Monthly Archives: March 2013

4th Annual ECU Anthropology Alumni Lectures – Blake Wiggs

Blake Wiggs and Dr. Eric Bailey

Blake Wiggs and Dr. Eric Bailey

Blake Wiggs and the audience.

Blake Wiggs and the audience.

Blake Wiggs

Blake Wiggs

On March 20th, the 4th Annual ECU Anthropology Alumni Lectures began with our first alumni speaker – Blake Wiggs!
Blake is a 2008 graduate who received his bachelors in anthropology and MAT in teaching (2010). Blake had worked in CRM archaeology and is now teaching in the Craven County Early College Program. The title of his talk was, “Anthropology and Education.”

As a reminder, the purpose of ECU Anthropology Alumni Lecture series is 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 lecture series creates more of a constructive, practical dialogue between recent ECU anthropology graduates with current ECU anthropology majors.

Blake’s lecture was exactly the type of information that I wanted the students to hear particularly for the first lecture. Blake began his lecture with giving the audience a little exercise to find out what they perceive as the type of skills that students develop by majoring in anthropology. Interestingly, these skills that anthropology majors achieve at the end of their undergraduate training are exactly the skills that have been labeled as “21st Century Skills.”

Blake said that “21st Century Skills” are emphasized everywhere nowadays particularly in the field of education. 21st Century Skills are needed desperately by employers in every field yet a vast majority of today’s graduates do not have these necessary global skills. Fortunately for anthropology majors, students have these skills. One of the keys as Blake emphasized, “anthropology students need to be made aware that they have these skills.”

By the end of his talk, the audience could easily see how passionate Blake is about the field of education and his long-term commitment to the fields of anthropology and education. In fact, the disciplines of anthropology and education are a great fit for the 21st century!

Check out a few photos of our outstanding first speaker Blake Wiggs and later this summer, I will post a short-video of his talk. You can also check out a few more photos of the event on my professional Facebook page.

Graduate School visits Professional Development Anthropology Class

Professional Development Class

Professional Development Class

Director Ashley, Dean Gemperline and Dr. Bailey

Director Ashley, Dean Gemperline and Dr. Bailey

Dean Gemperline and Director Ashley

Dean Gemperline and Director Ashley

On February 27th, my Professional Development Anthropology class was very fortunate to receive a visit from the Graduate School. Dean Paul Gemperline and Director of Graduate Admissions Robin Ashley gave a thorough overview of the steps, procedures and major issues related to applying and going to graduate school particularly ECU’s graduate programs. It’s not often a class gets treated with a visit from our top administrators at ECU so we were very appreciative of their time and expertise.

Specifically, Dean Gemperline shared national data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to show how on average, salary levels are significantly higher and unemployment lower for individuals who achieve a graduate degree. He said that although graduate school is not for everyone, for those who want to excel and become an expert in a particular field of study along with increasing their chances for employment getting a graduate degree is a necessity.

Additionally, Director Ashley provided a detailed presentation to the class on understanding the nature of graduate school and the procedure for applying to graduate school. She highlighted several graduate programs at ECU and described the typical graduate school application. Director Ashely also talked about taking standardized exams, financing graduate school, emphasizing the five-step process of the graduate application and showing the lower cost of ECU’s graduate programs in comparison to other graduate programs.

By the end of their talk and presentation, Dean Gemperline and Director Ashley answered all the major questions from my class and helped to dispel a number of misconceptions and fears related to getting a graduate degree. Check out a few pictures from their visit.