By Leydy Rangel Perez
Cal Poly Pomona’s Anthropological Society was established to enhance the education of students in preparation for graduate studies or professional employment.
The student organization provides its members with opportunities for community-level involvement and attendance to state, regional and national professional conferences.
Stephanye Alonso, Anthropological Society president and a fourth-year anthropology student, said she wants the club to be a resource for students and wants them to get the most of their undergraduate experience by knowing they have a safe community to enjoy academic resources.
“Anthropological Society provides a space outside class that allows students to network with other anthropology students, create friendships and even share textbooks,” said Alonso. “We create a sense of community, and that is of great help for students especially at Cal Poly [Pomona], which is a commuter school.”
The organization focuses on attending conferences at which students can interact with alumni, graduate students and other professionals in their field of study.
“It is nice to be in a place, in a room, where a lot of people are doing research in areas of your interest,” said Alonso.
Conferences also open the door for students to receive help and guidance for theses and letters of recommendation.
Past conferences include the American Anthropology Association in Denver, Colorado; the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in St. Louis, Missouri; and the Society for California Archaeology in Redding, California.
In the upcoming conference for the Society for California Archeology, colleagues and members of the Anthropological Society will present a research paper based on an archaeological site in the San Bernardino Mountains.
The society aims to make all excursions free for the students by fundraising throughout the academic year.
Conferences take place during spring break and spring quarter. As of now, the organization is looking into museums to attend.
The organization will also have guest speakers in the following weeks. Due to the need of a new biological anthropology professor, the Department of Geography and Anthropology has three presentation sessions planned at which three candidates to the job will showcase their work.
According to Jennifer Hernandez, a fifth-year anthropology and psychology student and the secretary for the Anthropological Society, the ultimate goal of the organization is to help members get a step closer to their end goal by providing them with the tools necessary and a learning experience.
“Anthropological Society allows students to meet new people and create friendships. It also gives the students the opportunity to network with professors, and it encourages them to get out of their comfort zone,” said Hernandez.
Hernandez believes that the Anthropological Society is exceptional because its membership is composed of unique individuals.
“They are some of the most interesting individuals that I have met, and it always surprises me and makes me happy to see how passionate they are about the field of anthropology,” said Hernandez.
“We seek to educate our members about humans from the past, present and future with an emphasis on cultural context,” said Hernandez.
The Anthropological Society encourages all students to become involved and opens leadership opportunities for those interested.
Amanda Smith, a fourth-year anthropology student and the treasurer for the Anthropological Society, seeks to help students of any major move forward in their careers and to bring a holistic view to those involved.
“We welcome anyone, not just anthropology students, to join. We are very open and want to help anyone we can,” said Smith. “We welcome everyone of every major, and we’d like anyone who is interested to join. Anthropology is about studying humans in every aspect “culturally, biologically, historically, linguistically. We love the experience of having other majors around because it benefits everyone.”
Courtesy of CPP Anthropological Society
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