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The American Anthropological Association is thrilled to announce six inaugural Undergraduate Research Fellows. Funded by the Center for Research on College-Workforce Transitions of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, this program supports research projects that use ethnographic or mixed methods to address the question, how do anthropology majors prepare for life after college?
Student Researcher: Maria Kitchin
Illinois State University
Mentor: Gina Hunter
Maria’s project seeks to better understand how anthropology majors think about the relevance of their academic interests to possible future careers. Using narrative analysis of ethnographic interviews, she will investigate how students talk about their major, aspirations, and future plans in order to identify students’ concerns, and their understanding of the relevance of their academic studies to various aspects of their future selves
Student Researcher: Victoria Kvitek
Mentor: Ilana Gershon
Victoria’s project will analyze the frameworks students use to select a major in relation to the following hypothesis: that the logical frameworks of a majority of anthropology students in the US (Indiana University) and in New Zealand (University of Canterbury) will highlight anthropology’s ability to prepare them to expertly negotiate cultural diversity, and thus make them a competitive applicant to a wide variety of workplaces.
Student Researchers: Melody Raynaud, Daniel Mehaffey
St. Mary’s College of Maryland
Mentor: William Roberts
Melody and Daniel will focus their research on answering questions regarding the undergraduate experience of navigating career development. Their study also explores how building a community of practice among students and faculty at St. Mary’s College of Maryland promotes the development of skills and knowledge that develop graduates’ agency.
Student Researcher: Abbie Guard
University of Louisville
Mentor: Angela Storey
In a country where human interaction seems to be increasingly replaced by screens and antisocial behavior, why are young people driven to study anthropology? Abbie will explore this question using ethnographic methods to study the demographics of the majors as a population to see the different backgrounds represented, and to analyze how each major’s identity and background influence their major choice and post-graduation planning and decision-making.
Student Researcher: Emily Ding
Mentor: Brian Howell
Emily’s research examines the way anthropology students at Wheaton College respond to messages about career and vocation that are articulated by the college’s practical and academic career guidance programs. Her project pays special attention to how Wheaton's Christian affiliation and the female and international student demographics of their anthropology department may impact student responses.