more critical. Rogers and Hashey hoped that by facilitating a deeper understanding of each individual’s culture, we could better prepare module participants to develop their awareness of intercultural similarities and differences (e.g., the role of sensitivity and adapting thinking and towards ability/disability, linguistic proficiency, privilege, gender, culture, learning approaches, and other variables), and foster the growth of the intercultural competencies necessary to participate fully in our increasingly diverse and interconnected world.  

  • (AY 2017) Depaul Universities Global Learning Conference and Invited Stevens Initiative Panel:
    • The Stevens Initiative sat down with virtual exchange practitioners to discuss their programs, continuing a discussion that began as a panel at the Global Learning Conference, hosted by DePaul University and the State University of New York Center for Collaborative Online International Learning (SUNY COIL) in October 2017. We were joined by Michael Kimball, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Northern Colorado; Lisa Roberts, Project Director, Chicago Sister Cities International STEAMuseum; and Rhianna Rogers, Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, SUNY Empire State College. See recording here:
  • (AY 2019) SUNY Empire Center for Mentoring, Learning, and Academic Innovation (CMLAI) OER Podcast: Using Open Resources to Your Advantage: How to Effectively Incorporate OERs into College Assignments
  • International Honor: Based on my DEI focused, data driven work in international contexts, work with COIL/Virtual Exchange, and my microstudy with the Stevens Initiative, I was named Visiting Professor of Anthropology at the American University of Technology, Kaslik, Lebanon (AY 2017)
  • OpenSUNY OER System Honor: Cited by SUNY System Administration/OpenSUNY as a “SUNY Faculty Showcase-OER Pioneer” for my research into affordable, accessible educational resources that are scalable and sustainable.” (See web link here:

Prior Learning Assessment and the Global Learning Qualification Framework – Lumina/ Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) Academic Team (2012-2016)

Between 2012-2014, I was invited to join Dr. Nan Travers and Amy McQuiggie’s PLA/Lumina Grant as an Academic Team member. For the next two academic years, we worked together, with an panel of PLA experts, to develop the Global Learning Qualification Framework.


In addition to the highly successful Buffalo Project (see affiliated web page for details), I have also co-created other projects specifically related to Indigenous cultures of the Americas and beyond.

I have highlighted a few below:

Global Indigenous Knowledge Certificate (AY 2020 – present)

Year of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas OER Project (AY 2018-2019)

In 2018, I have partnered with the SUNY Empire President’s Office, the Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Council, WNY scholars, as well as  Eastern native tribes and nations, to create short oral history videos and OERs that highlighted important aspects of native culture. 

  • Year of Indigenous Peoples OER Project Description: These OERs focused on elements of native culture, from a native perspective. I asked participants to answer the following question: “What elements of native culture do you think 21st Century students should know about?” Representatives from various tribes will participate in the construction of this course, including the Cheyenne, Seneca, Taino, Ojibewe and Elnu Abenaki Tribe of Vermont. Videos focused on song and dance, native identity and values, women’s roles, native education, elder perspective, sovereignty, storytelling, family and time. 
  • SUNY Empire Presidential Grant: This project was funded by an ESC Presidential grant for the Year of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas Cultural Initiative. Funds were used to payment native experts/OER contributors. 
  • OER Production Team: Dr. Rhianna C. Rogers,  Dr. Menoukha Case, Donald “Flip” White and Cliff Eaglefathers oversaw work with the tribal representatives and Prof. Amber Rinehart (SUNY Erie Community College Film Studies professor and SUNY Empire M.A. in Education graduate student) on the creation of these videos. Link to Year of Indigenous Peoples OERs

New York Native Culture and History Research:

  • SUNY Native American Western Consortium WNY Grant Team: In 2014-2015, Dr. Sandra Johnson, Multicultural Advisor Eric Bridges, and I were awarded a grant by the SUNY Native American Western Consortium to create opportunities for WNY native peoples and the Seneca Nation to engage with Empire State College events and courses.
    • 2015 Research Update: I have two book chapters in the volume titled 50 Events That Shaped American Indian History: An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic, one on the Haudenasunee connections to the US Constitution. (See Homepage for details)

Little Bighorn OERs and Course Collaboration: In 2016, Dr. Menoukha Case, Cheyenne elder and course cultural advisor Clifford Eaglefeathers, videographer John Hughes, and I co-developed the OER-based course Living History: The Battle of Little Bighorn from the Cheyenne Perspective.

Caption: Dr. Menoukha Case, Cheyenne Elder Clifford Eaglefeather, and Dr. Rhianna Rogers Little Bighorn press conference @ SUNY Empire State College-Saratoga Springs, NY, 2016.

This innovative OER-based course was developed to commemorate the 140th anniversary of the Battle of Little Bighorn and the return of a battle dress to the battlefield. SUNY Empire staff was on hand during this commemorative event, videotaping events, council meetings, and oral history for students.


Archaeological Research


Image result for Rhianna Rogers La Mina

Photo Credit: La Mina site. Rex Caudwell, 2015

In 2015, I began an archaeological project on Puerto Rico, focused on the analysis of pre-Taino/Taino petroglyphs at the previously undocumented site of La Mina. My team, James Schuetz, P.G. and Rex Caudwell, and I published an article on this research in Spring 2017 (Click here).

  • 2020 Book Update: We are currently under contract with British Archaeological Reports (Oxford, England) for a Jan. 2021 publication titled El Yunque se levanta: Interdiscplinarity and Activism at the La Mina Petroglyph site.

Historical Research

Beginning in the Summer of 2012, I began a comprehensive Spain Book Research and OER Project which was twofold:

  1. I conducted research at the Archive of the Indies in Seville, Spain in order to finish a book project I am currently working on about Aztec Women and
  2. I began to develop technologically driven, interactive learning resources for my ESC students taking studies with me on Latin America. Both projects were funded, in part, by SUNY Empire State College.


Caption: This is a photo of Toledo, a Medieval city 1 hour outside of Spain’s capital, Madrid. (Photo taken by author, 2012)

In regards to the Spanish Book Research component of the project, I am working on a book project tentatively titled The Transformation and Resilience of Aztec Female Roles, 1200-1700.

  • As part of this project, I collected, in the summer of 2012, colonial documents from the Archivo General de Indias (the Archive of the Indies) in Seville, Spain. Since I have already conducted funded trips to the University of Texas at Austin: Benson Latin American Library, the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM, National University of Mexico) in Mexico City, and to the Archivo General de la Nación (AGN, General Archive of the Nation) in Mexico City, I believe this research would contribute the final piece of historical information I need to interpret the roles of Aztec women in Nueva España (i.e. Mexico).
  • OER project: As mentioned above, I was awarded a competitive reassignment from SUNY Empire in AY 2014-2015 to develop a series of OERs for use in my Latin American History and Archaeology courses. Please see my page here:
  • 2019 Research Update: I recently published additional elements of this work in the textbook Introduction to Feminist Thought and Action (Routledge, 2019 – Editors Drs. Menoukha Case and Allison Craig).


I have also worked in other sites across the Yucatán peninsula and Greater Mesoamerica, conducting both historical and archaeological research. I was part of a four person team that surveyed the central Yucatán state and documented previously unreported Maya sites and structures in 2005. Additionally, in 2006, I oversaw the mapping of Maya structures along a 2km transect at the Classic period site of Chunchucmil; this transect survey was part of the Pakbeh Regional Economy Program, a 10-year archaeological project directed by the late Dr. Bruce Dahlin (1996-2006).

Field Research: Maya Archaeology (2005-2009)

Santiago, Fransico, Arelio, Augustine,Abelino, and me

CAPTION: In this photo, I was working with local Maya elders and youth conducting a Phase I project concentrating on the mapping of Classic period Maya structures in the site of Chunchucmil (Photo taken in 2006, Chunchucmil, Yucatan, Mexico).


Since 2009, I have concentrated my recent Mesoamerican archaeological and ethnographic studies on the Maya occupying the Northern Maya Lowlands, specifically the Yucatan capital, Mérida.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Rogers_Ciudadela-photo.jpg

Caption: I was in front of only remaining section of the Ciudadela Complex in Mérida , Yucatán , Mexico, 2015. 

More specifically, my research has focused primarily on the Ciudadela site within the city of Tíhoo, located underneath what is today the modern Yucatán capital city Mérida.

Field Research: Maya Enthography (2005-present)

Graduation Chunchucmil 2006

CAPTION: In this photo, I was invited to attend a local elementary school graduation in the modern Maya community of Chunchucmil. Statistically, many Maya people do not have the opportunity to complete formal education. As such, graduations at all levels are viewed as very important events within the Maya community. (Photo taken in 2006, Chunchucmil, Yucatan, Mexico).

  • 2020 Research Update: I recently presented about my 2006 research on Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) as part of the Creative Expresssion Series

Archival Studies: Historical Research (2005-present)

I have also conducted extensive historical research on both the Aztecs and Maya.  My interest in both cultures have taken me to a number of highly respected institutions to conduct research, including funded trips to the University of Texas-Austin-Benson Latin American Library, the University of Florida-Florida Museum of Natural History, the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM, National University of Mexico) in Mexico City, the Archivo General de la Nación (AGN, General Archive of the Nation) in Mexico City, and to the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH, National Institute of Anthropology and History) Regional Archive in Telchaquillo/Mayapan, Yucatán.

16th Century Colonial Spanish Manuscript_Mexico City

CAPTION: I am also very interested in colonial Mexican history and its associated writings. I often spend time translating Spanish documents and collecting representative images that show the acculturation of native beliefs into Spanish culture and practice. The above scan is a representation of this theme in that it combines both Aztec traditions and Spanish beliefs. (Scan taken by author in 2005, University of Texas at Austin-Benson Latin American Collection-Special Collections, Austin, Texas)

  • 2019 Research Update: I recently published additional elements of this work in the textbook Introduction to Feminist Thought and Action (Routledge, 2019 – Editors Drs. Menoukha Case and Allison Craig).


STOF THPO Field Photo

CAPTION: In this photo, I was helping to map the possible site of Fort Shackleford, built in 1855 during the Third Seminole War, 2008.

In the Southeastern United States, my research has focused on the Seminole peoples and their ancestral antecedants (e.g. Creeks, Calusa, Apalachee, Choctaw, Tequesta, and Timuca). While in graduate school, I had the opportunity to work closely with the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Dr. Harry Kersey, a leading expert on Seminole and Miccosukee history.  I spent 5 months working as a Public History Intern at the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, located on the Seminole Big Cypress Reservation. While there, I spent 2 months collecting ethnographic data on Seminole history and culture. Additionally, I volunteered on a number of archaeological digs and surveys conducted by the Tribe along the southeastern tip of Florida. Based on my interest in Southeastern Indian history, I also analyzed a number of museum and archaeological field collections excavated from sites across Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and Louisana, including those held at Florida Atlantic University, the Graves Museum/Ft. Lauderdale Historical Society, the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, and at the Seminole Tribe of Florida-Tribal Archaeology Lab. In 2018, I published a few articles about my work with the Seminoles (see CV and homepage.)

Laboratory Research: Artifact Studies

Divided Ceramics

CAPTION: In this photo, I was organizing precolumbian and colonial ceramics by type in order to determine the occupants of this site. (Photo taken by author in 2009, University of Florida-Florida Museum of Natural History-J.C. Dickinson Hall Research Center, Gainesville, Florida)

In 2007-2008, I took a break from academia and went to work for the Seminole Tribe of Florida-Tribal Historic Preservation Office (STOF-THPO), a federal agency overseen by the Seminoles, where I directed over 150 archaeological projects conducted on Seminole reservations and fee lands. While working at the STOF-THPO, I also reviewed archaeological projects for archaeological compliance issues and federal regulatory standards (e.g. NHPA-Section 106, ARPA, NEPA, and NAGPRA). One of my most prized experiences while working for the Tribe was the opportunity I had to participate peripherally in Tribal politics as a representative of the STOF-THPO at the United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc. meetings with the U.S. federal government in Washington, D.C. and Louisiana.

  • 2015 Research Update: I have two book chapters in the volume titled 50 Events That Shaped American Indian History: An Encyclopedia of the American Mosaic one on the Seminole Wars. (See Homepage for details)