Shauna Strnad in the anthropology lab.
When I signed up to be an anthropology major I had no idea what it was. All I knew was that paleontology was related to it so if I wanted to study fossils and artifacts, this was what I should major in. I became really interested in anthropology when I learned that it can be applied to nearly anything. Anthropological knowledge can help with jobs, other classes, but also socially. You learn how to be open-minded, accept other cultures more readily, and examine things from all possible angles. I really wanted to open myself up to new experiences and think outside the box and this was the perfect major for me to start doing just that. Plus, telling people you’re an anthropologist is a great conversation starter!
My learning experience at Brockport was well rounded, I would say. I was able to study three out of the four major branches of anthropology while still concentrating most of my studies on archaeology. Because of this I learned I had a natural talent in cultural anthropology and was simultaneously able to develop my skills and interest in archaeobotany by working one on one with Dr. Ramsay in the laboratory. All of the professors take an interest in their students and are always willing to help you understand things better. That was a major reason I did well in my classes. The small student to professor ratio as well as the professors being so willing to help their students grow made my experience as a major something that I will never forget.
I hope to earn my master’s degree in ethnobotany within the next three years. However, my ultimate goal is to work as an ethnobotanist in Australia. One day I would like to have published a paper either on botany or mythology, which is another passion of mine, but until then I am happy to finally be working in a laboratory and doing research on my own.