On March 24th, 2010, ECU Alumni — Kelly Simpson — became the second esteemed anthropology alumni to present her thoughts and insightful comments on what it takes to become a “professional anthropologist.” Dr. Simpson received her M.A. from ECU’s anthropology department in 2003 and her faculty advisor was Dr. Holly Mathews. At ECU, Kelly’s master thesis was entitled, “An Examination of the Sociocultural Factors that Impact Coping with HIV in North Carolina.” A few years later, Kelly received her doctorate of public health at the University of South Florida and now employed as an Associate Scientist II, Behavioral and Biomedical Research at Family Health International in the Research Triangle area.
Purpose of the Lecture Series:
Designed for former ECU anthropology students to share their expertise and experiences to current anthropology students who are preparing to graduate or who are anticipating to graduate in the next few years. We hope this new lecture series creates more of a constructive, practical dialogue between recent ECU anthropology graduates with current ECU anthropology majors on more of the issues related to being a professional anthropologist and the challenges of getting employment or furthering one’s anthropology academic career.
Dr. Kelly Simpson’s talk highlighted six major areas:
1. Graduate Education
2. Skills Relevant to Her Work as a Professional Anthropologist
3. Specialized Skills
4. The Right Fit
5. Where the Jobs Are
At the end of her lecture, I presented Kelly with an Award also which states:
“To acknowledge your professional achievements and to give appreciation for graduating from our East Carolina University Anthropology Department”
Kelly looked surprised when I officially presented this award to her in front of the audience.
Afterwords, Kelly had several students ask her additional questions particularly about working at Family Health International. Oh by the way, when Kelly was here at ECU, she was the founder of the Women’s Rugby Team! Way to go Dr. Simpson!