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Brooke Armstrong '12 holds a Gombey mask as she talks to her advisors, Dr. Adam Kaul and Dr. Carrie Hough, about her research in Bermuda.

  • Careers/internships
  • About the program
  • What students say

Graduates with a degree in anthropology often make their careers in non-governmental organizations and non-profit sectors, in public health, in museums, education, publishing or business. The program has a proven track record of preparing students to succeed in graduate programs in archaeology, museum studies and public health.

Studying anthropology at Augustana prepares students both for careers and for graduate study in anthropology or a related discipline. Many students choose to double-major in anthropology to develop their cultural expertise for professional leadership positions, especially in the increasingly global environment of the modern world.

The field of anthropology is an ideal complement to a major or minor in business, medicine, the natural sciences and many other disciplines.

A sampling of recent graduates:

Sarah Berndt ’15 is studying American material culture in a master's program through the University of Delaware.

Kai Yin (Queenie) Ho ’13 is an analyst at Boys Town National Research.

Clara Franklin '12 is a lead case manager at Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, Chicago.

Allyse Freeman '11 is curator at the Minnesota Discovery Center.

Augustana offers a major and minor in anthropology. With a focus on ethnographic methods, current theoretical models, and the application of anthropological perspectives, the anthropology program offers a diverse number of courses on cultures around the world, with topics ranging from medical anthropology to popular culture, and from globalization to tourism.

The two full-time faculty both hold a Ph.D. and have a wide range of complementary specializations. Their combined fieldwork and research experience ranges from Africa to Europe, Native North America and the American Midwest.

Students undertake a Senior Inquiry project within their major program, working with a faculty mentor. In anthropology, this experience builds on the strong ties promoted between students and faculty in their small class groups, and further develops and demonstrates each student’s specific ethnographic research interests.

Anthropology students at Augustana have conducted original ethnographic research in diverse settings such as Bermuda, Ireland, Israel, west Africa, with Native American communities, and with refugees in the Quad Cities, just to mention a few examples.

Students of anthropology often participate in the student-run Sociology & Anthropology club and the college’s chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta, an international honor society.

Every year, students showcase their original ethnographic research at the Central States Anthropological Society conference, one of the oldest national organizations in the discipline.

Anthropology students are encouraged to combine their ethnographic field study with one of Augustana’s many options in international programs. Along with fall terms in Latin America, Europe or East Asia, the college offers many intensive, long- and short-term opportunities in places ranging from Asia to Ireland — including a wide variety of cultures and environments on our own continent.

Sarah Berndt ’15, anthropology and art history. Now, a graduate student in the the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture, sponsored by the University of Delaware and the Winterthur Museum.
“I’ve had such an amazing experience at Augustana. Resources were made available for me to do things that shaped my interest, and really shaped who I became. I don’t think I could have done it anyplace else, to be honest. You have to put the legwork in, but the opportunities are here. I discovered that material culture is an actual field, not just some idea that people throw around in academic literature. I think more than anything else I want people to know it’s OK to study anthropology and art history. There are viable career tracks that you can pursue.”

Allyse Freeman ’11 history, anthropology, geology. Now,  curator at the Minnesota Discovery Center.
“During my freshmen year at Augustana I needed a fourth class for my winter term. I had never taken an anthropology class but thought the name sounded cool. Little did I know that it would turn into my passion. The holistic approach that this discipline values is an essential skill to have not just at a liberal arts institution but just to become a better and more well-rounded person. I found myself looking forward to the readings and homework and now I am currently getting my master’s in anthropology and museum studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

"Anthropology at Augustana has given me the skills to go digging in Ireland, to obtain an internship at the Milwaukee Public Museum, and the chance to go on another dig in Mexico through my master’s program. The lessons learned in anthropology, such as “What makes us human” or “Why do we do the things we do,” not only help you appreciate other cultures and ways of life but they can be applicable to almost any situation or problem within the real world.”

Clara Franklin '12, anthropology, sociology (social welfare) and Africana studies. Now, a lead case manager at Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, Chicago.
"Augustana has amazing study abroad opportunities and professors that make the experience unforgettable. My term in West Africa allowed me to immerse myself in a culture that I would not have otherwise gotten the opportunity to experience. Also, this term gave me the chance to meet amazing Augustana students who otherwise would have been strangers. My professors, parents and friends helped me get where I am today. They always encouraged me to do things that I thought were beyond my reach and ability... I learned that I do have the ability and confidence to be a leader. While I can be very quiet and do not like public speaking or talking amongst a lot of people, Augustana gave me the skills and resources to find my voice and speak my opinions."

Kai Yin (Queenie) Ho '13, anthropology and biology. Now, an analyst at Boys Town National Research.
"I chose to attend Augustana College because of its emphasis on the liberal arts. I knew that at Augie, I could pursue interests and studies in disciplines besides my major - and I did! I joined the Cantilena Augustana choir and worked at the art museum. When I first started college, I thought I would be in medicine. Now I am pursuing a course of study in biological anthropology at my dream school - St. John's College, University of Cambridge. I couldn't ask for more!"

Queenie Ho won a Davies-Jackson Scholarship in 2013 and used it to earn a master's degree in applied biological anthropology at  St John's College at the University of Cambridge in England.  


Dr. Kaul presents annual Ander Lecture in Immigration History

The O. Fritiof Ander Lecture in Immigration History is presented annually by a prominent scholar in the field of immigration studies. Augustana's Dr. Adam Kaul gives the annual lecture in Immigration History: "Making and Marketing Heritage: Nostalgia, Dissonance, and Sustainability in Bishop Hill, Illinois."

Video: In/visibility and older women sex workers

Dr. Tony Pomales, teaching fellow of the department of anthropology, spoke at the Tea Series about “In/visibility and belonging in Costa Rica: From the vantage point of older women sex workers on the margins of San José Centro.”

Berndt follows heart, finds reward in 'study of things'

Sarah Berndt '15 has always known what she wants to study. She wants to study things, extraordinary things, from antiques to old stone churches. In fact, she wants to make a career out of it, and that's exactly what she's about to do. She has been awarded a fully-funded fellowship with the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture, a highly selective graduate program.
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