USA Anthropology

Our Students
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Anthropology graduates from the University of South Alabama go on to great things! Check out what some past (and present) students have been working on!

If you are a past USA Anthropology graduate, please contact us to let us know what you have been up to!

Glenn Strickland
In his own words:

"I graduated in 2002 with a BA in Anthropology with the kind of experience that only a department as uniquely focused as the University of South Alabama's can provide. The faculty’s open-door policy and commitment to teaching encouraged my development as a beginning researcher and laid the foundation for professional relationships that have continued into the present. I was able to work with the Center for Archaeological Studies on a number of research projects throughout the Southeast, many which gave me the personal and professional connections which ensured my gainful employment as an archaeologist.

After graduating from South Alabama I attended and received an MA from the University of Mississippi. The practical foundations of archaeology which I learned at South gave me a distinct advantage over other students in my program. I currently work for FEMA on environmental and historic preservation managing and implementing large scale Section 106 compliance agreements between state, tribal and federal agencies. The knowledge and expertise gained from the faculty and staff at South Alabama has directly contributed to my ability to succeed within the working environment of archaeology at FEMA."

Ellen Ferrill
In her own words:

"I entered the University of South Alabama with a desire to study everything I could about anthropology and archaeology.  During my undergraduate career, I took a variety of courses that covered topics from the four sub-disciplines, from Political and Medical Anthropology to New World Archaeology and Native American Cultures.  However, my goals changed, and I began to tailor my studies to help me prepare for a career in museums.  Along with classes, I performed an internship with The Museum of Mobile in order to gain practical experience for graduate school. I researched graduate programs in Museum Studies and applied to five schools in the spring of my senior year.  I was rejected by all five, which was devastating, but stayed focused on my goals by looking into internship opportunities. After a wonderful six months in San Antonio, TX as an intern at Villa Finale National Trust Historical Site and advice from a Museum Studies professor, I revamped my approach, wrote a new statement of purpose, and applied to four more schools. In May 2011, I was accepted by Texas Tech’s Museum Science Program and started my studies in August.  Although it took longer than expected, I am glad to have accomplished this by staying persistent and focusing on what I really wanted for my future."

Trina Anderson
In her own words:

"In May, 2004, I graduated from the University of South Alabama with a double major in history and anthropology. In my undergraduate career, I took a broad range of courses in American, Latin American, and Caribbean history. However, history was not my only focus.  After taking an introductory anthropology class my first year, the discipline interested me, especially its view of cultural relativism. In these classes, I developed an interest in early American history, especially the experiences of women and minorities in the development of this country. At the master’s level, I am continuing my research on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American history focusing on issues of race and gender. I am also in the process of writing my thesis focuses on African American women’s activism and the construction of identity. After completion of my Master’s, I plan to pursue a Ph. D and work in higher education as a history professor.  I am very dedicated to my academic pursuits and find them both rewarding and challenging."

Rachel Young (Class of 2005)
Rachel Young enrolled in the Classics department at Royal Holloway, University of London. She pursued her dream of obtaining a MA degree in Classical Art and Archaeology. Rachel's thesis, which completed in the summer of 2007, is an examination of the use of classical mythology as illustrations of power and authority in art during the Roman and Renaissance periods.

Kristina Polizzi (Class of 2005)
Since leaving USA in the spring of 2005 Kristina attended LSU for graduate work. She studied Anthropology with the goal of working in a museum. She wrote her thesis about American museum exhibits on China and Japan and how we view other cultures.

Alison Hadley (Class of 2003)

Alison attended the University of South Alabama from 1999 to 2003.  Her undergraduate career focused on research in stone tool technology, which was enhanced by a minor in geology.  Alison’s senior honor’s thesis examined a unique lithic collection from the John Forrest Site, in Claiborne County, Mississippi.  She received her BA in anthropology and attended the University of Kentucky, Lexington for graduate work.  A summer of archaeology in Mammoth Cave National Park inspired her to study the cave’s prehistoric past.  Her master’s thesis research mapped the distribution of gypsum mining throughout a two and a half mile passageway.  She completed her thesis in 2007 and began the doctorate program at the University of Kansas.  Alison’s dissertation research is an attempt to understand the technological organization of stone pipes on the prehistoric and protohistoric Plains.  As a teaching assistant for Introduction to Archaeology during the semester, she has the opportunity to introduce students to atlatl throwing and flintknapping.  Her summers are either spent excavating with KU’s Odyssey Program, which looks for the earliest inhabitants on the continent, or teaching in the field or classroom.  She plans to complete her doctorate in 2013 and pursue an academic career teaching and researching archaeology at the college-level.

Jaclyn McDougal
Jaclyn moved to Washington DC a few months after she graduated and took an internship doing biodiversity research at the Smithsonian. After that she worked for a Congressman on the Hill (Bud Cramer- from Huntsville). There she met media consultants who had connections in Atlanta. After three years of DC she moved to Atlanta and worked on her first campaign - Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin. After that she worked on many other campaigns and for the DNC.

"People ask me all the time what do you do with an Anthropology degree. I also get asked how I ended up in Politics with a degree in Anthropology. I think my degree really prepared me for many parts of my career. I deal with a wide range of people and issues, and having the ability to understand and adapt is crucial in this field. I never thought I would be involved with Politics, but having studied Anthropology I have an understanding for people that many do not. It has really helped me out."

Shelly Boyd (Class of 2002)
After receiving her BA in Anthropology from USA, she began working with at-risk teen youth. She presently works as a counselor and teacher at a camp for disadvantaged teen girls in Virginia.

Tara Potts (Class of 2001)
Tara received her MA in Anthropology in 2004 from East Carolina University. She now works for the Center for Archaeological Studies at the University of South Alabama as a research associate.