Anthropology Students Present Research in Baltimore

by roanokecollege on April 18, 2012

Dr. Chad Morris and five of his Anthropology students traveled to Baltimore, Maryland to present at the national meeting for the Society for Applied Anthropology. Alex DeLaricheliere (sophomore) presented her paper topic Beyond Forced Volunteerism: Assessing Student Attitudes Toward Service Learning; Amelie Rives, Shapreka Clarke, and Ethan Guebert (all juniors) presented a poster presentation on “Studying Away” at Roanoke College: Toward a Culture of Off-Campus Learning Opportunities; and Ashley Dameron (senior) presented a poster on Exploring the Intersection of Tourism and Religion among the Eastern Cherokee.

The “Studying Away” group looked at how to make studying away more appealing to students by asking students what they thought the advantages and barriers to studying away were. A random sample of the student body was taken based on five categories; 1) Freshman 2) Sophomores and Juniors 3) Seniors 4) Science majors 5) Humanities majors. The results from the sample showed that the advantages most students saw to studying away were cultural reasons, personal growth, academic benefits, and career benefits. Minor barriers students saw were difficult application processes, credit transfers, home sickness, language barriers, safety issues, and lack of desire. Major barriers were financial issues, time constraints, and lack of opportunities. This particular research project was part of Dr. Morris’ Anthropology 380 course and while the students did the actual research they did “work closely with Dr. Morris in preparing for the presentation as well as submitting portions of the research process along the way for his approval” says junior Ethan Guebert.

When asked what the student/faculty research experience was like for him, Dr. Morris stated that it is part of the reason he is here. “Anthropology is learned best by doing, hands on is the best way to get knowledge. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to work one-on-one with students because it allows them to pursue their own interests.”

Dr. Morris has been attending these national meetings for over a decade now and while there are not a lot of anthropologists here at Roanoke, he enjoys getting to go to hear new ideas and bring them back for his classes and research here at Roanoke. When asked what is was like presenting at the conference Ethan Guebert said that “presenting to professionals was stressful…but it was also very rewarding because I had the chance to see how the professional anthropology world works and I got to meet authors of some of my text books.”

Dr. Morris’ message to freshman about research is that there are “so many faculty members willing to do this work but it is important to understand that research will not fall in your lap. Be proactive and search out faculty members about research.” Ethan’s message is that “the opportunities are there if you look for them. The process won’t be easy but it is ultimately rewarding.”

For more information on the Society for Applied Anthropology visit:

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