August 15, 2016
Dear new and returning students,
Welcome to the 2016-2017 academic year! The Anthropology department at GVSU is getting ready for the new semester to start, and a lot of changes are in store.
First, there have been some curricular changes to our major, our minor and our course offerings. Instead of offering a four-field research methods class, for example, we have decided to let our students specialize. You will no longer be able to take ANT 300, Research Methods, but will be able to take classes devoted to biological, ethnographic, linguistic and archaeological methodology, increasing your knowledge in the specific area or areas of your choice. New students coming in under the 2016 catalog year will also find more flexibility in their elective requirements too.
One of our biggest changes this fall involves our brand new certificate program. Anthropology is now offering a Certificate in Applied Anthropology (CAA), designed to help students learn how to use anthropological methods and concepts with future careers in mind. Students undertaking the certificate will choose a departmental advisor, then learn ethnographic research techniques, choose an elective in their area of interest, complete an intensive 6-credit internship, and finish with a semester of applied anthropology, where they’ll learn how anthropology can be used for problem solving in the real world. This certificate program is open to all majors – applied anthropology is relevant to everything from healthcare to hospitality, from business to public policy. You can read all about it here
In addition to new courses and new opportunities, Anthropology is also featuring some new faces this fall. Dr. Kristin Hedges, a medical anthropologist, is joining our faculty. She has done work in Kenya among the Maasai people, and is interested on the impact diseases like HIV/AIDS have in their communities. Dr. Hedges will be teaching Culture and Disease this fall, as well as Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. We will also be joined, this time on a permanent basis, by Barbie Young. Barbie was with us temporarily last year, but has come to the department officially now as our new Office Coordinator, replacing Cindy Zehner, who retired in June. Come by the department and say hi!
Anthropology really takes you places – That sounds like a cliché, but in the case of GVSU Anthropology, it’s really true. Our students studied abroad this past summer in England and New Zealand and our faculty hit five continents, traveling to such far-flung locales as Israel, Norway, Ukraine, Uganda, Dubai, Guyana, and Ecuador. In fact I’m actually writing this letter from Nepal, where I’ve had a chance to visit several pilgrimage sites in the Kathmandu Valley, including Bhairavnath Temple in Bhaktapur.
Here’s hoping to see you soon!
Chair, Anthropology Department
p.s. Don't forget to connect with the Anthropology Club! Check out their Facebook page where you'll find information about club meetings and events (as well as just interesting anthropology-related posts).