Amy Anderson

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BA 2012, Classics and Archaeology
Herington Prize in Greek, 2012Herington Prize in Latin, 2010
Stacia Byers Wells Award, 2010
Nims Scholarship, 2009
PhD Candidate in Anthropology, University of California at Santa Barbara: Blackwell Lab, Kurin Bioarchaeology and Biochemistry Lab, Broom Center for Demography

I am currently pursuing a PhD in anthropology at the University of California Santa Barbara, with a focus in the skeletal biology of human disease.  My work involves both bioarchaeology and biological anthropology, and at the time of writing (summer 2016) I am a research intern at the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.  My long term goal is to position myself as a skeletal biologist within anthropology.

As an undergraduate I double majored in Classics and Archaeology.  My Classics studies have enriched my life in many ways, but most often I am conscious of the edge they have given me in mastering the jargon-filled language of every specialty area I have since explored.  Many of us will change our minds after college about the career we want to pursue.  In learning Latin and Greek, I mastered English and set the foundation for my entry into any other field.  At the same time as it gave me a code for the langauge surrounding biomedical research, it grounded me in an educational tradition shared by Milton, Marx, and Toni Morrison.

It also gave me opportunities for summer funding and travel experiences that were perhaps the most valuable part of my education.  I studied intensive Greek at the CUNY Latin/Greek Institute and spent three summers in lab and field settings for cemetery excavations in Greece-Crete, the Dodecanese, and East Lokris.  Travel fueled my interest in anthropological questions and challenged me in ways I would never have encountered in the classroom.

In today’s world, a classical education is not a complete education, but no college major is.  My advice to new Classics majors it to learn widely, to seize every opportunity to learn outside the classroom, and not to underestimate the power of the languages our language relies on.  As aware as I am of how my Classics knowledge has enhanced my ability to understand the world around me, I’m certain that I don’t see half the doors it has opened for me.