Parkland offers variety of opportunities in anthropology

Photo by EvyJo Compton |Lori Armstrong and Patrick Griffith tend to the Anthropology Day table.

Photo by EvyJo Compton |Lori Armstrong and Patrick Griffith tend to the Anthropology Day table.

EvyJo Compton

Staff Writer

The anthropology program at Parkland held an Anthropology Day on Thursday, Feb. 16, as part of an initiative by the American Anthropological Assoc-iation where on that day students attending hundreds of universities and colleges around the nation raised awareness of the discipline.

The idea behind the event was to get students interested in classes and other anthropology related programs offered at Parkland.

Anthropology is the study of what it means to be human; anthropologists aim to find the reason why humans are the way we are and how we got here. They study fossils, genetics, ancient societies, and social behaviors to understand what makes a human, human.

There are many jobs an anthropology degree can be used for. Anthropologists work in business, marketing, or advertising. Some anthropologists work with the government at museums, in international relations, and at national parks. One can also work in laboratories for research firms.

Isabel Scarborough and Lauren Anaya are both anthropology professors at Parkland College and were both present at the event, there to facilitate educating the public through the use of games and answering questions.

Glenda Wold is a former anthropology student. She took almost all of the anthropology classes at Parkland.

“Anthropology is the study of humans to put it simply,” Wold states. “We study languages, behaviors, bodies, cultures, and many other things. Anthropologists are really only out to find out how and why humans are the way we are today.”

Anthropology is a broad science with four major sub-categories. They are archaeology, physical anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and cultural anthropology, according to Wold.

Patrick Griffith is another student in the field of anthropology. He has taken an anthropology class at Parkland.

“There are different categories,” Griffith says. “Cultural is how it sounds—you study culture. Physical anthropology is where you study bones and evolution. Linguistic is where you study language, and archaeology is whom you see go out on digs. Overall, anthropology is really cool.”

Beginning anthro-pology classes, such as ANT-101, Introduction to Anthropology, teach students about human evolution, according to Griffith.

“In ANT-101, you learn a lot,” Griffith says. “You go in-depth in the study of the evolution of man. You get to go through all of the stages that lead to humans being humans, and it’s just fascinating. I think this class is good for anyone.”

Parkland College’s anthropology classes are hands-on, something that makes them stand out against classes offered at the University of Illinois according to Wold.

“I’ve taken four classes here at Parkland,” Wold says. “We’ve covered pretty much all four categories. I have learned so much here at Parkland, compared to what I would have learned per say at the University of Illinois; it is a lot more hands on…At Parkland you can start going on archaeology digs which is what everyone wants to do”.

After starting at Parkland anthropology, majors usually go on to a four-year school.

“The best thing to do is to transfer to another university and earn your bachelor’s or even master’s in anthropology,” Wold says.

While most students take anthropology classes to cover a non-western credit, some students actually continue to become anthropology majors in four-year institutions. Beginning classes can be taken by any student, regardless of their major.

Juanisha Shelton is another anthropology student at Parkland College. She is in ANT-103, which is Cultural Anthropology.

“I was not an anthropology major,” Shelton states. “I needed to cover a non-western credit. My adviser recommended Anthropology 103 to me. The book you read in class is so interesting. I just fell in love with anthropology. The professors are amazing—they will help you with anything, and explain all so well. I really recommend taking this class. It really opens your eyes.”

The first-level course offered by Parkland College is Anthropology 101, a class that covers all four fields.

Parkland also offers ANT-103, Introduction in Cultural Anthropology; ANT-105, Introduction to Physical Anthropology; ANT-200, Introduction to Archaeology, and ANT-220, the Archaeology Field School. ANT-101 and ANT-103 both cover the non-western requirement. Students can also work on independent projects and honors projects to get hands on experience with local museums, and research institutions.