- Herman Frederic Lieber Award (2007)
Robert Mucci received his B.A. in 1973, and his M.A. in 1982 from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He then earned his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Medicine in 1993.
Mucci was appointed to the Indiana University faculty in 1990, as an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the Northwest regional campus in Gary. Mucci teaches courses in all four fields of anthropology: biological (including primatology), cultural, linguistic, and archaeological.
As anthropology program coordinator, Mucci built the program into what it is today—a thriving four-year curriculum from which students graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology with a concentration in anthropology. When he first began teaching as an adjunct instructor in 1982, there were just two anthropology courses offered and no minors or degrees. Today, students can choose from a catalog of more than 30 courses, and Mucci has personally taught 20 of those.
In the course of his career, Mucci has received numerous teaching awards including three Teaching Excellence Recognition Awards (TERA), three Trustees' Awards for Excellence in Teaching, and IU Northwest's Teacher of the Year Founders Day Teaching Award.
Mucci's rapport with students extends outside the classroom. In his role as advisor to IU Northwest's Anthropology Club, one of the most active and visible clubs on campus, Mucci works with students to sponsor a semiannual book sale and organize colloquia and forums with distinguished scholars and speakers throughout the academic year. The club's annual Darwin Day events are always popular—last year, more than 300 people attended a public debate on intelligent design.