Student Projects

The following is just a sampling of the projects that current, former, and future California State University, East Bay Anthropology students are working on.

In recent years, our applied track MA students have conducted internships in a variety of organizations, including: The Alameda County Health Care Foundation, the Pesticide Action Network of North America, the Traditional Arts Program of the California Academy of Sciences, Tower Records, the Anthropological Studies Center, the United Nations Association of Silicon Valley, the Rosie the Riveter WWII / Home Front National Historical Park, Food First, the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, Benicia Historical Museum, Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, and the Hall of Health. Students find their own internships, with the support of the department. This is a central experience of the applied anthropology master's degree program. Here's how a few students described their applied anthropology internships:

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum & Planetarium, San Jose, CA: "I was the intern to the new temporary curator. I helped dismantle the temporary exhibit that had just ended, refurbished the room (painted walls, cleaned and painted cases, etc.), and helped install the next exhibit. I did a study of the effects of temerature and RH levels on the mummies currently on display at the museum. I also did research on cleaning and preservation of the artifacts, including recommendations on the buying of a special vacuum cleaner for them, as well as assisting the tour guides and curator as needed, and doing research for an Egyptian festival event. (What I did was very specialized at that time, as they had just lost their curator.)" - Lucretia Whitener, 2006 internship

Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS), San Francisco, CA: "My internship was with the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS). My primary duties included transcribing interviews, extensive coding and analyzing data. I also had the opportunity to learn some of AtlasTi [qualitative data analysis software] and I wrote a report on the political aspect of the Care Not Cash program. I also collaborated with my preceptor and another intern on the witing of the finished report. Overall it was an excellent experience." - Selena LeCroix, 2006 internship

And here are some descriptions of non-applied student projects:

Interpreted within the context of an Anglo-American cultural paradigm, American Ogun is an examination of the Brazilian Umbanda religion. American Ogun explores the practices of an Umbanda House based in the San Francisco Bay Area, incorporating extensive participant-observation techniques and interviews.

--Robert D. Mathis-Friedman, M.A., Anthropology

El Mestizo Moderno is a contemporary discourse on race, ethnicity and identity which indirectly challenges the one drop rule which has shaped the concept of race in the United States over the last 150 to 200 years. This autobiographical ethno history follows two families, one Mexican American, and the other African American. Beginning with a detailed oral history, the story is told of two individuals from these families who united to create a family of their own.The project concludes with the author's own experience and his identity development from being a descendent of both families.Through this project, the author eloquently makes the case for the possibility of dual or layered identities for mixed race individuals who refuse to narrowly define themselves.

--Robert Quintana-Hopkins, M.A., Socio-Cultural Anthropology

"I'm from the Caribbean island of St. Croix, and I hope to pursue a master's degree in anthropology with an option in linguistics and archaeology. One of my long-term goals is to do historical research. As such, thorough training in linguistic and archaeological methodology will aid me tremendously in this endeavor. I'm also interested in endangered languages, African and Caribbean culture, and the art of photography. I am presently working on a book of philosophy, and I hope to have it published within two years."

--James Weeks,
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