Nicky Ryan is a double-major in Anthropology and Psychology
What got you interested in Anthropology?
One of the most influential experiences I've had that made me want to study anthropology was a high-school exchange year in Germany. I had wanted to go on an exchange since I was 8 years old. I would fantasize about learning another language and living somewhere else besides the Adirondacks. When I finally got the chance, you could have cancelled Christmas and I wouldn't have cared because I was so happy!
When I came back to the States for my senior year of high school I discovered that anthropology matched my interests in understanding other cultures. I liked learning how solutions to social problems come from numerous disciplines and factors working together. I dont think I could have chosen a better major. I was not exactly sure where to start with anthropology, whether to specialize in cultural, medical, or so on, but I did know that I wanted to incorporate psychology into my coursework. I was hesitant at first to make psychology a second major, but the more classes I took in it the more I saw parallels between social psychology and anthropology. I find it useful to know how cognitive processes and group dynamics work in the field.
How would you describe your learning experience as an anthropology major at Brockport?
Anthropology at Brockport has been a very good experience for me. All of my professors know me by name, know my general interests in anthropology, and have provided me with suggestions on internships and independent study opportunities. After taking the Professions course, I found it easier to apply the tools we learned to start networking and I ended up being able to make enough contacts within the Rochester Museum and Science Center to create my own flexible internship, which involved everything from museum organization to repatriation of artifacts to Native American communities.
What are your future plans?
I'm hoping to become a professional psychological anthropologist. I would like to do applied anthropology in North America focusing on healthcare and public health. One thing that has really helped me with this has been the independent study I did concerning Indigenous Rights and the continuing effects of Indian residential schools in Canada.
Welcome new anthropology students!
Check out the Diversity conference on October 2, 2014