Our graduates have gone on to have incredible careers spanning various industries including: public agencies at local, state and federal levels; in the business sector; for nonprofits and community-based organizations; and in academia.
To remain in contact with the Anthropology Department, please submit our Alumni Information Form.
A list of past M.A student theses can be found on our Graduate Student page.
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- Isabella S. Bortolussi-MaysBortolussi-MaysIsabella S.Graduate Student at Lincoln Memorial University (B.A. Anthropology)
I received a BA in Anthropology and a minor in Spanish from Texas State in 2018. During my studies at Texas State, I volunteered over 200 hours at the Freeman Ranch working with the Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State (FACTS). While there I was given the opportunity to work with Operation Identification (OpID); my most memorable moment was traveling down to South Texas to help discover, recover, identify, and repatriate migrants who passed away while crossing the border. On this trip, I became aware of the problems within the death investigation system. It was ultimately this experience that pushed me to attend medical school to become a Forensic Pathologist and to one day work towards closing those gaps.
I am currently studying osteopathic medicine at Lincoln Memorial University. My studies in anthropology gave me deep insights into the importance of understanding and relating to different populations while simultaneously appreciating the connections between all human life. Anthropology has given me a unique advantage in the medical world. It has provided me with the skills to further examine a patient’s past medical and social history to make connections that may not be evident to others.
- Dusti BridgesBridgesDustiAnthropology Ph.D. Candidate, Cornell University (B.S. in Anthropology and Physical Geography)
After graduating from Texas State with a BS in Anthropology and Physical Geography in 2016, I moved north to work on my MA in archaeology from Cornell University. There, my thesis project resulted in the creation of a digital archaeology collection of two 17th-18th century Onöndowa'ga:' Hodinöhsö:ni' (Seneca, Six Nations Iroquois) sites—a collaboration between Indigenous community members, archaeologists, and library staff to facilitate access to archaeological heritage. Continuing my work with Onöndowa'ga:' archaeology, I am now a PhD Candidate in the Anthropology Department at Cornell University. My dissertation examines refugees and adopted communities that came to live among the Hodinöhsö:ni' in the 17th and 18th centuries. Through material culture, historical accounts, and oral traditions, I investigate processes that strengthen community ties and encourage resilience in displaced and diasporic populations, and I explore the long-term effects of movement due to violence among relocated communities and those with whom they have taken residence. I also work with the White Springs Project as Co-Director of Analysis, the Seneca Iroquois National Museum as an Archaeology Collections Consultant, and with Cornell’s American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program’s Cornell University and Indigenous Dispossession Project.
My training in anthropology and archaeology at Texas State has led me to projects that center on contemporary communities as well as people of the past. I gained both an anthropological perspective through coursework and projects, as well as archaeological training through the Center for Archaeological Studies (CAS). This education generated and prepared me for my main career goal: to facilitate access and make connections between Indigenous communities and the understudied and underutilized collections that are too often hidden behind locked doors!
- Amber CabadingCabadingAmberSouth Carolina Institute of Archeology and Anthropology, Maritime Research Division (B.A. Anthropology)
After graduating from Texas State with a major in Anthropology and focus in Maritime Archaeology, I enrolled in East Carolina University's (ECU) Graduate Program in Maritime Studies--a degree I am currently pursuing. At ECU, I've had the opportunity to participate in several projects involving remote sensing, underwater archaeological surveys, and public outreach. I have also volunteered for Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge Lab, was a crew chief for ECU's summer field school in the Outer Banks, and worked with the South Carolina Institute of Archeology and Anthropology (SCIAA), Maritime Research Division. Currently, my interest is in the managerial components in protecting maritime cultural heritage and how archaeologists navigate the interests of several different stakeholders while promoting the protection and preservation of underwater cultural resources.
Anthropology has not only helped me understand different cultures and ideologies, but it has also helped me build upon an archaeological methodology that centers on engaging with local communities in every step of an archaeological investigation. From project planning to excavation, conservation, education, and monitoring, inviting people to participate in the archaeological process can help instill a sense of ownership, responsibility, and pride in preserving our shared cultural heritage. My anthropological background has helped me realize that education and maintaining long-lasting relationships with the community are paramount in protecting underwater cultural heritage.
- Allyson CornettCornettAllysonResearch Analyst at Trellis Company (B.A. Anthropology)
I graduated from Texas State with a BA in Anthropology in 2013. I am currently attending the University of North Texas (UNT) Health Science Center and will graduate with a Master of Public Health in Behavioral and Community Health in December, 2021.
My training from Texas State has been invaluable for my career – especially being able to apply anthropological concepts to real-life problems in higher education, public health, and other areas. Much of the work I do in my current role as a Research Analyst at Trellis Company, a non-profit organization that helps underserved students succeed in college, requires cultural sensitivity, critical thinking, and research skills that I honed during my time at Texas State.
As a Research Analyst, I apply my understanding of public health, anthropology, and social science to generate mixed-methods research designs, conduct studies, analyze results, and use findings to advocate for evidence-based solutions. I have worked on dozens of projects examining various issues in higher education, including food insecurity, housing insecurity, homelessness, access and success of college students, impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and other topics.
- Eric GauldinGauldinEricPh.D. Student, Texas State University (M.A. Anthropology)
After graduating from Texas State with my M.A. in cultural anthropology I was hired as a contracted researcher to join the Translational Research Group, a multidisciplinary social science research team housed under Marine Corps University’s Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning (CAOCL) at Quantico, Virginia.
My role at the translational research group was very broadly defined, and included supporting the culture training and education efforts of the university, providing scientific advising for senior military and government leaders, and conducting academically rigorous original field research to support the Marine population. The field methods I learned at Texas State were invaluable when our team was activated to study issues of gender discrimination and harassment in the ranks of the Marine Corps. My anthropology training prepared me to effectively navigate the organizational, political, and moral complexities of working within an academic military institution. After almost 5 years and many different projects and experiences, I am now returning to Texas State University to work toward a PhD in Applied Anthropology. I am very excited to continue my academic journey with Texas State before returning to the world of applied social science in government institutions.
- Monica KeithKeithMonicaPostdoctoral Scholar, University of Washington (B.S. Anthropology, Biology Minor)
After graduating from Texas State in 2012 with a BS in Anthropology and minor in Biology, I went to graduate school at the University of Missouri where I completed my MA and PhD in Anthropology as a Life Sciences Fellow. As a biological anthropologist and data scientist, I research biocultural aspects of human health in globally diverse contexts, and I engage students to think critically about human variation and health disparities through teaching as well. I am currently a postdoc in Anthropology at the University of Washington where I am working with Melanie Martin to model structural and behavioral influences on intergenerational maternal and child health.
Training in anthropology has broadened my perspectives on human diversity and equipped me to approach health research in a community-based manner that is informed by ethnographic context while also integrating frameworks from life history theory and human behavioral ecology that contextualize health across the human life course. I work with three ongoing field studies in Dominica, Bangladesh, and Argentina integrating genetic, health, and socioecological data to research variation in longitudinal health (e.g. cardiometabolic conditions, reproductive outcomes) and child growth. My role as a data scientist in these projects includes designing data collections and statistical models. The internship I had as a Texas State Anthropology student at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute gave me formative training in computer coding, statistical modeling, and wet lab work, and I continue to enjoy a combination of field and lab work as a health researcher.
- Whitney LytleLytleWhitneyDirector of Curation and Education, Boothbay Railway Village in Maine (M.A. Anthropology)
After graduating from Texas State in 2009 with my M.A. in Anthropology, I attended the University of Texas at San Antonio to pursue my Ph.D. While completing my doctoral research focusing on Maya archaeology in Belize, I worked for UTSA’s Center for Archaeological Research as their Educational Outreach Program Coordinator. In 2017, I also began teaching in the anthropology department at Northwest Vista College. Using the field-methods I originally learned at Texas State, I started NVC’s first archaeological field-school. After graduating from UTSA in May 2020, I was ready for a new challenge and a change of scenery. I am now the Director of Curation and Education at the Boothbay Railway Village in Maine. I am responsible for the museum’s collection of historic artifacts, developing new exhibitions, and creating a formalized education program.
Texas State taught me one of the most important lessons in anthropology - that you are not training to be knowledgeable about just one concept, one time period, or one culture. Instead, you are trained how to research, understand, and communicate with diversity in mind. I was inspired by my professors at Texas State who specialized in a variety of research interests within their own careers. The Texas State anthropology department equipped me not only applied skills needed for my current position, but also the flexibility to explore new opportunities!
- Erin MortonMortonErinDirector of Erin Morton Creative, LLC (B.A. Anthropology)
After graduating from Texas State with a major in anthropology and a minor in art design, I initially taught art in Costa Rica. Now, I run my own design business, Erin Morton Creative. I help companies with branding and logos, strategy and messaging, and user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) web design. I'm a creative director and designer, and I manage a team of creative collaborators to meet the needs of my clients.
My anthropology training has helped me tune into and align audience needs with the desires of the organization/business that is trying to meet their needs. Anthropology taught me how to study who these groups are, who they think they are, their likes, dislikes, demographics, their ideas about certain topics, political leanings, moral leanings, their own cultural context, the greater cultural context, and anything else you can think of that might be useful to the piece of work you’re building or the product you’re putting into the world. The designer is just the vessel for one group to get an idea/product/resource out to another group. Anthropology helped me to understand that the reason this practice of marrying the groups’ desires works AT ALL is because design is reflective of its culture. Design reflects its culture’s desires and has the potential to influence it.
- Amy OakesOakesAmyAcademic Advisor, Texas State University (B.A. Anthropology)
After graduating from Texas State with a major in anthropology and a minor in Japanese, I moved to the Republic of Ireland and worked as the US Embassy liaison and programmes assistant, helping students through the visa process to temporarily live, work, and study in the United States. Once I returned to the US, I continued my work with students in higher education as an academic advisor at my alma mater. As an advisor, I have taken on additional projects and roles such as the political science specialist, website coordinator, NSO coordinator, and workshop developer.
My background in anthropology has equipped me with the understanding of different languages, cultures, and ways of thinking to effectively work and coordinate with domestic and international populations. Working in Ireland and Austria, anthropology taught me how to overcome cultural, political, and language barriers; to identify my own cultural biases in my work; and to remain culturally sensitive in roles wherein I represented the US. In academic advising, anthropology has helped me understand the perspectives and needs of my students, specifically diverse and marginalized student populations. Using a combination of skills found in applied cultural anthropology (such as focus group interviews, ethnographic research, and project development), I’ve helped developed and host workshops for other advisors and institutional staff to understand the issues and successes that DACA/undocumented, first generation, and international students have. These experiences have been essential to helping not only myself, but others understand barriers to education and the needs and motivations inherent to students and their success.
- Jain OrrOrrJainLibrarian, McCallum High School
After graduating from Texas State with a BA in Anthropology, I worked at a domestic violence shelter and collected intake data and abuse narratives from clients. Then, I taught English as a second language in Namibia, Africa. When I returned to the United States, I went on to obtain my MS in Information Studies from UT. During graduate school, I taught technical writing to engineers. Today and for the foreseeable future, I am the librarian at McCallum High School, the Fine Arts Academy/magnet school in Austin ISD. I absolutely LOVE my job.
As a school librarian, I wear many hats that connect to my anthropology education: library use, academic research, community-building, development, and all-round advocate for equitable access to information.
Librarianship in the information age has expanded far beyond the realm of just checking out books. I see my work as ensuring that students graduate with basic research skills and the ability to evaluate information. For example, I help students understand research databases, citing sources, and research ethics. I also teach Social Studies Research Methods (my dream class), where students are required to use research to inform projects that improve the lives of their fellow students. In essence, I am teaching applied anthropology.
- Morgan ParkerParkerMorganMedical Assistant, Forth Worth, Texas (B.S. Anthropology and Biology)
I graduated Texas State with a BS in anthropology and a BS in biology in 2018. I then went on to earn an MS in Cell Systems and Anatomy with a concentration in Anatomy from UT Health San Antonio. I am currently working as a Medical Assistant at a clinic in Fort Worth, Texas. I have plans to continue my education and eventually become a Physician Assistant.
My time in the anthropology department at Texas State taught me several invaluable things. Medical anthropology classes gave me insight into how to interact with patients from a variety of backgrounds. I learned that cultural competency is a large part of being able to successfully understand and better help patients. My time in the Anthropology department also introduced me to osteology, and sparked my deep interested in anatomy. I can honestly say anthropology plays a significant role in almost everything I do and how I think about and process the world around me.
- Anna ProvenzanoProvenzanoAnnaDevelopment Associate at Well Aware (B.S. Anthropology and Geography)
Anna graduated from Texas State University in 2017 where she received her Bachelor of Science with Honors in Anthropology and Geography. While at Texas State, she had the incredible opportunity to travel and participate in the semester-long program at Northern Arizona University, Grand Canyon Semester, where she was introduced to many social, political and environmental issues, including water scarcity, surrounding the region. Because of her experience at Grand Canyon, she was compelled to explore the region further when she wrote her undergraduate Texas State Honors College thesis redefining the traditional definition of dispossession as it applies to physical land, and applied it to the dispossession of Native American religious freedom in the face of a proposed Grand Canyon development project. Researching this topic and seeing first-hand the impact of global climate change and how it directly correlates to water scarcity in already water-stressed areas, such as the Southwest United States, is what drove her toward work in the non-profit field, and would not be where she is today without the incredible Anthropology department at Texas State.
Anna is now the Development Associate at the Austin-based non-profit organization, Well Aware, which funds and implements sustainable clean water systems in East Africa. On a daily basis, Anna manages Well Aware's recurring donor program, The Village, works on multiple marketing campaigns and events and maintains the organization's database, among many other things. She is incredibly honored to be working for such an incredible organization.
Anna loved every single anthropology class she took while at Texas State, but she particularly enjoyed Cultural Anthropology and Applied Anthropology, where she gained many practical skills that would later help her pursue her dream job.
- Malka RiellRiellMalkaGraduate Student at University of North Texas (B.A. Anthropology)
After graduating from Texas State University in 2020, I moved to Denton, Texas, where I am currently studying Applied Anthropology and Public Health at the University of North Texas and The University of North Texas Health Science Center. My goal is to work in the public health field addressing healthcare disparities as a medical anthropologist. Specifically, I aim to engage with marginalized communities and healthcare providers to address disparities and improve their healthcare access and quality. While I have not yet formally worked as an applied anthropologist, I have been given all the tools I need to bolster my future career prospects. The research methods of an anthropologist do not just belong in ethnographies of far-away peoples, but in addressing important and current social issues faced by the people all around you.
As an undergraduate at Texas State University, I was exceedingly fortunate to work with multiple faculty members who had a background in medical anthropology and applied anthropology. Because of this, my graduate-level coursework feels like an extension of what I have already learned. My anthropology classes at Texas State have directly and effectively prepared me for graduate school.
- Nathanael StanleyStanleyNathanaelGIS Specialist, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute (B.S. and M.A. Anthropology)
Public health is how I practice anthropology. I graduated with a BS (2012) and MA (2014) in Anthropology from Texas State University and then moved to Tampa to attend the University of South Florida (USF) and pursue a PhD in Public Health – graduating in December 2020. While at USF, I taught courses in spatial epidemiology and led multiple medical service trips to Panama and Nicaragua with the International Health Service Collaborative (IHSC). I was fortunate to be a Geographic Information System (GIS) database manager and UAV drone pilot for USF public health faculty facilitating community-driven approaches to vector-borne disease eradication, specifically malaria and dengue in multiple countries in Africa and South Asia. My dissertation explored the efficacy of state-based infertility health insurance mandates, comparing experiences of people living in states with and without health insurance mandates for infertility services. The project also explored geospatial dimensions of fertility in the United States at the national level. Most recently I joined the Board of Directors for Fertility Within Reach, a national advocacy organization for fertility preservation policy.
I currently work for the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Office of Community Outreach, Engagement, and Equity as the cancer center’s first GIS Specialist. In addition to laying the foundation for geospatial data collection and management for the hospital’s research and outreach programs, I manage the data collection for and strategic alignment of those programs with the hospital's objectives and long-term vision – also termed ‘Community Benefit’. Training I received in anthropology at Texas State taught me to think critically about how I interpret my reality; to investigate a problem from multiple perspectives. Critical issues in public health are never unidimensional, they must be observed as embedded within multiple systems of influence, ranging from one’s family to polices specific to the state in which someone lives. Aligning a hospital’s priorities for research and outreach also requires such attention to sociocultural nuances that affect human behavior in order to facilitate research and outreach that reflects the needs of a community that represents multiple languages, cultures, and health beliefs. Transitioning from anthropology to public health was not such a transition, but rather a refocusing of the use of anthropological concepts to the interpretation of data and creation of health promotion programs and policies.
- Shelly WhiteWhiteShellyProgramme for Belize Archaeological Project (B.A. Anthropology)
I graduated from Texas State in 2017 having spent 3 years working with Operation Identification in addition to a number of cultural and bioarchaeological research projects. After a stint in graduate school at the University of Washington studying infectious disease epidemiology, I became a full-time archaeologist. I have since worked in 8 different states and 2 national forests on projects at the local, state, and federal levels, and I have assisted in various environmental work and wildland firefighting operations. I have done a wide variety of work from the field, the lab, and the research office. I am also a staff member with the Programme for Belize Archaeological Project and have been teaching students and collaborating with researchers from over a dozen different universities and institutions on Maya sites in the Belize jungle for 5 years.
The most important thing I took from my time at Texas State is that even though anthropology is traditionally a 4-field discipline, you don’t actually have to pick just one! In fact, I have benefitted, both personally and professionally, from always keeping a foot in all four. Even working in field archaeology, my background primarily rooted in cultural anthropology helps me out every day. No matter what you specialize in, having a diverse background in all aspects of anthropology can keep you flexible, knowledgeable, and skilled in a way that will let you tackle just about anything. The folks in the Texas State anthropology department provided me with a lot of opportunities to mix and match approaches. Their support of interdisciplinary work prepared me for the opportunities I have had along the way.