Monthly Archives: March 2010

ECU Anthropology Alumni Lectures: Kelly Simpson presents to Professional Development Class

ECU Anthropology Alumni Lectures

Here is Dr. Simpson having fun lecturing

ECU Anthropology Alumni Lectures

Students and faculty listening to Dr. Simpson's lecture

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
6. Resources

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!

ECU Anthropology Alumni Lectures: Robert Patterson talks to Professional Development Class

Students and Faculty

Students and Faculty

Robert Patterson

Robert Patterson

Dr. Bailey and Robert Patterson

Dr. Bailey and Robert Patterson

On March 3, 2010, ECU Alumni — Robert Patterson — kicked off the brand new ECU Anthropology Alumni Lectures at my Professional Development Anthropology class. Recognizing a need to connect anthropology alumni with current anthropology students, I developed this series so that formers students can show current students some of the steps in which they have become professionals in the real world. With the help from Dr. Holly Mathews who contacted all the ECU anthropology alumni (who live in the area), we arranged for each of them to present their informal talks to our class throughout the month of March. Mr. Robert Patterson kicked off the inaugural event in style and provided the exact type of information about practical skills and professionalism that students needed to hear.

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.

Mr. Robert Patterson’s talk highlighted three major areas.1. His anthropological training and background
2. What is CRM (Cultural Resource Management) or Contract Archaeology
3. Things That Will Help People Get Jobs and Keep Jobs in Anthropology

At the end of his lecture, I presented Robert with an Award which states:
“To acknowledge your professional achievements and to give appreciation for graduating from our East Carolina University Anthropology Department”I believe he was pleasantly surprised.

Afterwords, Robert was asked further questions about his job from students in the class and also revisited with Dr. Ewen and Dr. Daniels.

Overall, I believe this inaugural ECU Anthropology Alumni Lecture was a great start!! Although I started late in getting the information out to students and faculty, I felt that I needed to do something now for past and current anthropology students simply because they often get overlooked with all the various university initiatives. Hopefully, this little lecture series will continue for years to come because it is one way to address a very important issue at ECU — that is RETENTION!! All students, past and present, are our assets and should always be treated with the utmost respect throughout their academic and professional careers. Simply put, without students, faculty and staff would not have our jobs!

I want to thank the ECU Anthropology Department for supporting this new lecture series, Chairperson Dr. Linda Wolfe, Dr. Holly Mathews, Donna Evans (for helping me at the last minute to produce the Award), Lisa Gibbs, my students in the Professional Development Anthropology class, all other students who attended, Drs. Ewen and Daniels and of course Mr. Robert Patterson!