Anthropology Department Recognizes Graduating Seniors

This past Saturday, the Anthropology Department recognized the success of 29 undergraduates that either have completed, or will complete, their degree requirements this spring or summer. The department hosted a reception following commencement, in further recognition of our students’ achievements. As part of the festivities, we asked all of our graduates to provide us with a short description of their interests, successes, and their future plans. We congratulate everyone on their accomplishments, and wish them the best of luck with their future endeavors, wherever anthropology may take them!

Erikka Arno: Erikka is primarily interested in cultural anthropology, and as such participated in numerous study abroad opportunities while at MSU, including to Belize, India, and Ireland. She has been accepted into the AmeriCorps City Year program for the 2019-2020 school year, and then will be applying to graduate school.

Adam Austad: Adam in primarily interested in digital anthropology and studying humans in digital environments. He thanks Dr. Mara Leichtman, Dr. Lucero Radonic, Dr. Andrea Louie, and Dr. Masako Fujita for inspiring him to continue to study interactions within digital environments. He plans on continuing in anthropology and getting his PhD.

Emma Bignall: Emma is interested in biological/physical anthropology, and has spent time while at MSU working with Dr. Masako Fujita in the Biomarker Laboratory for Anthropological Research. She is planning on applying to dual graduate programs in social work and public health.

Jacqueline Boger: Jacqueline initially came to MSU interested in forensic anthropology, but since then has learned that she would rather apply her skills to working with living people.  She is going to continue this as she pursues her teaching certificate for Elementary Special Education in the future.

Emily Davila: Emily is interested in physical anthropology. She participated in the Human Identification and Forensic Study abroad experience, and plans on going into clinical research.

Sabrina DeGroot: Sabrina participated in a variety of activities while at MSU, including presenting research at the Undergraduate Symposium and volunteering in the MSU collections. She will be starting a new job in Colorado after graduation.

Anna Doyle: Anna is interested in Forensic anthropology and volunteered with Dr. Joe Hefner in the Forensic Anthropology Lab. She will be doing an archaeology internship over the summer with the Rocky Mountain Youth Corp, and then working for the Columbus Historical Preservation Society as an Osteology lab assistant. She plans on eventually pursuing her Master’s degree and Doctorate in Forensic Anthropology.

Mike Gates: Mike has been interested in archaeology since his first field season at Morton Village in 2016. He has presented research projects several times while at MSU. He would like to thank Dr. O’Gorman, Dr. Watrall, and Dr. Camp, as well as Jeff and Autumn Painter for assistance and support. He will be pursuing a professional archaeology career.

Valerie Kemp: Valerie Kemp is graduating this spring with a BA in Anthropology and a BS in psychology. During her time at MSU she worked with Dr. Hessling-O’Neil on her collaborative project in Benin, as well as presenting at conferences. This fall she will begin her PhD at the University of Michigan, where she will study the effects of media on children. 

Peter Mercier: Peter was this year’s Anthropology Department Outstanding Graduating Senior.  Peter is graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in anthropology with a focus in ancient Maya bioarchaeology. Peter worked in Dr. Wrobel’s bioarchaeology lab for three years and specialized in the 3D Photogrammetry of human mandibles.  In addition to on-campus research, Peter spent two summers in Belize. Peter would like to thank Dr. Hefner and Dr. Fenton for research as well as moral support, and he would like to extend a very special thank you to Jack Biggs and Dr. Wrobel for working alongside him in the lab, helping with his research, and making him an anthropologist. 

Valeria Montero: Valeria is interested in medical and physical anthropology. She interned at a medical research facility while at MSU, and has accepted a full-time position as a research assistant at the University of Michigan’s Anesthesiology department’s division of pain research. During this time she will explore research interests and work towards applying to schools for a master’s in public health.

Emily O’Brien: Emily’s focus has been on cultures and religion. She currently has an internship at a museum in Traverse City for the summer, but then will be taking a gap year before going to graduate school for museum studies. 

Chloe Wilson: Chloe is interested in cultural anthropology. She has participated in a study abroad as well as presented her research while at MSU. Her future plans include applying to graduate school after a long and glorious gap year, and eventually working with research and documentaries. 

Huabin Zhou: Huabin is interested in sociocultural anthropology, especially on the topic of Chinese Diaspora in North America. He thanks Dr. Andrea Louie, Dr. Mara Leichtman, and many other professors who have been his instructors. He is planning to take a gap year for internship experiences, then applying for an anthropology Master’s program in Canada.