If you had asked me at the beginning of my freshman year at Notre Dame whether I planned to pursue a career in anthropology, I almost certainly would not have replied in the affirmative. In fact, my response would likely have been more along the lines of “What exactly is anthropology?” Like many new college students, I had never been properly introduced to the field, and had no real concept of what it was that anthropologists actually did. All I had to go by were a few largely random names that had cropped up in the news or my past schoolwork: Paul Farmer, Franz Boas, Jane Goodall, Indiana Jones (all right, maybe that last one is a little out of place).
The way Andrew Flatley sees it, his liberal arts education and the work he’s done in the hard sciences are surprisingly similar. “They both, from different starting points, move toward the same goal of trying to come up with a solution that can help humanity,” he said. That sentiment was echoed in the work Flatley did this summer. A senior anthropology major, he spent 10 weeks interning at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, studying mice with Down syndrome.
Anthropology major Alexis Palá has spent the past three years studying opportunities for adults with intellectual disabilities in Chile and Spain. Next year, she will continue her research in Chile with support from a Fulbright U.S. Student Award.
Greetings, I hope you are well and enjoying the spring. The 2014-2015 academic year was full of successes, new experiences, and scholarly engagement. It has been an exciting year for faculty and students alike.
The east building of the Campus Crossroads project will provide classrooms, offices, laboratories, and a student lounge for the Departments of Anthropology and Psychology. Construction is expected to start in November and be finished in 33 months. “This new facility is going to allow us to have this social nexus that is also an intellectual nexus,” said Agustin Fuentes, the department chair. “We’re going to get together and think together and use what anthropology has in the context of the Notre Dame environment to go out and change the world.”
The first recipients of the new International Development Fellowship established by the the University of Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies will be graduating seniors Maria Krug, Patrick Salemme and Olivia Schneider, Kellogg Institute Director Paolo Carozza announced in April.
Last summer, Notre Dame senior Marianinna Villavicencio brought the perspective and research skills she gained as an anthropology major to her home country of Guatemala, exploring issues facing the country’s ethnic minority for her senior thesis project. With the help of a grant from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), Villavicencio focused on the governmental policies geared toward indigenous populations in Guatemala and the cultural factors that prevent their upward mobility.
Rwanda is one of the few countries to have met the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals—which include reducing childhood mortality, improving maternal health, and combatting HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases. In her research, Notre Dame senior Catherine Cichon explores how Rwanda’s success may be repeated in other developing countries.
Notre Dame’s Department of Anthropology made a strong showing at the 2013 conference of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) in Chicago. Thirteen faculty members, along with seven undergraduate students, were invited to present at the annual event. This year’s theme was “Future Publics, Current Engagements.”
Curabitur blandit tempus porttitor.