Message to Anthropology Alumni


Recently we contacted by e-mail all Anthropology alumni for whom the College has e-mail addresses ( see letter ).  Thank you to all who responded.  If you are an Anthropology major who did not receive an e-mail from the department and you would like to send a contribution to our web page, please send your e-mail to .

1980-1989 1990-1999 2000-

Kate Greengrove
Director, Business and Commercial Analysis for Psychiatry
      I graduated in 1983 with a double Major in chemistry and anthropology, I always thought I would combine them in some way in nutrition but I ended up in the pharmaceutical business.  The chemistry got me in the door (if you have a BS in chemistry and live in NJ there is no other option).  The anthropology got really handy however when I started working for P&G's consumer health business doing market research, I went on to get an MBA and spent 10 years as a management consultant.
     Market research (consumer behavior) is still a big part of what I do as a strategic planner, forecaster, etc.  I have global responsibility so being culturally sensitive and aware is handy in dealing with my colleagues around the world, not to mention the marketing aspects.
Tom Harkin
     I am at PAHO in DC.  I am the coordinator for a male involvement in sexual and reproductive health project in the 7 countries of Central America.
     Before coming to DC, I studied public health at Tulane.  I actually spent last summer in the Bolivian Chaco with Michael Painter (I did my anthropology MA at Binghamton) training Guarani community health promoters. Before New Orleans, I was in Philly for two years working for a CBO called Congreso de Latinos Unidos.  I took that job after getting back from a Peace Corps stint in Ecuador.
Lisa (Hovis) Pitell
     I am the Sr. Contracts Manager for a software company in Pittsburgh, PA and have just started law school at Duquesne University.  It's been several years since I visited the campus, but think of Dickinson often.

Douglas Kramon

   I had no idea that cultural anthropology and Native American archaeology would be so inspiring to me when I arrived on campus in 1989. My experiences and opportunities at Dickinson created my future which has been very fulfilling. While I cannot say I've really worked in the field of anthropology after college (I work at ESPN as a Sr. Manager of
Operations in New York City, so sports rule the roost), I have continued to read, research and enjoy the field of anthropology here in the US especially at Taos, NM where I spent some of my junior year at Pot Creek Pueblo (through Southern Methodist University). I love to read about progression of the Kiva research and am an avid collector of Native
American artwork from the Southwest, Northwest Coast and Baffin Island.  I truly believe that the professors who made up the Anthropology Department were inspirational to my development and direction in life.   If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing. I have found the skills I learned studying anthropology and archaeology gave me
the confidence to research, write and present ideas in a compelling way -- one that includes the thoughts of others and always takes a more welcoming approach (even if, when asked what I majored in at college, some co-workers still think archaeology is the science of unearthing dinosaurs. Perhaps we need a Paleontology lab at DSON???). So knowledge and skills learned at Dickinson have worked well in business and in life. And with the people of the world closer to one another year over year, I truly believe my experiences with the anthropology team continue to be a part of my life where I am able to appreciate other cultures, cultural differences and cultural histories whenever I experience them.   So to all the anthropology/archaeology professors, please continue doing what you're doing at DSON. It is a better place because of your work.
Lori (McChesney) Poor
     I graduated in 1988 with a BA in anthropology and sociology. I have been employed by the Federal Government for the past nine years as a Drug Treatment Specialist at a federal prison camp. I work in a residential drug program within the prison.
     I believe that my udergraduate work in anthropology gave me insight and open- mindedness that is essential in working with people. My focus at Dickinson was cultural anthropology and I find as I work with inmates, I often wonder about their socialization experience and that allows me to consider how that can best be utilized within a treatment philosophy.

Jennifer (van Pelt) Sisk
     After graduating with a B.A. in anthropology from Dickinson in 1989, I pursued a Master's degree at West Chester University in Earth Sciences, with the intention of becoming certified to teach as well. When I graduated in 1991, the job market was tight, and I expanded my job search. I ended up working as a medical writer for ECRI, a nonprofit healthcare research organization. How did I get this job? I was given a take-home writing  test, which I passed with flying colors, since all my anthropology classes, as well as other classes, at Dickinson focused on writing skills. I'm still at the same healthcare organization. I moved up from being a medical writer to working as a healthcare consultant. In that  position, I really appreciated the knowledge and skills I gained as an anthropology major. My work consisted of projects involving interviews with medical professionals--I found out I had to view cardiovascular surgeons as a different culture! Writing project reports required an understanding of the individual hospital's environment, gained by doing demographic analysis and other research. I also had the opportunity to work on several international projects, which allowed me to use those anthropological skills! For example, we did a project in Western Australia, and because I had learned to appreciate cultural differences  while studying anthropology at Dickinson, I was better able to handle interviews with Australian natives (of aboriginal descent) and Southeast Asians working in the healthcare system in Western Australia. Now, I'm back to writing, working as a senior analyst of emerging healthcare technologies.
      When I graduated with an anthropology major, I frequently heard the question, "Anthropology. What are you going to do with that?" Well, even though I'm not working directly in anthropology, the perspectives I gained as an anthropology major and the writing skills I developed at Dickinson were invaluable in my graduate studies and career.    A graduate student from Penn, working on her Ph.D. in medical anthropology, recently completed an internship at ECRI. She is currently working  for an organ transplant/donor organization and is helping to develop international standards for organ donation. Previously, she had worked for healthcare technology assessment and healthcare insurance organizations.
     My advice to anthropology majors . . . don't feel like you are limited in your career choices as an anthropology major. The possibilities are endless, since you can apply your skills and knowledge gained as an anthropology major to other academic and professional fields. I'd also like to extend a thanks to Kjell Enge, Wade Seaford, and Ann Hill, who were on the faculty when I was at Dickinson, for teaching such great classes.
1990 - 99

Alison Ainsworth
     After graduating in 1998 with a double major in Anthropology and Spanish, I joined the Peace Corps as a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) teacher in Cape Verde.  Most people don't know where Cape Verde is--it's a small group of islands located off the west coast of Africa.  In Cape Verde, I learned to speak Cape Verdean Creole and Portuguese.  I taught over 200 students in 7th, 8th and 9th grade.  My experience in Cape Verde was indescribable and I continue to reflect on it daily.  I've been back for over a year now and currently work at Peace Corps on the Country Desk for Central America.  Since I studied abroad in Ecuador my junior year at Dickinson, I've always been attracted to Latin America and its culture.
     In the near future, I'm hoping to go back to school for an MPH (Master of Public Health).  I would really like to promote health education (specifically HIV/AIDS awareness) in developing countries.  I still dabble with the idea of returning to study Anthropology because I have such an affinity for it.  There's no doubt that Anthropology has given me the tools to study different cultures and to interpret my impressions.  I'm certain that will be a constant theme in my journeys.
Sue Bergh
        I feel that my anthropology major at Dickinson was a very worthwhile investment of my time and energy.  Too many people have narrow-minded views of the world and either don't realize or don't take into account the variety of personal experiences and backgrounds of individuals around them.  Although I did not follow through specifically within the field of anthropology, the usefulness of my undergraduate major in anthropology is apparent to me every day.  I received my master's degree in visual disabilities and now work as an orientation and mobility (O&M) specialist . . . basically instructing newly blind and visually impaired youth and adults in independent travel.  This includes techniques with the long cane, use of non-visual senses to interpret the environment for indoor and outdoor mobility, street crossings, use of public transportation, travel planning, etc.  The instruction process must be individualized for each specific client, and background, including culture and perceptions of disabilities, gender, and independence, family interaction, religious beliefs, etc. all must be considered in how best to approach the teaching process and how best to encourage individuals to embrace the possibility of taking back personal control after a loss of vision.  It's a delicate balance which I realize not all O&M specialists take into account.  And I believe these same issues affect almost any job in terms of staff, student, and networking relations, from the business world to government to teaching in any situation . . . personal background must be considered for most effective interaction.
Paul Bobeczko
     I think this project is a great idea. Even though I graduated in 1989, I can still remember the tremendous feelings of uncertainty about what I would do with my life after graduation.  This uncertainty was compounded by the fact that my career plans changed dramatically the summer between my junior and senior year.
     Although I did not end up working in the field of anthropology, I continue to rely heavily on the skills I learned while pursuing my anthropology major at Dickinson. After graduation, I earned my MBA from the University of Pittsburgh and went on to work for a small British company outside of Washington, DC.  Two years later, I changed jobs and landed at MCI  Telecommunications.  I have been at MCI ever since and I am now a Director of Finance for the Consumer Markets division.
     Over the past several years, I have always gotten strange looks when I tell people that I was an anthropology major in college. They always ask, "How did you have end up with a career in finance?" My response has always been the same.  I tell them that it is not the specific knowledge I learned but the broad skill set I acquired that has made the difference.  These broad skills are taught to Dickinsonians every day across all subjects.  I did not realize this at the time, but reading requirements, essays, papers, and, most
importantly, class participation are all tools that are designed to prepare students for life after college.
     I am very proud of my anthropology major and look back on my time at Dickinson as some of the best in my life. For what they are worth, my words of wisdom are:  "The most important thing to remember is that your liberal arts education at Dickinson will prepare you extremely well for live in the "real world."  Your ability to think critically, turn your thoughts into words, and then into effective communication are skills that are applicable
in any field."
Eric Brandt
     I work for a non-profit educational consulting firm called The New Teacher Project ( I currently work out of the NYC Board of Education as a training and support coordinator for the NYC Teaching Fellows Program ( The Fellows program selects, trains, and places mid-career professionals looking for a career change as a public school teacher into NYC's underperforming public schools (primarily in the Bronx, Upper Manhattan, and central Brooklyn). NYC Teaching Fellows currently has over 1,200 Fellows teaching in NYC public schools. We hope to recruit and place at least 1,200 new Fellows in 2002.
     In the next few paragraphs, I'll try to illuminate how my Anthro studies at D-son have, again and again, helped to guide my career path and research interests.
     I would say that my anthropology studies at Dickinson had a defining affect on both my career goals and own personal socio-political agenda. At D-son I double majored in Cultural Anthro and German. Kristen Borre served as my mentor and advised me on my senior thesis, a case study of D-son fraternities in which I asserted that they were rape-prone atmospheres. I called upon the research of Peggy Sanday, Susan Brownmiller, and numerous other feminist theorist to inform the theoretical basis for my thesis.
     It is the interest in feminist studies that grew out of my thesis at D-son that provided the theoretical approach to most of my graduate papers in German at the University of Pennsylvania. At Penn, I took a number of classes in comparative literature and feminist theory. I developed a more in depth understanding of how to analyze literature from the feminist perspective, and I considered a career in higher academia. However, I enjoyed teaching undergraduate German and I felt that good teaching was not given proper credit at Penn, and often in the academic world of the humanities as a whole. Scholarship was held in the highest esteem, and I loved to teach and abhorred the tedious research. I determined that I was a true people-person, and that my calling was in the classroom. This decision was further fortified after I led a group of Penn undergrads through a fun-filled summer learning about German culture and language in Freiburg, Germany. Enrolled in a Ph.D. program in Germanic Languages & Literatures, I eventually chose to pursue other interests after my master's degree in 1996.
     After a brief stint as a research assistant in Penn's Graduate Dept. of Population Studies, I took a job as a project specialist at the National Center on Adult Literacy (on Penn's campus and affiliated with the Grad.  School of Ed). At NCAL, I trained adult literacy professionals how to integrate the Internet and computers into their classrooms. I also worked on numerous technology projects in adult literacy. I also became involved
as a literacy tutor in West Philadelphia, and this experience helped to define where I would go from Philly.
     In 1997, I joined Teach for America and was placed as an elementary school teacher in Upper Manhattan (Washington Heights). I worked for 2 years in a K-4 elementary school with 1,400 students. I taught the first year as an ESL teacher. The second year I became a 4th grade classroom teacher with 33(!) students. It is in this job that I experienced first hand the inequities and challenges that exist in NYC's most underresourced schools.  I was living and teaching in the schools and neighborhoods Jonathan Kozol has written about, so I was on the front lines of the fight to help underprivileged children achieve on the same levels as their privileged peers.
     While teaching in NYC, I became certified as a NY State elementary school teacher. I also graduated in '99 with an M.Ed. in elementary education.  Although I considered staying on teaching in NYC, I was desperate to see how the other half was educated. Rather than take a job in tony Westchester County, I decided once again to go abroad to Germany to teach, hoping that I would get the school exposure I was seeking. I ended up teaching 3rd and 4th grade in a German-American school in Berlin. I experienced first hand how educated, active parents are one of the primary keys to student achievement in school. In stark contrast to my NYC experience, nearly all of my students functioned on or well above grade level. This experience helped me to understand how student achievement is so closely related to socio-economic status and privilege in society. I decided that I would  return to the US and find a position in which I could advocate for and affect change in NYC's most underprivileged communities.I first returned to my hometown of Lancaster, PA, and worked for 10 months as an adult educator and professional development specialist for a non-profit educational agency. The most enjoyable part of this job was  teaching evening ESL classes at my high school alma mater. I also led seminars and workshops for adult educators, as well.
     Serendipitously, at the same time I was thinking that I was ready to move back to NYC, I got a call from my friend who works where I am currently employed. She told me that the Fellows program was looking for a coordinator, and I immediately applied. Several months later, I was offered the job, accepted it, and moved to NYC all in a matter of 2 weeks.
     I've been working for the NYC Teaching Fellows program for several months now. I spend my days visiting our Fellows teaching in NYC public schools. I meet with their principals and then observe them teach a lesson and provide them tips and comments. I also spend time developing curriculum for our Pre-Service training sessions.At this time, I am considering enrolling in an Ed.D. program in educational administration or educational policy. I finally feel that I have ample interest and focus to sit down and write about my attitudes and approaches toward--and my criticisms of--our current system of public education. I could see myself in several years in an administrative position with a
non-profit educational institution.
     Dickinson anthro students may feel free to contact me where I live and work in Brooklyn via e-mail ( or telephone (718-935-2468). I would be happy to talk with them about my experiences in the real world.
Alvin Calderon
     I graduated in 1990 and went directly to an MD/PhD program at the University of Illinois,  Urbana-Champaign.  I completed a Ph.D. in Sociology where my research was in race differences in subjectively assessed health and visits to doctors using national survey data collected by the NIH (secondary analysis).  Subsequently, I did an Intern year at Champaign, then transfered to Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, for the completion of the second and third years of an Internal Medicine residency program.  My current plans  include some sort of social or basic science research and a clinical practice hopefully in cardiology.
     Anthropology has been an integral part of my education since the spring of my freshman year.  I have always drawn upon the broad perspectives inherent in anthropological thinking.  Being able to see a big picture and contectualizing problems within a broader view has helped me immensely.  While having a major outside of the life sciences may have left me at a disadvantage when compared to my life-science trained peers on standardized tests, I feel I have a significant advantage in areas such as interpersonal  relationships, working as a leader, and cultural differences encountered in the workplace.  I can handle important topics such as end of life issues, racism in medicine, and medicalization of societal problems easily.
Alex DeVirgilis
     The Cultural Anthropology dicipline has been the most valuable factor in my professional development. 
     Any professional career requires successful interaction in the work environment.  But the “rules" of these environments vary tremendously:  For example, what might be acceptable behavior at a construction site might be totally unacceptable in a group therapy session.  This particular example is blatant and is easy to recognize.  However, in the work force, there are many daily situations which are never this recognizable.  The proficient Cultural Anthropology graduate develops an advantage in understanding differences within the "cultural script." 
     I was very appreciative of my knowledge from C.A. which enabled me to identify the use of HIERARCHY, POWER, PRESTIGE, and other relevant Anthropological concepts in the workplace culture.  Proficiency with these terms greatly improved my success, because I was able to objectify the elements of the workplace culture, and identify the perceptions I needed to create.  This proficiency is extremely critical at work for two reasons: 
1) The work-force culture is usually the most unforgiving arena.  There are many irreversible mistakes one can make. 
2) Two, the "likability" of an individual (not performance) is the largest factor of corporate advancement.  Sad, but true.
     On a lighter note, it really was fascinating for me personally to study other people in distant cultures.   I was amazed to learn how complex some seemingly simple cultures are.  Also, I must confess that I was very amused to learn about distant peoples’ lying, cheating, stealing, and lamenting "the good old days" pretty much in the same way people do here every day.
Thomas Gannon, RPA
     After graduating from Dickinson, I wanted to go to graduate school so that I could pursue a career in archeology.  I didn't want to rush the decision of which graduate school to attend, so I took a year off and worked at various odd jobs.  After talking to many archeologists and attending a field school, I decided that I enjoyed that type of work and wanted to pursue a career in it.  I went to graduate school at the University of Arkansas and worked for various state agencies and private companies in the midwest, getting as much work experience as possible.  I received my M.A. and continued working for a small contract archeology company in Northwest Arkansas for about 2 1/2 years.  (Contract archeology companies are hired by state, federal, and private groups who need to have archeological studies done as required by law.  Any project on federal land, with federal
money or requiring a federal permit has to go through the cultural resources process).  I then went to work for a large engineering firm in Kansas City that also did environmental work, including cultural resources/archeology.  I worked there for about two years, then worked for the USDA Forest Service in Arkansas this past year conducting archeological
surveys following the ice storm damage of 2000.  After many years of working for other people (with the occasional bozo boss), I decided to work  for myself.  I am in the process of organizing my own cultural resources/archeology company to be based in Kansas City.  We plan on seeking contracts in several states in the Midwest.
     So there you have it, the story of how anthropology figures into my life.  I should warn people that a career in archeology is not glamorous or exciting, does not pay much, can oftentimes be very tedious, and to be sucessful involves a lot of hard work (and sometimes hard physical labor).  But if you love travelling, being outdoors, meeting offbeat people, and sometimes finding an exciting site, you might consider it.
Mark W. Hauser
     I am a 1994 grad and hold a PhD in Anthropology from Syracuse University. I currently teach at LeMoyne College.  While teaching is a major component of my career, research  is also central.  I am an archaeologist who works in Jamaica, the USVI and Togo.    Quite
simply I love my job and the choices I made at Dickinson.  Anthropology is a dynamic major that offers considerable potential for employment in the academic and corporate worlds after you graduate.  Many of my collegues work for governmental agencies, NGOs, and  private firms.  Right now we are seeing an upswing in the job market so many are starting jobs before they even finish their PhDs.

Maria Jefferds
     Better late than never, I apologize I'm so late responding to this email but life's been hectic the last few months.  I received my PhD in Medical Anthropology from Michigan State University with a focus in nutritional anthropology.  I've been working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer (EISO) in the Maternal Child Nutriton Branch, Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity.   I work as a member of the international micronutrient deficiency elimination program.  I've been involved in workshops which provide training in research methods, surveillance, and monitoring.  We also conduct national micronutrient surveys all over the world in connection with nutrition interventions, and set up nutritional intervention monitoring/ surveillance systems.  Through EIS I'm learning applied epidemiology.  It's a great way
to expand my research skills, and so far, it's been fantastic and I love my job.
     Despite my assignment in micronutrient malnutrition, as an EIS officer I recently spent three months in Washington DC (October 17-December 22, 2001) as part of the CDC Anthrax Response Team.  Typically EISOs are medical doctors, being an anthropologist in this terrorist/crisis situation was important because I brought a unique perspective.  I was able to point out a potentially significant public health problem, adherence to 60+ days of  antibiotics among the 2500 Brentwood postal workers who were exposed to aerosolized anthrax spores, and develop a plan to address it.  These workers were potentially at risk of developing inhalational anthrax for weeks/months after exposure, and I developed interventions to create a supportive environment to help workers complete their antibiotics.  It involved a lot of qualitative research, long hours (who knew most of the mail is processed at night?), and patience.  Despite the many challenges, this was a rewarding experience.
     Getting a degree in anthropology gives you key life skills: critical analysis, writing, and a holistic perspective.  These things will leave you well prepared for any career.  Don't forget, public health definitely needs more anthropologists!

Stephen Katz
     What a treat to hear from the Anthropology Department. I am thrilled to respond to your request as I believe, while my career may seem on the surface to have little to do with Anthropology, my studies at Dickinson have greatly shaped the way I approach my work. I am a newspaper photojournalist and a photography editor at the Bangor Daily News in Bangor, Maine. I received a Master's Degree in Journalism from Temple University in 1995, three years after I graduated from Dickinson.
     Before moving to Maine I worked for several newspapers in Northern Virginia and taught photojournalism at Northern Virginia Community College. In my classes, during interviews, and in general conversation I often refer to myself as an anthropologist with a camera, or, if I really want to wow them, I refer to myself as a visual ethnographer.
     Over the years, I have been fortunate to win several prestigious national hotojournalism awards and have consistently been ranked among the top ten photographers on the East Coast by the National Press Photographers Association. Last year I placed third. I say this not to brag but to prove a point. My strength as a photographer is shooting photo-essays or stories. I enjoy nothing more than spending several months on a project to capture the essence of my subject or subject matter. I believe the reason I am so successful in this is because I approach these projects as if I were an anthropologist. I never go into an assignment with a preconceived notion. I make it a point to blend in and keep my subjects at ease. I research my subjects in every way possible so as not to be considered simply a picture-taker or a voyeur. And then, above all, I am observant. I try not to miss a detail about my subject and surrounding, and I take exhaustive notes.
      Also, as a photojournalist I have traveled to over twenty-five countries. I find that many of my colleagues become flustered overseas. They have certain expectations and when they are not met, too many journalists either burnout or become jaded. I am very comfortable in other countries. Again, I approach those projects as an anthropologist. I don't expect the people I meet to speak my language. I don't expect them to serve food I would typically eat. I don't become angered when matters aren't resolved in a timeframe I am accustomed to. And in doing this I find that I get excellent access to stories.
     My degree in anthropology taught me to look at everything with my eyes wide open. It taught me the perfect balance between being compassionate and being objective. There is no doubt in my mind that my anthropology degree has made me a successful photo- journalist and a thoughtful person.
     Thank you Professor Hill for giving me the opportunity to sing your department's praises.

Laurie Knop
     I just received your email.  Sorry for the delay, but living in Haiti means that my communication with the outside world is somewhat haphazard.  In anycase I would love to share with everyone what I have been doing since graduating--most of my time has in fact
been spent in Haiti working on development projects.  I will write a longer email in the next few days and forward it to you.

Sam Kolokithas
     In June of 1996, I entered the Peace Corps as a volunteer in Benin, West Africa.  As an environmental extension agent I was assisted in creating tree nurseries, gardens, soil conservation, innovative farming techniques, beekeeping, and many more projects.  My educational bakground also allowed me to teach English as a second language in the local middle school for 1st, 2nd and 3rd year students.
     In September of 1998, I returned to the States after doing extensive travelling in West Africa (Benin, Niger, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Togo, Ghana and Morocco).  While living in Philadelphia, I did business to business sales for MCIWorldcom in southern New Jersey.
     In the summer of 1999, I moved back to southcentral PA where I worked as a child abuse investigator for York County for nearly a year before entering my current profession.
     Since May 0f 2000, I have been with American Express as a finacial advisor assisting clients build and maintain wealth for their retirement, their children's education, a home purchase or whatever their goal may be.  I plan on staying in this profession until I
retire and begin focusing on more charitable enterprises.

Roxane Lovell
     I am excited to report that I use Anthropology everyday in the "real world!"  I think I used it everyday before I had my current position-trying to see an issue through someone else's eyes always help you present your view in a way that is more acceptable to them.
     Right now, I am working as the regional coordinator for Africa for Ipas.  Ipas is a NGO working for women's reproductive health and rights around the world with a focus on safe abortion.  I work with doctors, nurses, midwives, and public health types in Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya.  Each day I have to examine my assumptions and thoughts and imagine how my colleagues will feel about issue in their context.
     I have a Master's in Health Education from the University of Maryland and previously worked for the North Carolina State Health Dept in HIV Prevention.  I used my anthropology background in that position since I was the outsider and meeded to learn the modis operandi for different groups within North Carolina.
     I would be happy to speak with any students interested in international health.  I also have a beautiful baby girl who just turned one and is a blast!

Gabriel Mast
     After graduating from Dickinson I traveled and worked for several years, including time spent as a biking guide for students and adults in Europe and the USA.  I was a program coordinator at The Biking Expedition for a year, in charge of interviewing prospective leaders and students, as well as marketing and advertising.  After that I spent time as a visiting instructor of English language at the University of Quidio in Armenia, Colombia.  After some more traveling, including a two and a half month visit to South Africa, I became a Human Resources Director for a small company in Boulder, Colorado.  I worked as an HR Director for a little over a year until I decided to enter graduate school.  Last year I received my MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) from Brown University.  I am currently teaching high school in Mount Vernon, Washington while my girlfriend finishes her master's degree here. I am looking at potential PhD and EdD programs at Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UWis Madison.  I actually use my Anthropology training all the time--in business, in teaching, and while traveling.  I have to say that it was invaluable in graduate school because I was used to plowing through all those heavy social science articles :). 
Rebecca M. Murphy
     I was a double major in Anthropology and International Studies, and since graduation have found myself using both my majors in everything I've done.
     After one year of working at Plymouth Planation (a living history museum in Massachusetts) and a 2 year stint in the Peace Corps, I am now Assistant Director of Admission/Coordinator of International Admission at La Salle University.  Because I am primarily involved with international students, I find that I fall back on my Anthropology degree on a regular basis.  I travel to recruit students around the world and am required to have a strong understanding of the culture and history of each place our students come from.  I also do a great deal of research into the educational systems of each country to assist in the admission and placement of foreign students.
     I'm also finishing up a Master's degree in Bilingual/Bicultural Studies this semester.  It's a program designed to provide a better understanding of the Urban Latino/Hispanic communities in the US.  The qualitative research class, senior seminar research, and independent study research I did at Dickinson all more than prepared me for the work I'm required to do in this program.  I'm hoping to pursue a second master's in International
Development in the near future, and I'm positive I'll draw on my Dickinson experience for that program as well.

Anne Shannon Thompson
   I was quite surprised when I came across an Anthro major from when I studied at Dickinson and fellow MCI employee during a google search that led me to this page.  I too have had a number of strange questions of how I ended up in telecommunications after being an Anthropology major with a Geology minor in College.  The answer is simple yet two-fold.
   My parents and the staff at Dickinson encouraged me to follow my heart and study what I loved while in College.  This was put to the test many times when I would insist to Kjell Enge that I write a paper relating to my self-developed concentration of Australian Studies, especially when I tried my hardest to link it to his Latin American Studies class (with no luck).  Once out of college I used my general Liberal Arts education and the skills I learned to succeed in "corporate america".
   I am grateful for everything I learned while at Dickinson and for the wonderful memories from that time.

Kimberly Unsworth
     I'm at SIT (School for International Training) as a full time grad student right now working towards my MA in International Education.  I also am also working in the study abroad office here and run the "Access to Asia" program--a sojourn sponsored by a grant . . . bringing academics and International Ed Advisors to visit our "China Study Abroad" program in Kunming.

David Veling
   It has been a few (though not that many) years and a few twists and turns since I left you.  I actually left Anthroplogy behind for a while and pursued a business opportunity in China.  When it became apparent that I was not happy in the business world, I turned my attention back to Anthropology and History.  I began working with a local historical society in Connecticut and, through them, with my old high school.  Educating young people about their local history and their connection to the world was such a wonderful experience that I decided to make it a career.
     Life would add one more wrinkle though, as I ended up at a school for students with language based learning disabilities.  So, here I am teaching World History and Language Arts, and finishing up a Masters in Special Needs Education.
     In the next few years, it looks like I will be designing a one-semester "Introduction to East Asia" course and perhaps, at some point, taking over our senior course in Cultural Anthropology.  I am still looking at further degree programs and am very excited about the prospects and possibilities out there.
     To sum it all up: Do not limit yourselves to the conventional paths!  Look for the unusual opportunity, it might be the chance of a lifetime!

Gloria Westgate-Scaraggi
     Since graduating from Dickinson I have had a variety of jobs in the office supply and furniture industry each one a step up from the other.  I never in a million years thought that selling furniture would turn out to be my vocation when I was in college.  I am currently starting up a government and institutional sales program at Atlantic Corporate Interiors.  As it turns out, my background in anthropology has been extremely helpful in terms of being able to deal with and understand a variety of people.  I deal with all kinds of people from all walks of life.  I have to be able to adapt to a variety of personalities and try to understand where these people are coming from so that I can relate to them in some form or another to create some sort of bond.  Selling really is about being able to develop relationships and trust.  In anthropology I learned about participant-observation studies which provided me with a basic skill set for being able to walk into unfamiliar situations and learning how to adapt and become a part of group.  In selling I become friends with a number of my customers and become a part of the organization almost.  I learned how to read body language and not to just listen with my ears.  There are so many examples that I could go on and on.
     In addition to selling office furniture, I will be finishing my master's degree at Johns Hopkins University this December in Biotechnology with a concentration in Bioinformatics.  Eventually, I would like to work in business development or as a sales consultant in the biotech industry.
     Overall, I would not trade my anthropology major for any other.  I enjoy working with people and I feel that it has given me an edge over the people who were not as fortunate to have chosen this major.  In terms of finding a job after graduation you will have to be a little bit more creative about finding a job and you will have to keep an open mind because it is a competitive job market.  You may have to take a job that you may not particularly like so that you can get your foot in the door at a company or the job may allow you to continue with your education for example if it is at a university.  As an undergraduate, it is important to try to figure out what you like doing through internships or independent studies.  These will provide you an opportunity to network and try out a job to see if you really like it. Do not be afraid to apply for a job that you think you are not qualified for, but really want. Most companies will give you a chance if your enthusiastic and you can demonstrate that you can learn the work. Also, do not be afraid to call or email  the human resources departments at a company or organization that you want to work for.

2000 - 

Lindsay Anderberg

   I graduated from Dickinson with a degree in Anthropology in 2004. I sort of fell into my anthro major as a sophomore because I needed to declare something in order to fill out my study abroad application (I ended up studying in Norwich, England for a year) and at that point I was still doing the whole liberal studies thing a bit too intently and had no idea where to focus. I went with Anthropology because it seemed like a discipline that included a little bit of everything. Anthropology was a great major for me because it requires one to work with ideas from Philosophy, Sociology, and Biology while discussing culture. Depending on the focus (cultural or biological) it can intersect with other disciplines as well--Political Science, Music, Chemistry, Media Studies--just about anything.
   If you are currently an anthro major I highly suggest trying out an internship in an anthro-related institution to get a feel for what it's like to work within the field. Anthropology can be a very academic discipline--working as a professor or in a museum or library--or it can be applied- public health, statistical surveys, or documentary film making. Since it can go in so many directions, it's a good idea to have a sense of what type of work environment you want to enter after graduation. I interned for the Smithsonian Institution in DC for the annual Folklife Festival the summer before my senior year. It was a great way to learn about an aspect of anthropology (visual anthropology/documentary film making) and to be around anthropologists who specialized in various areas and worked for the museum. My internship strengthened my interest in pursuing further studies in anthropology after graduation.
    In the fall of 2004 I entered a masters program at NYU in Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities. A lot of people said that it wasn't a good idea to go straight into grad school after college, especially since I was still a little uncertain as to exactly what job I would be seeking or whether I'd want to continue on to a PhD. In fact, the Dickinson career center was very emphatic that I should not go straight to grad school because of this. However, for me, going straight to grad school after Dickinson was a great thing. My master's program was flexible in that it was a program in interdisciplinary studies, but I also had to build a focus in one area since I needed to complete a thesis at the end. I ended up focusing in Science Studies (the Philosophy/History/Sociology of Science) and Medical Anthropology. During my time in grad school I was employed at NYU's Bobst Library working with special collections for digital library projects. I discovered that I really liked working in the academic environment of a college campus and the library gave me a way to work in that environment without going through an entire PhD program.
    After I graduated with my MA in the spring of 2006, I stayed on at NYU's library for a bit before switching to a similar job at Columbia University's Butler Library. Now that I'm with Columbia and they'll pay for classes, I've decided to go back for my MLS degree (Masters in Library Science). In the future I hope to work in a medical or science library in order to incorporate my scholarly interests of Medical Anthropology and Science Studies into my preferred work environment.
    I guess my conclusion to this rambling synopsis of the past few years is that it is okay to take your time with deciding how your major will evolve into a career. I found that Anthropology was an interesting and useful basis for my further studies despite the fact that early on I had difficulty answering the standard question of "Anthropology? What are you going to do with that?" If you are not that interested in making money, but you are interested in learning and working in a liberal, academic environment, then anthro is probably a good fit for you.

Sarah Dunham
 . . . I decided to take a year off and am now looking at getting an MA in environmental education at Antioch New England Graduate School in Keene, NH, starting next fall.
     I have been doing a lot of archaeology lately--I supervised the lab for the NH State field school again and have been employed by a contract archaeology firm in southern NH.  Right now I am looking for another job because the archaeology season will end as soon as the ground freezes!!
     Even though I have changed the specific direction my career was headed, that does not change my feelings about majoring in anthropology in college.  Interestingly, while I was at Dickinson, I wasn't always that happy with what I was studying as I wanted much more in-depth archaeology classes--but as my focus has shifted and I have gotten further away from Dickinson, I have realized that I got the best possible foundation for what I want to be doing now.  It has given me a very different outlook on life in general in that I feel I gained an objective perspective that helps me evaluate all sorts of situations, from working with other people to reading the news critically.   I would urge students to study what they want to and not to necessarily lock themselves into a specific field--it is a liberal arts education, afterall, and you can specialize in graduate school.  Double major if there are multiple things they are interested in . . .

Emily Goodfellow

   I'm so happy to contribute what I have been up to since graduation. I graduated in 2005 and applied to graduate schools after working on an internship for a year (I really benefited from taking time off before starting graduate school and I would advise others to do the same. It takes the pressure off of applying to school and gives you the opportunity to save a little money before going back to the grind). I am now living in Dallas, TX and starting my last year at the University of North Texas in their Applied Anthropology program. I am completing my studies in medical anthropology with a focus on applied geriatrics. I would highly recommend Applied Anthropology and the
University of North Texas. It's very exciting to be in a program that really prepares you in finding jobs after graduation. Unt's program does not have a thesis requirement. Instead all anthro grad students must participate in a practicum for an outside client. This helps us build our resumes and also very often leads to future jobs. I am working on a study regarding the quality of life of patients with rheumatoid arthritis at the veteran's hospital in Dallas.  We are also all encouraged to attend and participate in professorial society
conferences such as the Aaas which are great for networking!

   Feel free to email me at with any questions about UNT or in
any other area I may be of help.

Kaitron Gordon
     Well, your message did not have to go far to reach me. I am a graduate of  2001. I worked for the YWCA of Carlisle for a little more than a year (07/00 - 08/01 -the summer before, during, and the summer after my senior year) in many capacities including work with economically and educationally disadvantaged children, low-income women, public relations, rape crisis services, and mentally, socially, and behaviorally disabled children. I currently work for Dickinson, as the Coordinator for Alumni Programs. I am responsible for the planning and staffing of all alumni club functions across the country, as well as the College Relations web site(s). I am in the process of researching graduate schools.  Within the next 2-3 years, I hope to receive my Masters of Public Health--focusing on issues that affect women and girls (especially adolescents)--such as teen pregnancy, issues of abuse, eating disorders, peer pressures, etc.  I am hoping to attend school in NYC to take advantage of internship opportunities. In order to supplement my income while in school, I am applying to the Americorp program as well.
      My interest in this topic began my freshman year, when I took Medical Anthropology with Prof. Enge. Originally, I began as a biology major, but eventually, things started getting to small for me (the parts of a part of a cell just didn't interest me!). I had a better than basic understanding of biology, and wanted to understand how that knowledge affected people and communities. I thoroughly enjoyed my classes in med. anthro, ecological anthro, primates, and human evolution. If my original plans do not fall together for some reason, I would like to further explore these topics by working in the education department of a natural history museum or zoo.

Michele Hunt
     I graduated in May 2001 and am currently employed by the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine. I am a research assistant in the vaccine development section for the U.S. Military HIV Program.  I majored in both Biology and Anthropology while at Dickinson and I am fortunate to have the opportunity to apply what I learned from these studies to my current job situation.   While the majority of my work consists of biological applications, a lot of the research that we do here is done in other countries (Africa, South America, and SE Asia).  In particular, I have been working on studies that are based out of Thailand.  My anthropology background has influenced me to question how these trials were set up, how are the people selected, and how will they be influenced by such a study or studies.   Also, the company that I work for has many employees for other cultures.   It is amazing at how many of them share their different foods and traditions with the company.   (For example, we have a holiday party with an island theme and since we have representation from Guam, they want to make hand-made lei's and hold a learning session on how to make them because they think it's awful to use plastic ones!)
     I guess the troubling thought to upcoming graduates is "How am I going to find a job as an anthropology major?" What I've realized is that anthropology encompasses so many areas that it doesn't matter what type of job you get, i.e., business, science, etc.; because it will apply to even the littlest situations as well as your everyday life. Being an anthropology major has made me more open-minded to everything.   Good luck in your search!

Tate Kunkle
     I got your email and since I do know what it is like to graduate as an Anthropology major--which gives you insights into pretty much any career you could ever think about--I would like to help others if I could.  I think the best and worst thing about being an anthro major is that you can do anything.  I am working in Philadelphia at a law firm and if people would like, they can email me at and I would be happy to talk to them about it some of the things I encountered and came across while looking for a job and career.

Jessica Leu
   I graduated in '04 with a double major in Anthropology and French. Having attended a liberal arts college of Dickinson's caliber has definitely helped me to get responses on my resume. I went to NYC after graduation and worked for a few years in the luxury/fashion industry doing PR, Events, etc..

   I am currently an Events Coordinator for the Muscular Dystrophy Assoc. for the DC and Maryland regions. I really enjoyed being an anthro major and honestly feel that it is aplicable to a wide range of post-college professional experiences. Besides aiding in an overall ability to assess a situation and problem solve certain conflicts, I feel it is essential to be able to accurately read your client, sponsor, interviewer or colleague.

   I studied anthropology because I loved it and post college I decided to continue pursuing things that I loved to do.

Laura MacLeod

   I graduated from Dickinson in 2004 with a double major in Anthropology and English. After graduation I attended the Publishing Institute at the University of Denver, which is a month-long graduate seminar all about book publishing. This program gave me the skills, confidence, and contacts to secure a position in book publishing.
    A few months after the Denver program ended, I was hired as Assistant Production Editor for University Press of New England, a small academic publishing consortium located at Dartmouth College and comprised of several colleges and universities in the north east, including UVM, UNH, Tufts, Northeastern, and Wesleyan. At UPNE I gained experience in coordinating the copy editing, proofreading, and indexing stages of the publication process.

   Circumstances brought me (originally a Long Islander) to the midwest in April 2006, where I am Assistant Sponsoring Editor for Indiana University Press in Bloomington. IU Press is also an academic book publisher. As a member of the acquisitions department I help to acquire and sponsor books in subject areas such as religion, philosophy, Middle Eastern studies, South Asian studies, African studies, and anthropology. Every year I travel to several academic conferences. This year I attended the annual Conference on South Asia in Madison, Wisconsin, and later this month I will be attending the annual meetings of the Society of Phenomenological and Existential Philosophy (in Chicago) and the American Anthropological Association (in Washington, D.C.). I am very excited to attend the AAA meeting because I hope to meet some of the anthropologists whose works I read as a Dickinson student.
   I love working in book publishing because I have always enjoyed reading, writing, and editing. It's particularly meaningful for me to work in academic publishing because I get to help create books that students (especially anthropology majors) will read. And working on a university campus is a good way to keep learning after graduation from Dickinson. One of the benefits of working full-time at IU Press is that I can take one class for free every semester. Right now I am taking a graduate class in the IU School of Journalism!
   My anthropology degree from Dickinson helps me on a daily basis at my job. The reading, writing, and research skills I developed at Dickinson have served me well when communicating with coworkers and authors and interpreting and editing the academic language of the manuscripts IU Press turns into books. Having read many of the seminal works in anthropology, I have a good background for working with manuscripts in this subject area, most of which reference works I read as an anthropology student at Dickinson!
   Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions! I love talking with fellow Dickinsonians about their post-college plans.
Erin Mead

   I graduated from Dickinson in 2005 with a BA in Anthropology and Archaeology. Both career paths were very interesting to me, but by the end of my time at Dickinson I was beginning to focus on medical anthropology. After graduation, I spent two years working in human subjects research administration at Johns Hopkins University and decided that my true passion was in public health. I am now in a Master's program at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. My focus is on international health and social and behavioral interventions. My anthropology background is especially relevant to my current field.
The focus of my program and chosen career path is to evaluate people's health in the context of their social and cultural environment in order to develop and implement successful programs to improve their health. The methods and knowledge that I gained in the anthropology program at Dickinson have been very useful for me in this field. My
interest in medical anthropology and public health really took off at Dickinson while I was working with Dr. Enge on the CHORD study and through a medical anthropology class. My suggestion to all current students is to take classes in different areas because you never know what will spark your interest. Also, see if you can get involved with faculty research or projects that seem interesting to you.

Sigalle (Zitomersky) Reiss
   Thank you for the opportunity to share my love of anthropology and the great many ways I use it in my "real world" career.

   I graduated in 2000 and majored in Anthropology. After floating around a little I realized I wanted to study the effects the environment and health have on people, both socially and biologically. Was there a field of employment out there that fulfill this interest? Well I am happy to report there is and I found it. The growing field of Public Health has provided great opportunities to use my Anthropology background everyday.  After getting a Masters from Boston University in Public Health with a concentration in Environmental Health, I am now the Director of the Norwood Health Department in Norwood Massachusetts. The field combines my interests of social structure with environmental issues. The research methods I learned at Dickinson and the experience of studying in Cameroon provided me with the base knowledge to pursue my career in Public Health.
Working at the local level I interact with residents with in the community to protect the health of the whole community. Public Health addresses health on the population scale rather than an individual scale. With out me knowing it at the time, my anthropology training was a clear step to the direction of Public Health.
    Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
Lauren Sheehy
     . . . The question as to how my major has affected me is an easy one, even though I do not work in an anthropological field.  After college I took some time off and traveled in Europe. Overall the thing that attracted me to anthropology as a major was the chance to see other countries and learn about the outside world--which Dickinson encouraged by  allowing me to study in Australia and also in Cameroon.  When I returned in September I moved to Boston to pursue a career, of anything, and to live with my two friends from college. I ended up working in Public Relations for high tech companies and worked there until June. I then decided to move back to Philadelphia and pursue an interest in event planning and fundraising. I now work for Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in Hamilton, NJ as their event coordinator in the Foundation. I love my job, and, although it is not walking through the jungles of Africa or compiling ground-breaking research, I still feel a connection to anthropology. Dickinson's curriculum, their amazing professors, and their wide span of educational topics made me a good writer, a poised public speaker, and a well-rounded employee. Having international experience was also seen as a huge positive in the eyes of employers. Overall, my advice to future majors is not to panic over whether or not they will use everything they learn in their day-to-day lives. Many of them will not become professors or field researches but will take the skills and knowledge that they received in the limestone walls and put it into other professions. So many of my peers worried about what they were going to be when they grow up.  Now, almost two years later, many still ponder the same thought, but many more are also either doing what they dreamed of and loving a job they could have never imagined. Time will change what you love to do.  If anthropology is what you love to learn at Dickinson, do it and worry about all the rest later.

Eric Wiediger,

     I graduated in 2003 with Anthropology and Environmental Studies [majors] with the intent of working on environmental projects in developing countries.  The slum settlements that I witnessed in Cameroon motivated me toward that goal.  So from 2003 to 2005, I was an environmental volunteer working with local communities in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia through Peace Corps.  Anthropology courses that I had at Dickinson definitely helped me prepare for acculturation.  Mongolians have many strong traditions and an interesting history, so in order for me to gain their respect, I had to learn and put everything into practice quickly.  Anthro classes also helped me be more aware of the social structures in my area.

     I am now working for the PA Dept of Environmental Protection as a Waste Management Specialist in Philadelphia.  I am also taking part-time classes toward a Masters of Public Health for Environmental Health.  I plan to use these steps to become more specialized before entering into international environmental work.  International development work is becoming very popular, so I wanted to make sure I definitely had specific skills that I could offer to an employer.

     The Dickinson Anthro Dept provides a unique foundation of critical thinking and holistic consideration.  I have realized that that strength is extremely valuable and rare among our peer group.  Feel free to email me.