Anthropology Alumni Updates
From Ashley Nicole Parks ‘08
After Ashley graduated from Butler's Theater and Anthropology programs, she received her master’s degree in biological anthropology with a concentration in evolutionary neuroscience from Emory University in 2012. She then worked as a Research Scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle where she studied neurodegenerative diseases with a focus on mitochondrial dysfunction in patients with Huntington’s Disease. She is currently a PhD student at Stony Brook University in the Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Anthropological Sciences. Ashley uses phylogenetic comparative methods and comparative neuroanatomy in order to study the evolution of the mammalian brain.
From Lisa Markus ’99
I graduated in 1999 with majors in Anthropology and French. From 1999 to 2007, I worked in residential treatment programs serving children and adolescents with developmental disabilities and mental illness diagnoses. I began as a direct caregiver, then became a case manager and ultimately managed a home in New York for some really amazing people as part of Easter Seals New York. Anthropology was not an expected degree path for the positions I held, but my studies in anthropology taught me it was imperative to understand the kids on their terms. Given the very unique constellations of diagnoses, needs, and experiences of these exceptional people, it seemed each child had developed a culture of his or her own with particular norms and expectations. Our task was to find ways for one's particular way of viewing and interacting with the world to work better with that of the community around them. In 2007, I returned to Butler to coordinate the Honors Program from which I graduated, and indulge in the luxuries of working in an academic setting. Here I am enjoying the challenges of working with a different group of outstanding students. I'm taking classes in natural and social sciences with long-term intentions to pursue graduate studies in public and global health.
From Sarah Napoli-Rangel ’00
After attending Butler University, Sarah spent a year teaching English in Japan. This peaked her interest in travel and she has since traveled or worked in Canada, Guatemala, Australia, Ireland, England, Italy, Hawaii and all over the USA. She returned to school Fall of 2004 to pursue an MA in Social Justice in Intercultural Relations. While taking classes at the School for International Training, she worked for the SIT Youth Campus with youth from all over the world, especially conflict regions. She graduated in 2007 with her MA. After a short stint as a social justice educator at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, she now works as the Director of Service Learning at a small community college, Inver Hills outside of St Paul, MN. She recently got married in 2010 to a local twin cities Hip Hop artist, SEE MORE PERSPECTIVE. Sarah has presented at several regional and National conferences, including NCORE in 2008 with her session on theatre of the oppressed. In her free time she enjoys working with the Civic Engagement Project in Chicago and volunteering in the twin cities. One of her favorite agencies to work with are Paul Newman's camps for seriously ill children and teens, Hole in the Wall camps. Google Barretstown in Ireland!
From Courtney Bilderback ’01
Courtney Bilderback double majored at Butler, graduating in 2001 with degrees in Anthropology (high honors) and Political Science. After working an undergraduate fellowship in Butler's Center for Citizenship and Community from 2001-2002, she pursued and earned an MS (with Merit) in Anthropology and Development from the London School of Economics. Currently, Courtney works in IT Project Management at Supervalu in Minnesota, and is on track to finish her MBA from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota in April 2011. In addition to her work and schooling, Courtney has served on the European Commission in Higher Education, where she wrote, "European Higher Education Internationalization Efforts," an article that was published in 2004 for IIE Networker Magazine. She has also worked for the American Cancer Society. Her future plans include pursuing a doctoral degree. She writes, "where, when and what subject…TBD."
From David Thielemeier ’01
I am sure you are wondering what I have been up to. I will start you off with after the wedding. Toby and I had a great Honeymoon in Tuscany. Right now I am sitting at my desk with a beautiful picture of her sitting on the ledge of our Villa in Tuscany with vineyards and cypress trees in the background. It was a really great experience other than the weather. For some reason May decided to be as cold as an Italian December (according to the locals). As you probably can tell, we had a wonderful time...just really great time...
Then we came back to St. Louis and pounded the pavement looking for new jobs. Both of our jobs had grown stale...Toby's especially. Well after a summer of frustration and doors closing in our face and talks of moving to a different city, Toby finally got great news. She received an offer for a great engineering firm in St. Louis. About two weeks later, I was called in for an interview with an up and coming St. Louis based insurance company. Needless to say, I received an offer too. Both of us started new jobs at the end of October and we are both really happy.
So basically now I work for company called Centene Corporation that manages Medicaid insurance across the county. I deal with claim investigation to see why providers are not being paid. All in all I am really happy with the job and the opportunity. I see a lot of potential with Centene in the future too. Last fall I also started taking pre-rec courses for pursuing an MBA. I am taking Microeconomics this semester and took Accounting last semester at the local Community College...It sure is strange being back in the class room and not having my anthropology buddies around. As far as the MBA goes...I don't know. There is really good tuition reimbursement where I am working so I think that I could go to Wash U and get a MBA from a top 25 program and have most of it paid for...seems like a no brainer, right! Well, I am planning on taking the GMAT sometime in the next three or four months and then I will see what is out there.
From Bonnie Cate ’02
I am a 2002 Butler graduate with a degree in Anthropology. During my undergraduate experience, I was most interested in cultural anthropology and archaeology. My Junior year I had the opportunity to participate in an archaeological dig in Cortez, Colorado, where I spent two weeks excavating ancient Anasazi ruins. I have been working at Butler as the Global and Historical Studies Program Coordinator since 2005, and I am currently finishing up a Master's Degree in Museum Studies through IUPUI. I am doing some volunteer work with the Children's Museum of Indianapolis in the Collections Department, where I am conducting conservation treatments on some of the objects. I have also been working closely with one of the curators to conduct visitor observations to see how various exhibit elements are working out. I have completed two internships in collections (one at the Eiteljorg Museum and another at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis) over the past few years, but have discovered that my interests lie more in museum education. I have always had an interest in other cultures and life ways, and I hope that my career as a museum professional will allow me to create experiences for visitors that will encourage them to think about cultures and ideas that are different from their own. I am currently engaged, and will be getting married in July 2011 after I graduate from my Master's program.
From April Collette ’03
Its been a long time-approximately a year-since I have last Its been a long time-approximately a year-since I have last written to you. And indeed a lot has changed! This past fall, I received my MSc (with merit) from LSE in urbanization and development studies in the department of geography. I was actually glad to end my time in London and would honestly say that I wouldn't recommend my program or my department at LSE to anyone else. Probably the best experience for me there was writing my thesis, "Governing Urban Informality: A Case Study of Street Vending in Sao Paulo " for which I went to Brazil for about 3 weeks to do fieldwork. That was an incredible experience…
I returned to the states in October and got a job at an international economic development consulting firm called International Business Initiatives (IBI) in late November in the Washington DC area. I was really looking for a job in either political or social development, nevertheless, when Its been a long time-approximately a year-since I have last written to you. And indeed a lot has changed! This past fall, I received my MSc (with merit) from LSE in urbanization and development studies in the department of geography. I was actually glad to end my time in London and would honestly say that I and the newly independent states of the former soviet union. I'm learning all the ins and outs of USAID and the World Bank, which is, of course, very interesting;) Also, I'm trying to help IBI break into Latin America , which is what I focused on at LSE. But for now, it looks like I will be traveling to either Ukraine or Romania in the spring. It looks like my perseverance in all those economics classes that I took at Butler and LSE paid off and I would really recommend anthropology students at Butler to take similar econ courses. In fact I would welcome e-mails from any of your students who are interested in getting into the development field or who would like to know more about it.
From Abby Pickens ’03
I have just finished the first year in Indiana University-Bloomington's Ph.D. program in Anthropology. My focuses within social-cultural anthropology are gender, social movements and resistance, and I plan to conduct fieldwork in Poland. I am hoping to pursue a career as a research anthropologist and an anthropology professor at a small liberal-arts college. I am now undertaking summer language classes in Krakow.
From Alicia Viani ’03
I'm living in Eugene Oregon now. I've returned from teaching in Prague and am working at an outdoor high school here for "at risk" youth. It's one of the most difficult jobs I've ever tackled, though I can't remember loving any work I've done more. The kids are all a little hung up on emotional baggage, but they're wonderful people. We spend every other week outside, doing conservation and restoration work in the woods around Oregon, building hiking trail, or teaching ecology.
When I'm in the classroom, I teach an anthropology class every day! It's SUCH a great thing in my life right now! You understand me completely when I say that you look at the students faces and see their minds working in ways that they never have before, and challenging their sense of reality, and it makes you feel so good. I'm doing an introductory class, and we basically have heaps of class discussions rather than accomplish any sort of classroom work, but that's what these guys need now. I could go on and on about things I've heard them say and the racism that drips from their words-they definitely need eye-opening conversation.
So as the job is temporary, I'm looking for work for next year, and am applying for a couple graduate degrees as well, such as the Intercultural Youth and Family Development Program at the University of Montana. I know for certain that I want to be involved in counseling and youth outreach (I love working with high school aged kids) and having the cultural stimulation would keep me happy, too.
From Susie Bremer ’04
My life has come together nicely since graduation. I spent a year as an AmeriCorps Volunteer teaching English as a Second Language to immigrants and refugees in Pittsburgh. I now have invitations to stay all over the world with my former students. I'm currently working for a refugee resettling program in Pittsburgh as an Employment Specialist. I help my clients find jobs and also assist them in acculturation as much as possible. Several of my clients are from Uzbekistan and I'm learning a lot about their culture. We also have some Sudanese, Meskhetian Turks, and Somali Bantu.
My sister, Mary, graduated from Butler this year, and being back on campus caused all sorts of nostalgia for me.
From Cossette Bellegarrigue ’05
Cossette Bellegarrigue graduated from Butler in 2005 with a BA in Anthropology. After graduation, she moved to Montreal, Canada to attend a French language school, and then spent time in Florianopolis, Brazil to learn Portuguese. At that time Cossette received a Fellowship to attend graduate school at University of South Florida. She received a second Fellowship in 2007 to pursue research in the Ecuadoran Amazon and learn Kichwa. Currently Cossette teaches as an Adjunct at State College of Florida in Sarasota, FL, specializing in Introduction to Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology and Intercultural Humanities. Her goal is to find a full time position in teaching. Cossette has traveled to over 30 countries, and uses her experiences to give students first-hand knowledge. Cossette was a non-major dancer at Butler, and has continued her love of dance performing with Sarasota's School of Russian Ballet.
From Maggie (Maxwell) Morales ’06
I am currently working for Zion Township and CREW, Inc. (Community Resources for Education and Wellness) as their Community Development Manager in Zion, IL. I spend most of my time working with a coalition called Partners for an Enriched Community and establishing more social service agencies within Pearce Community Resource Center. I'm finishing up my masters in Social Justice in Intercultural Relations in February! Finally!
From Theresa (Barstow) Couch ’06
I've been working in nonprofit development since I graduated (2006). My first position was a Development Associate, and I worked in all aspects of fundraising, specializing in grants. I grew that position when we had a change in leadership and became the Grants and Donor Relations Manager. In that new role, I grew grant revenue from $800k to over $1.1 million, accounting from approximately 50% of revenue for that organization. I also created new policies and procedures relating to donor relations, data management, gift records, gift acknowledgments, etc. Plus, I was able to supervise interns, which really helped to grow grants.
In 2009, I accepted a Development Director position, which included creating a real vision for the development efforts of a small and young nonprofit. I just moved to Chicago this summer, and am now working with The Posse Foundation as the Development Officer. Posse is a national organization with a Chicago office, and there are two development staff here. We work to cultivate and build diverse revenue sources including individual donors, foundation grants, corporate grants & sponsorships, events and individual giving. We are specifically responsible for raising $2 million.
From Greg Bowers ’07
After Greg graduated from Butler in 2007 with a BA in Anthropology he joined the police force in West Chicago, IL. Greg is engaged to Megan Decker ’07.