Alumni stories

William Poe: “I graduated with an MA in anthropology from UNL in 1996 as a non-traditional student in my early 40s. The faculty and students were overwhelmingly supportive and I consider my time in Lincoln the highlight of my educational experience. The department directed me in a course of study in the anthropology of art and religion, areas that supported my next step, first as researcher, and then Collection Information Manager at the Smithsonian Institution - National Museum of the American Indian. My career moved into broader information management expertise over the years and I ultimately became a database developer, acquiring skills that, along with my training in cultural anthropology, allowed me to carve a path toward success as a manager in several government agencies. I consider my training in anthropology foundational to what I have achieve in my career and cherish the time I spend in Nebraska.”

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Janet Ahler is a professor emerita from the University of North Dakota who previously lived with a Yu'pik family and has worked with many native tribes.

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Barbara Greene, MPH: “I do want to share with you how much my studies in the Dept. of Anthropology (1972-1975) shaped me and my professional path.  As a young Cultural Anthropology student of Dani Weinberg and Peter Bleed (plus many others), I was driven internally to these studies although the market for anthropologists was not high.  I attended a summer 1974 field experience among Zuni, Hopi, White Apache and other indigenous peoples with faculty Jim Gibson and Liz Grobsmith.  These weeks in Arizona and New Mexico with faculty and indigenous tribal leaders remains a noteworthy experience to this day.

“At the ripe age of 64, I am an independent consultant in cross-cultural medicine and health in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota.  I specialize In end-of-life care and aging with New American populations.  Minnesota has the largest population of Somalis outside of Somalia, as well as large Hmong, Latino and other populations.  With a master's in international public health, I have worked in the field of cross-cultural health and medicine for decades as an educator, conference speaker, and mentor for international public health students and others.

“My roots in anthropology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln were inspiring in the 1970s.  While I am unable to attend the upcoming reunion, I hope you may share this letter with other interested students and faculty.  The Anthropology Dept's inclusion, warmth and scholarship impressed me years ago.  While Lincoln is tucked away in the Midwest as an important new resettlement community, my studies there have influenced my international travels and work in many countries and with many new American populations.”