Category Archives: ECU Anthropology Alumni Lectures

4th Annual ECU Anthropology Alumni Lectures – Kyle McCandless

Receiving Award

Receiving Award

Audience

Audience

Kyle McCandless

Kyle McCandless

On April 17th, the 4th Annual ECU Alumni Lectures celebrated our fourth speaker – Kyle McCandless! Kyle McCandless is a 2012 graduate who received his masters in Anthropology. Currently, Kyle is an instructor and in a faculty training program at Gilford Technical Community College in Jamestown, NC – near Greensboro. The title of his talk was, “Education and the Real World: Integration and Transitions.”

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.

Kyle’s lecture was very personable, insightful and down-right practical with all of his entertaining words of wisdom. Kyle began his talk by admitting that he was a high-school drop out at the age of 16! He said he wanted to experience the real world so he began working all types of jobs particularly retail and sales jobs. After a few years of the real world, Kyle eventually got his high school degree and enrolled in community college at Gilford Technical Community College. Kyle received his biology degree and later achieved his bachelor’s degree in the fields of Classics and Archaeology. In the meantime, Kyle continued to work in all types of jobs including working at the airport and laboratory work in the medical library.

What was so fascinating about Kyle’s talk was that he STRONGLY emphasized that it was his REAL WORLD job experiences that provided him the real SKILLS to be an instructor today at Gilford Technical Community College. The SKILLS that Kyle learned from his jobs were teamwork, time management, computer knowledge, typing, and communicate effectively.

Along with emphasizing the skills that he has acquired through his life experiences, Kyle had a number of WORDS OF WISDOM or “sayings” that made his talk captivating. Here are a few of them:

“If you are not ahead, you are behind.”
“Build people up from their knowledge base.”
“Pay attention to your interaction with others.”
“Expect to use your universal skill sets.”
“Procrastinating is the dumbest way to be lazy.”
“My attitude determined my outlook.”
“Turn your obstacles into opportunities.”
“Commit to the process.”

Finally, Kyle completed his talk with the following themes: Act on your skills; Ninety-nine (99%) percent of what you will do as a professional will not be related to your discipline; and Use obstacles as opportunities. Kyle’s major themes from his talk and all of his comments were EXACTLY what the students needed to hear. Thus, the title of his talk, “Education and the Real World” Integration and Transitions,” also connected to the major themes of our ECU Anthropology Alumni Lecture series.

4th Annual ECU Anthropology Alumni Lectures – Daryl Armour

The audience

The audience

Daryl receiving Alumni Award

Daryl receiving Alumni Award

Daryl Armour

Daryl Armour

On April 10th, the 4th Annual ECU Alumni Lectures celebrated our third speaker – Daryl Armour! Daryl Armour is a 2012 graduate who received his masters in anthropology and concentration in archaeology. Currently, Daryl is an archeologist, research fellow working for Fort Bragg, NC. The title of his talk was, “My Experiences within Cultural Resource Management.”

As a reminder, the purpose of ECU Anthropology Alumni Lecture series is designed for former ECU anthropology students to share their experise 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.

Daryl’s lecture was well organized, informative and entertaining and truly highlighted the differences between CRM archaeology versus Public Archaeology. In general, Daryl talked about the field of Cultural Resource Management, CRM – The Industry, What you can expect from working in CRM, What you can expect to be paid in CRM, and his advice to students who are interested in the field of CRM.

In particular, Daryl’s advice for soon-to-be graduates was:
1. Network with Co-workers/professionals.
2. Always ask questions.
3. Always think about how to advance your skills and figure out how to bring out your talents to the table.
4. Remember your ethnics.

Finally, Daryl suggested that individuals interested in CRM should get additional training and skill development in G.I.S., Database Management; and Writing Skills. In addition, interested graduates can get information on jobs at various websites, blogs and new podcasts specifically on how to start your own CRM company. It was quite apparent that Daryl had learn alot in just a few years being in the field and that’s why his talk was an excellent opportunity for students to learn about his experience. Just as the title of his talk stated – “My Experiences within CRM.”

4th Annual ECU Anthropology Alumni Lectures – Christine Andresen

Christine Andresen and Dr. Eric Bailey

Christine Andresen and Dr. Eric Bailey


Christine Andresen and the audience

Christine Andresen and the audience

Christine Andresen

Christine Andresen

On April 3rd, the 4th Annual ECU Anthropology Alumni Lectures celebrated our second speaker – Christine Andresen! Christine is a 2007 graduate who received her bachelors in anthropology and a MA in Library science in 2010. Currently, Christine works for ECU’s Laupus library as an Instructional Design Librarian. The title of her talk was, “Anthropologist in the Library: An Unexpected Adventure.”

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 anthrpology graduates with current ECU anthropology majors.

Christine’s lecture was precisely what the students needed to hear because Christine said that she didn’t have a specific plan to follow after graduation – it just happened. In fact, although Christine specialized in cultural anthropology (and took my Medical Anthropolgoy class a few years ago) and had hoped to travel the world using her cultural anthropology expertise, she realized that immediate opportunities with her bachelor’s degree in anthropology did not occur. She therefore had to resort to her back-up plan and take the advice from her grandmother. Her grandmother suggested that she volunteer at ECU’s library. Well, it just so happened that eventually ECU hired Christine as a liaison and instructional design librarian.

Christine’s talk was casual and informal in which she shared many of the pratical, real-life issues that many graduates face. Although her plans did not go as planned initially, she found ways to create new opportunities and skills simply by working hard in the jobs that became available to her. One thing lead to another and now she is the liasion for the Dental School and instructional design librarian. Christine is also enrolled in another graduate program to receive her second Masters. This one will be in Instructional Design Technology. With this second masters degree, Christine indicated that it will make her more of an expert in several areas and marketable because every library needs an expert to teach faculty and students about how to use the latest research data bases for their individual needs.

Ironically, I can attest to Christine’s outstanding expertise because a couple of hours after her talk to students, I was involved in a research database training session for faculty in the Belk building and guess who was the instructor — Christine along with her colleague from ECU library! What a small world and what a great outcome for our outstanding anthropology major who is working for ECU as an Instructional Design Librarian! Indeed, the title of Christine’s talk is fitting to where she is now in her career — “Anthropologist in the Library: An Unexpected Adventure.”

Check out a few photos from her talk!

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.

Mandy Dough – Presents Final Lecture for the 3rd Annual ECU Anthropology Alumni Lecture Series

Mandy Dough presenting Lecture

Mandy Dough and Dr. Eric Bailey

Anthropology Alumni Lecture series audience

On April 4th, Mandy Dough presented her lecture for the 3rd Annual ECU Anthropology Alumni Lecture Series. Currently, Mandy is the UNC Online Proctoring Coordinator for the entire UNC university system. She graduated from the department of Anthropology with a B.A. degree and later acquired a Masters degree in Literature. Her area of speciality in anthropology was Cultural Anthropology.

During her presentation, Mandy recalled the anthropology graduation ceremony in which the department faculty traditionally hands out mugs to all the graduates. She indicated that when she received her mug that’s when the realization of graduating and what would be her next steps in life hit her. After a semseter off and working with various organizations such as Americore, she decided to obtain a graduate degree in literature. After her master’s degree in literature, Mandy eventually landed the job as UNC Online Proctoring Coordinator.

Basically, proctoring is a preventive measure to monitor a student in taking an exam. Yet for online courses, a system needs to be in place and coordinated so that students are properly monitored throughout the online system whether locally, statewide, nationally and globally. Mandy helps students and faculty to learn and set up their proctored exams. She indicated that there is a “proctoring culture” that develops in each place and it’s important to understand how this proctoring culture differs from one place to another.

In addition, Mandy has other interests such as she would love to work for the U.S. Park Service. When asked questions, Mandy emphasized that it is so important for students to plan for paying for your college years, do not take out student loans, and practice building your resume. This is exactly what many of the students wanted to hear.

At the end of her presentation, I presented Mandy the ECU Anthropology Alumni Lecture Award.

2nd Annual ECU Anthropology Alumni Lectures – Remaining Guests

Crystal Bowe and Eric Bailey

Fiona Baxter and Eric Bailey

In the previous post, I highlighted two of our special guest speakers for the 2nd Annual ECU Anthropology Alumni Lecture series during the spring 2011 Professional Development Anthropology course.

Here are the photos of the two remaining special guest speakers: Fiona Baxter and Crystal Bowe. Both of their presentations were outstanding and connected with the entire audience similarly as our other guest speakers — Timothy Shortley and Matt Jorgenson.

We look forward to the next 3rd Annual ECU Anthropology Alumni Lectures series in the Spring 2012!

Professional Development Anthropology – Guest Speakers that Visited Class

Matt Jorgenson and Eric Bailey

Timothy Shortley and Eric Bailey

During the Spring 2011 Professional Development Anthropology class, I had a number of guest speakers visiting our class. Earlier, I have showed pictures of the Graduate Dean and his staff visiting our class. We were estactic that he came to our class and shared his expertise about graduate school to our students.

We also had FOUR special guest speakers who were apart of the 2nd ANNUAL ECU ANTHROPOLOGY ALUMNI LECTURES series. They were: Timothy Shortley, Matt Joregenson, Fiona Baxter and Crystal Bowe. Each presenter were either former undergraduate or graduate students in ECU’s Anthropology department or took several courses from me in the department of Public Health. It was a delight to have them present to our class!!

Included are a few photos of their special lectures to the Professional Development Anthropology class during the Spring 2011 course.

ECU Anthropology Alumni Lectures: Lisa Leone presents to Professional Development Anthropology Class

Dr. Eric Bailey Presenting Award to Lisa Leone

Dr. Eric Bailey Presenting Award to Lisa Leone

Audience featuring students and faculty

Audience featuring students and faculty

On March 31st, 2010, ECU Alumni, Lisa Leone – became the third and final esteemed anthropology alumni for our inaugural season to present her thoughts and humorous comments on what it takes to become a “professional anthropologist.” Lisa is a Senior Autopsy Assistant with the Pitt County Medical Examiner’s Office. She graduated with an Masters from the Anthropology Department in 2006 and specialized in Biological Anthropology.

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.

Lisa Leone’s talk highlighted five major issues:
1. Period of Adjustment to Daily Working Conditions
2. Uses Skeletal Training from Forensic Anthropology course
3. Prepare for Graduate School Early
4. Find the Right job that fits your training and preferences
5. Available Internships

At the end of her lecture, I presented Lisa with the final Award which states:
“To acknowledge your professional achievements and to give appreciation for graduating from our East Carolina University Anthropology Department.”

Throughout her talk and afterwords, Lisa had a number of questions from students wanting to know if her job is similar to how medical examiners are portrayed by the media and television. She emphasized that her job does have its unsual events but mostly it is fairly routine medical examinations. Way to Keep it Real Lisa!

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!