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Anthropology Department digs for knowledge

Bone up!
BONE UP ON ANTROPOLOGY: (l-r) Sarah Emery '11, Amy Nagy '11 and Tyler Beatrice '10 (all Undeclared) identify bones on an Introduction to Biological Anthropology quiz.

The Anthropology Department is small - five full-time members with a sixth being added next year - but they cover a lot of ground.

The faculty values an integrated approach to the study of human culture that provides students with knowledge in different fields related to anthropology, including archeology, biology and linguistics.

Faculty members bring expertise from a variety of specialties. Victor de Munck covers psychological and cultural anthropology; Joe Diamond, local and Mid- Hudson archeology; Giselle Hendel- Sebestyen, medical anthropology; Benjamin Junge, political anthropology and Ken Nystrom, biological anthropology. Gayle Turowski provides administrative support.

"The common ground is culture," said de Munck, chair of the department.

Nystrom says this approach requires an interdisciplinary program. de Munck says that the program is looking to become even more interdisciplinary.

Members of the department have already been involved with the development of two new minors at the college - Evolutionary Studies and Environmental Sciences.

The department offers a 36-credit major and an 18-credit minor that provides students with the preparation they need to embark on graduate school and work in such fields as government service, social work and museum science.

de Munck says that the number of alumni pursuing graduate work in anthropology is growing. He attributes that to globalization.

Anthropology alumni also go on to join socially conscious organizations like the Peace Corps and non-governmental organizations or NGOs. de Munck says the skills students learn in such courses as Human Evolution; Race, Ethnicity and Inequality; and Ritual Drama teach them how to interact with people from different types of cultures. He says this skill is needed in today's increasingly global society.

For more information about the Anthropology Department, call x2990.