header image

Meet Mary Stamato, Anthropology Major

Posted by: tillilied | December 1, 2015 | No Comment |

Why did you choose to attend the College of Charleston?

On a family trip to Charleston I stumbled upon the College of Charleston campus. All it took was one look and I knew this was it. It also doesn’t hurt to mention that I am also a native Marylander who was fleeing the cold!

What made you decide to be an anthropology major?

If you don’t believe in love at first sight I’ll bet you never took an anthropology class. I enrolled in an introductory class for anthropology my freshmen year and fell completely in love with everything about it. I was already a declared English major interested in education, so falling in love with another major was not something I anticipated or took lightly. I finally gave in and declared a second major in anthropology because it gave me the opportunity to understand different cultures, peoples, and myself. I thought developing a new world view might be just what I need to introduce positive change to current education systems.

How does anthropology fit into your life plan?Stamato, Mary_credit Dr. Devet

Anthropology made connections between all of my interests; it filled in the gaps. I knew I wanted to go on to work in the education field, but I wasn’t sure how. Anthropology has provided me with the skill set I need to conduct research that will explore current education systems and policies that address the issue of gaps in American education.

What have you learned from your professors?

A lot of wisdom resides in the anthropology/sociology department. I think one of the greatest things I have learned from my professors these past three years is that anthropology is ubiquitous. It isn’t something you practice strictly in the classroom or in a specific situation – it’s everywhere. That may seem like a very cheesy or obvious lesson to be learned, but it is something I think as students we often forget. Our work is important, our work is everywhere, and when you remember that it’s exhilarating.

What was/is your favorite anthropology class?

Previously, my favorite anthropology course was “Applied Anthropology” with Dr. Qirko. It was a great course that challenged students to look for problems within Charleston and how we could use our anthropological backgrounds to work towards solutions. “Popular Culture” with Dr. Roof however, has quickly moved into the number one slot.

Who is your favorite professor and why?

Well, my apologies to all the broken hearts that may ensue, but Dr. Qirko is my absolute favorite professor! Dr. Qirko, perhaps against his will, was/is my self-declared spirit guide through the anthropology department. He is always willing to answer my questions about the major and how I can become more involved in the department. His classes are always fun and interesting from the subjects we discuss to the many ‘sophisticated’ voices he employs to bring even the dullest materials to life.

Are you working on a Bachelor’s Essay? If so, what are you writing it on?

I am! I am working with Dr. Christine Finnan of the anthropology department on a Bachelor’s Essay that tracks public policy through rural public school systems. I am looking specifically at the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 in terms of variation of implementation techniques and methods across different rural schools. My Bachelor’s Essay is over the course of the year rather than semester, so there is still much to be done, but I am really excited to keep moving forward. Stay tuned for a riveting essay from yours truly this spring!

What are you plans for after graduation?

The question that has truly haunted my senior year! As of now, I am in the process of applying to law school in hopes of studying public policy and administration, and I think I’ll leave it at that!

Do you have advice for students deciding on a major?

Keep an open mind! Anthropology was not on my radar upon entering college. I was dead set on studying English in hopes of one day becoming a professor. I would have never found a major that completely reshaped my approach towards education if I did not allow myself to explore outside of the major or the plan I thought was set in stone for me. Take classes that interest you and never be afraid of deviating from the path you forged for yourself before – you are wiser and more experienced than when you first constructed that initial path.

What is your most challenging event at the College of Charleston?

I think that my current Bachelor’s Essay is my most challenging event. It requires a lot of self-discipline and dedication, and I had to scout out a lot of professors to find the perfect fit. More than that, it also is my first attempt at working on something that exemplifies the kind of work I hope to do in the future – it’s a terrifyingly beautiful experience to get the opportunity to do something like this in undergrad.

What is one surprising fact about you?

Like the Charles Darwin, I too have taken a ride on the back of a great tortoise (although, I was in a zoo not the Galapagos).

*Photo taken by Dr. Devet

under: Student Spotlight, Uncategorized

Leave a response -

Your response:


Skip to toolbar