by Pat Fahey ’18
On a Friday in early February, five OHIO anthropology alumni returned to their alma mater during the College of Arts and Sciences Career and Networking Week to participate in a panel on their experience in college and their careers after graduation. Each has entered fields very diverse from each other, and have utilized their anthropology degrees in very different ways.
As a student in anthropology, it was extremely interesting to see the sundry career opportunities open to those of us with anthropology degrees. When I tell others that I am majoring in anthropology, I often hear the common notion that there aren’t many job opportunities in the field. As the panelists explained, however, an education in anthropology will help in any job. The holistic and cross discipline training that is somewhat unique to anthropology can be applicable to almost any career.
Ashley Taylor graduated in 2011 with a major in History and a minor in Anthropology and Classics. She has since gone on to work in Archaeology, interning for the Indiana Department of Transportation and Cultural Resource Management. CRM is a popular career choice for archaeologists and is important in order to identify and preserve cultural sites that often lay in the way of construction projects. Recently, she began working as an archaeologist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. She highly suggests anyone interested in archaeology take the Archaeological Field School offered during the summer session.
Megan Norris graduated in 2015 with an Anthropology major and World Religions minor. She has spent her time as postgrad working for AmeriCorps helping impoverished communities learn the importance of a healthy diet and manage a community garden. Her job began right here in Athens and has taken her as far as Washington State. She described her work as an “extension of her degree,” and she continues to learn through her AmeriCorps experience each day.
Jen Winner graduated in 2004 with a degree in Anthropology and has become a Medical Examiner Specialist. Her education in biological anthropology, focusing on forensic anthropology, has done a lot to prepare her for her career. She had always been interested in forensics, and it was in her intro to biological anthropology class that she discovered that an education in anthropology could be beneficial in her pursuit of a career in forensics.
Hannah Vaughn graduated in 2015, majoring in Anthropology and Spanish as well as receiving a GIS certificate. She has since started a career in healthcare, where she is a Quality Improvement Analyst doing data analysis at a clinic to improve the performance of healthcare providers and patients’ experiences. Her time at OHIO helped her discover the connection between her love for biological anthropology and her passion for human rights advocacy. She now strives to promote adequate health care to all as a basic human right.
Ellie Koewler graduated in 2015 with a major in Anthropology and a Mathematics minor, as well as a Latin American Studies Certificate. She currently works at Ohio University as an International Education Programs Study Abroad Advisor, where she helps students connect with study abroad programs that fit their needs, where she uses her age and own study abroad experience to connect with the students she helps. She stressed the importance of owning one’s anthropology, for the education leaves students well-informed and equipped with good intentions that are valuable to any employer.
As an anthropology student, I learned from the panelists that — despite the common misconception — there really are careers in anthropology outside of academia. Even if the career has nothing to do specifically with anthropology, the knowledge gained about the human experience can aid in any job.