Category Archives: Spring 2010 Courses

Director Jim McAtee speaks to Professional Development Anthropology Class

On February 10th, the Director of the Career Center — Mr. Jim McAtee — visited the Professional Development Anthropology class and talked about “Debt and Finances.” Not surprisingly, many students never had the opportunity to get expert advice about their college debt and fianances, so that’s why I invited Mr. McAtee back to this class again from last year. Like last year, Mr. McAtee provided students with practical, real life strategies to address their debt and finances while they are still in school and once they graduate beginning their first jobs.

Initially and understandably, I could tell that my class was alittle hesitant to talk about these issues yet the way Mr. McAtee approached this very difficult topic, it allowed students to really think seriously about their debt and finances and how best to design a lifestyle strategy for it.

Here are the major themes from Director McAtee’s talk:
A. College Loans
1. Take only what you need;
2. Pay any interest you have on loans while in school;
3. Live cheap the first few years out of college;
4. Work for employers who pay your loans (i.e.. Military, Some private companies)

B. Have a Plan
1. Do a budget and stick to it;
2. Invest in yourself (401k, IRA);
3. Break the credit tradition.

C. Understand Net Worth
1. Assests – liabilities – net worth or wealth
2. Most Americans live in negative or slightly above per net worth;
3. Manage your life to always increase net worth while limiting liabilities.

D. How to Increase Net Worth
1. Have more assests than liabilities;
2. Buy things that appreciate in value;
3. Spend as little money on things that decreases in value.

Wow. This was a talk that every student particularly freshmen need to hear. Mr McAtee highlighted a number of practical examples in which students could learn what to do, but more importantly what not to do. That’s probably the most difficult decision that most college students had to deal with.

Later in his talk, Mr. McAtee used the Departments’ video set-up hooked up to the internet. Here he wanted a website which showed not only the student’s potential job category but most importantly what their potential anthropology job actually makes. This was an excellent surprise for students because it placed all of this academic activity in its proper place. By end of their years at ECU, it is about “GETTING A JOB.”

In addition to his talk, Mr. McAtee had students complete a small exercise in which they were to pick how much money they were going to make in their first job. Not surprisedly, students were somewhat shocked to see what Anthropologists really make.

In fact, I was surprised and I have been in the field of Anthropology for more than 20 years. Learn something new every day.

2010 Spring Course: Ethnic Health & Health Disparities: MPH 6008

Greetings Everyone,

It’s another exciting Spring semester in which I get to teach my Ethnic Health and Health Disparities course in the distance education, online approach. This course continues to be one of a kind in the nation simply because ethnic health and health disparities is a tough and sensitive curriculum topic to teach even today. Yet that’s the very reason why I get excited teaching this class as well students are more than ready to talk and investigate all the issues related to today’s ethnic and health disparity issues.

The major objectives that students will receive from this course are:
1. Identify and assess the major health issues associated with specific ethnic and health disparity populations in the United States;
2. Describe ethnic health and health disparity issues; including its unique and important features; and
3. Apply principles and strategies derived from public health and medical anthropology toward planning, implementing and evaluating specific ethnic health and health disparities intervention programs.

In addition to completing this course objectives, students will have the opportunity to complete an applied ethnic health and health disparity project/proposal. You can check out some of the outstanding projects/proposals from an earlier entry of the blog connected to this course.

Overall, this is one of my most exciting, engaging, thought-provoking, and politically-edgy courses that I enjoy dialoguing about with my students. For all those students who complete this course, their perspective and approach to ethnic health and health disparity topics often changes. That’s a good thing!

2010 Spring Course: Medical Anthropology: ANTH 3252

Greetings Everyone,

I am looking forward again to teaching my Medical Anthropology course in Distance Education (DE) mode for the Spring semester primarily because it offers students the flexibilty to take this upper level course as well an opportunity for me to incorporate the latest technology and course content material that address as many of the issues related to medical anthropology. This medical anthropology course is taught in a very applied approach — one in which we discuss and investigate “real life” health and medical issues from a very broad and holistic perspective.

The major objectives that students will receive from this course are:
1. A comprehensive introduction to the subspeciality of medical anthropology;
2. An awareness of cultural health perspective and issues; and
3. Apply principles and strategies derived from medical anthropology toward planning, implementing and evaluating health intervention programs.

In addition to completing the course objectives, students will conduct an applied medical anthropological fieldwork project/proposal. You can check out some of the outstanding projects from previous students earlier in this blog.

In general, I am very glad that I decided to transition this traditional face-to-face Medical Anthropology course to a distance education, online approach. Believe it or not, it allows students to engage in medical anthropology in whole new way!

2010 Spring Course: Professional Development Anthropology 4501

Greetings Everyone,

Just to let you know, my teaching schedule for the Spring Semester includes one of my recently developed courses — Professional Development Anthropology: 4501. I am very excited about this course primarily because it will be only the second time that I teach it and the fact that this course is the first of its kind in the field of anthropology.

This course is an outgrowth of a concern that I have had for a number of years related to students majoring in anthropology and students in general. The fact that students spend their years majoring in a particular field such as anthropology and investing thousands of dollars in their major yet by the end of their major, students are a bit unsure what their major will do for them once they graduate and what type of PRACTICAL skills have they truly acquired after the years in the major. These type of issues motivated me to develop this course.

To reinterate, here are the COURSE OBJECTIVES of this course:
1. Getting students to recognize what type of practical skills they have acquired through their coursework;
2. Recognizing how these practical skills whether specializing in archaeology, cultural anthropology, biological anthropology, or medical anthropology can assist them in obtaining jobs that are not necessarily anthropologically-related;
3. Providing an opportunity for various organizations at ECE (i.e..Career Services) to present information on practical skill building strategies to our anthropology students;
4. Researching and learning about new internship and job opportunities related to their area of interest; and
5. Providing a forum for students to learn from each other about the practical skills that they have acquired through their anthropological training.

So if you are interested in any of these course objectives, check out and enroll into my spring semester course — PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ANTHROPOLOGY 4501. It meets only 1 day a week – Wednesdays 12:00-1:00pm. You can also come by my office: Flanagan 209 if you have additional questions about this practical course for all ECU students.