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May 13, 2010

Clinton becomes first Cowley graduate with degree in anthropology


anthropology graduateRachel Clinton returned to Cowley College 10 years after taking her first class here. She changed her major to anthropology after taking the cultural anthropology course online, which she “enjoyed thoroughly.”  She was able to complete the degree this year by taking the intro to archaeology class, and doing biological/physical anthropology as independent study. As a result, she is the first to graduate from Cowley with an Associate of Arts Degree in Anthropology.

Clinton  is planning to attend Wichita State University in the spring of 2011, with the goal of a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology, with a minor in Environmental Science, focusing on alternative energy sources. Clinton, who is from Winfield, wants to further the research and utilization of alternative energy technology in a way that balances cultural differences and cultural attitudes towards the environment.

“I think this kind of emphasis would have significant opportunities in the developing world, as governments and populations seek solutions to future energy needs,” Social Science Department instructor Chris Mayer said. “She’s really thinking ahead in terms of environmental and cultural issues that go hand in hand with the technology.”

This has been the first year of the anthropology degree at Cowley, which is unique in the region. Only two other community colleges in Kansas offer full associate degrees in anthropology. However, Cowley is the only community college to offer a true 4-field associate’s degree in anthropology, with courses in cultural anthropology, archaeology, biological/physical anthropology and linguistics.

Cowley is also the only place in Kansas for undergraduate study in anthropological linguistics and museum studies. Anthropology at Cowley also emphasizes some fieldwork experience in every course. Clinton plans to participate in this summer’s Kansas State Historical Society’s archaeological field school in Montgomery Country.