Where Can an Anthropology Degree Take You?
In Autumn 2018, we surveyed the alumni that graduated from our program to learn more about their professional careers and how they use their anthropological training in their jobs. We learned that our alumni work in a wide range of sectors including: military, medical, law, business, government, retail, financial, education, information technology, and a few archaeologists. Of the alumni that responded, only five were unemployed. Our alumni work as teachers, managers, engineers, technicians, researchers, law professionals, retail professionals, financial professionals, graphic designers, and a few of them are in graduate school. The anthropological skills that alumni use in their professional life include: cultural relativism, (ethnographic) research, holistic perspective, global perspective, creative thinking, oral and written communication skills, analytical skills, and critical thinking. Below are a few of the stories of our alumni.
In fall 2015, Gretchen Klingler began her undergraduate studies in Anthropology and Arabic after completing 6 years in the United States Air Force. Gretchen quickly became involved in the Undergraduate Anthropology Club, giving her the opportunity to get to know others in the department. During her second year at Ohio State, Gretchen was named an Undergraduate Anthropology Student of the Year, and was awarded a research grant through OSU’s Global Mobility Project, funding her research with Dr. Jeffrey H. Cohen. Their research aims to learn about the ways Iraqi women negotiate migration, settlement and their status as immigrants and refugees in the US. Gretchen presented at the 2017 Fall Undergraduate Poster Forum, and is preparing to present her research at the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum in 2018. She also plans to discuss her research with Dr. Cohen at the Society for Applied Anthropology’s 2018 annual meeting.
Her experiences have led her to her current position as an American Citizenship instructor in Columbus through Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services and the Iraqi Community Center of Columbus. Gretchen plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Anthropology to become a university professor, and hopes to continue her ethnographic work with peoples from the Middle East, focusing on the midwestern United States. “Anthropology has given me the tools to investigate culture in a way that empowers me to both ask questions about the societies we live in, and critically explore and present the answers we receive in response.” In 2017, Gretchen was also named the first Ohio State University Veteran and Military Student of the Year, and was named a Pat Tillman Foundation Military Scholar. She is the first undergraduate at the Ohio State University to receive this honor.
Devon Reich is a senior undergraduate student in The Ohio State University’s Arts & Sciences Honors Program. A history major with double minors in world politics and cultural anthropology, Devon is interested in applying all these facets of the social sciences to public history. During her time at Ohio State, she has endeavored to explore all the disciplines within anthropology and has sought valuable learning experiences in the cultural, physical and archaeological subfields. In Devon’s first year at OSU, an introductory course to physical anthropology piqued her interest in the discipline. The following summer, she studied abroad in Trim, Ireland and participated in archaeological excavations of the Blackfriary, a 13th century medieval monastery. In addition to doing first-hand fieldwork, she and her fellow students researched the oral history and local folklore of the site. The Blackfriary also hosted community days in which Devon actively engaged with the youth of Trim to foster a personal connection with the site. Devon was able to speak to this experience utilizing history and local culture to educate communities when interviewing for an internship at the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago, where she developed educational programs and assisted with a variety of public programs about Greek history and Greek-American culture. Devon is spending her final year at Ohio State completing courses for her cultural anthropology minor and assisting a PhD candidate on her bioarchaeological research project. She cites her diverse, hands-on experiences in anthropology as having prepared her to begin her career in the museum industry.
My time at OSU was great! I had the opportunity to take classes with great instructors and even participate in field schools that helped hone my skills as an anthropologist. I got to travel to another country and learn about the culture, and in doing so gained insight to how my ancestors lived in that country. I had the opportunity to participate in a research study and publish a paper, and even present at a national conference. I had an internship at The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) as an archaeology intern and worked with the staff archaeologists in Cultural Resource Management (CRM) and field investigations. After graduation I was hired full time at ODOT in the Environmental Policy section to review the environmental documents that the department produces. I still am able to participate in field investigations when needed and I work closely with the cultural resources team daily.
David Hubin grew up on the main campus of The Ohio State University. The son of Don Hubin, Director of the OSU Center for Ethics and Human Values and an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, David had a distinct feeling that he’d end up a Buckeye. He was always intrigued by history, mythology, sociology, and even hard sciences but never quite figured out how to put those pieces together. Because of this, he took a few intro courses at Columbus State and luckily they were taught by some fantastic Ohio State graduate students.
After just a few classes, he transferred to OSU and dove right in. His coursework and the caliber of professors with whom he interacted inspired David throughout his years in the program. He is especially thankful for his time spent at The Field School in Medieval Archaeology and Bioarchaeology at Badia Pozzeveri. David attended the field school in 2011 and subsequently worked his way from Student Coordinator, to Program Coordinator, and now Project Manager for the Institute for Research and Learning in Archaeology and Bioarchaeology (http://www.irlabnp.org/).
After graduating, David moved to Saratoga Springs, NY with his fiancée and is currently working as an Archaeological Crew Chief for Curtin Archaeological Consulting, Inc. (http://www.curtinarch.com). He is currently developing a field school involving a cholera cemetery on the Ohio-Erie canal with IRLAB and plans to put all of his new knowledge to use at a graduate program soon.
Teresa Valencia (B.A., 2015) is now the head curator for the 'Iolani Palace, the only royal palace in the United States, located in Honolulu, Hawaii. Teresa majored in Anthropology, with a minor in Criminology. Read more about this story by following this link.
After completing my Associate of Arts degree from Columbus State Community College in 2010 I started at Ohio State that fall. I began taking classes with Dr. Scott McGraw and recognized right away that I wanted to become a primatologist. I joined the undergraduate anthropology club, which was one of the best decisions I made because I found friends with similar interests who could also commiserate with grad school applications and classes. I also joined the mentorship program and worked with Erin Kane. She was instrumental in helping me apply to graduate school and helping me with my first research presentation from my field school in Kenya. Following graduation with my Bachelor of Arts in anthropology in 2012 I entered graduate school committed to studying locomotion in colobine monkeys. I recognized the discrepancy in the literature with regards to the locomotion of the douc langurs (Pygahtirx spp.) and I subsequently developed two projects to resolve these discrepancies. First, for my masters, I studied the functional morphology of their scapula. Second, for my dissertation, I studied the locomotor behavior of the red-shanked douc langur in Da Nang, Vietnam, which had yet to be exclusively studied in the wild for any of the three species of douc langurs. During graduate school, I have had the opportunity to be instructor of record for two different classes: Introduction to Biological Anthropology and The Primates. I also taught four semesters of the lab component to Introduction to Biological Anthropology. I have an expected graduation of August 2018 and am seeking employment in academia.
While I was at Ohio State, I participated in field projects in Hungary and Oman with Dr. Yerkes and Dr. McCorriston, respectively. In addition to these experiences, I applied for and won several grant competitions at OSU to support my undergraduate thesis research on a Bronze Age site in northeastern Iran at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, where I am now a 5th year doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology. In my time in graduate school I've studied abroad in Russia and Tajikistan, attended several conferences in Iran, and participated in archaeological surveys and excavations in Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Oman, and Mississippi. I was the recipient of the American Institution of Iranian Studies's Dissertation Fellowship to support my graduate thesis research at a museum in Sweden, pursuing a line of inquiry that grew out of my undergraduate thesis work. I'm currently also producing and editing a podcast for the journal American Anthropologist, entitled "Anthropological Airwaves", co-editor of our department's Graduate Student Blog, a translator for the journal "Iranian Archaeology", and a member of the SAA's Student Affairs Committee.