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My first teaching experience was one year (a/y 1967-1968) as an instructor at Springfield College in Massachusetts, followed by 48 years at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, California, from which I retired in 2010 (between 2010 and 2016 I was a paid annuitant in anthropology). My main interests in our discipline have been human ecology, comparative law, psychological anthropology, and forensic anthropology.
Field research included work in San Pedro Village, Ambergris Caye, British Honduras (economic/ecological study); Utila, The Bay Islands of Honduras (remittance economics); Grand Cayman Island (emigration); and Cuba (oral history collecting). I also served for 15 years as an unpaid consultant on the Bay Islands for the Cayman Islands National Archive. Post retirement study has been on the Hawaiian Islands of Kauai, Maui, and Oahu (restoration and refurbishment of native plant and animal life), resulting thus far in two conference presentations.
Anthropologist, videographer, and film editor of 52 anthropological and ethnographic films on the traditional music of the Horqin Mongols of eastern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (IMAR), China: SONG OF THE GRASSLANDS: ETHNICITY, IDENTITY, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, CULTURE CHANGE, AND TRADITIONAL MUSIC AMONG THE HORQIN MONGOLS OF EASTERN INNER MONGOLIA, CHINA, viewable at: www.anthrofilm.net/MongolMusic/FIRSTPAGEMM.html
Founding President of the Society for Urban Anthropology (Cincinnati, 1979, by acclamation) and President (1979-1980). (AAA NEWSLETTER 21(2): 4.)
From 1990, Dr Ushijima transferred his field to Central and Western Visayas, Philippines, and organized The Visayas Maritime Anthropological Studies or VMAS at the University of Tsukuba. Japanese scholars worked with Filipino scholars in writing about the maritime culture of the Visayas. This project was implemented fist in 1991-1992(VIMS 1) and continued two more rounds, 1993-1995(VMAS 2) and 1997-1999(VMAS 3). In the eight years of fieldwork, a three-volume report was published from the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.
Dr Ushijima highlighted the social integrative factor of kob-kob, a type of ring net fishery, common in the port town of Bantayan Island in northern Cebu (VMAS 1). His group studied the trade network of byahidor(traders) of biso or clay water jars in the Island of Maripipi(VMAS 2). He extended his interest in network and craftsmanship to his fieldwork in Carigara, Leyte, focusing on blacksmith families, their unique techniques, buy and sell activities, and markets networks(VMas 3).
I have lectured about anthropology at all levels of public and private schools in the area, libraries, senior centers and colleges. I also presented programs about a book written by my Aunt, Ruth Altbeker Cyprys -"A Jump for Life: A Survivor's Journal From Nazi-Occupied Poland" document at Penn Museum of anthropology and archaeology. I volunteered for over 24 years, with 15 years being spent at the archives of the African American Research Library and Cultural Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fl.
For 30 years, I managed my husband's pediatric office where books on many aspects of anthropology and archaeology were available for families to read together. Our two children are Philip Wider-community organizer-health, social and economic human rights & Eve Wider-librarian at the University of Pittsburgh, active member of Amnesty International since high school.
I have used the knowledge gained through scholarships and fellowships that enabled me to achieve a debt free graduate degree. I strive, now, to help this generation and future generations to graduate debt free.