What are the research opportunities for anthropology majors at The College of Wooster?

Faculty members in anthropology at The College of Wooster have ongoing research projects in North and Latin America, Africa, East Asia and the Mediterranean and focus areas that include medical anthropology, gender and sexuality, witchcraft and religion, linguistic anthropology, educational anthropology and evolutionary theory. Because all students at The College of Wooster complete a senior Independent Study project, undergraduates work directly with faculty mentors to complete original research of their choosing.

Anthropology at The College of Wooster

The Anthropology and Sociology programs at Wooster are closely affiliated. The programs emphasize the value of learning how to deal with contemporary social and cultural issues and how to develop problem-solving and research skills. Students have abundant opportunities to learn and conduct research outside the classroom, including a course taught once a year in a juvenile prison and semester programs abroad. Students can opt to be part of a 3-2 program with Case Western Reserve University, allowing them to graduate with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in social work in five years. Wooster graduates in anthropology often go on to graduate school or pursue careers in education, law, public administration, public health, business, and medicine.

Learn More about Sociology at Wooster

Faculty & Staff

Nigel Brush head shot

Nigel Brush

Drushal Distinguished Endowed Visiting Professor, Archaeology and Anthropology


Christa Craven head shot

Christa Craven

Interim Dean for Faculty Development, Professor of Anthropology and Women's Gender & Sexuality Studies, Program Chair of Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies


Elizabeth Derderian

Beth Derderian

Assistant Professor of Anthropology; Museum Studies (On leave for Fall 2023)


Heather Fitz Gibbon

Heather Fitz Gibbon

Professor and Department Co-Chair of Sociology and Anthropology; Department Chair of Urban Studies


Pam Frese

Pam Frese

Professor of Sociology and Anthropology


Setsuko Matsuzawa

Setsuko Matsuzawa

Professor of Anthropology and Sociology; East Asian Studies (On leave Fall 2023)


Michael Miyawaki

Michael Miyawaki

Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology


Olivia C. Navarro-Farr portrait

Olivia Navarro-Farr

Associate Professor of Archaeology; Sociology and Anthropology; Program Chair for Archaeology


Anne Nurse

Anne Nurse

Professor and Department Co-Chair of Sociology and Anthropology


Santha Schuch

Administrative Coordinator - Africana Studies, Archaeology, East Asian Studies, Middle Eastern & North African Studies, Religious Studies, Sociology and Anthropology, South Asian Studies, Urban Studies, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


Zareen Thomas

Zareen Thomas

Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology; Latin American Studies; Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies


Latest Anthropology News

Kiki Giles '24 Advising Meeting

Anthropology and French double major combines areas of interest through internship at study abroad provider

Following a year in Morocco with IES Abroad (Institute for the International Education of Students)’s “Study in Rabat” program, Kiki Giles ’24, an anthropology […]

Emily Voneman '25

English and anthropology major delves into local museum work during APEX Fellowship

Emily Voneman ’25, an English and anthropology major, worked with the Wayne County Historical Society in several capacities this summer, ranging from directing tours […]

Nigel Brush, John Garber Drushal Distinguished Visiting Professor of Archaeology and Anthropology at The College of Wooster

Archaeological excavation uncovers clues that climate change between 1300-1800 disrupted lives of some early Ohio inhabitants

A 30-year archaeological survey and excavation at sites in Ohio’s Walhonding Valley, about an hour south of Wooster, has discovered evidence that the abrupt […]

Stephanie Castrejon '16

Theatre & Dance and Anthropology alumna combines theatre with social activism

Stephanie Castrejón ’16 came to The College of Wooster as a self-described shy student who had difficulties speaking up in class and realizing where […]

More Anthropology Articles


Anthropology explores the variety of human groups and cultures that have developed across the globe and throughout time. Anthropologists hope that by seeing ourselves in the mirror of alternative cultural and historical possibilities, we can come to a better understanding of our own assumptions, values and patterns of behavior.

Students who major in anthropology take 12 major-specific courses in addition to foundational courses in the liberal arts and electives. After taking Introduction to Anthropology, majors delve into courses including Ethnographic Research, People & Cultures, Physical Anthropology and Linguistic Anthropology. Archeology and sociology courses are popular related areas of study.

View Courses


To earn a minor in Anthropology, students complete six courses, including:

  • Introduction to Anthropology
  • People and Cultures
  • Physical Anthropology, Linguistic Anthropology or Intro to Archaeology (choose one of the three)
  • Enthnographic Research or Social Statistics (choose one)
  • And two additional elective Anthropology courses
View Courses

Independent Study

In the senior year, each student works with a faculty mentor to conduct an intensive investigation of a subject of the student’s choosing, which results in the senior Independent Study thesis.  Recent students have investigated folklore and oral traditions in rural Ohio, the place of dreams in the Sioux culture, and tuberculosis as a symptom of poverty in Ecuadorian society.

View the IS Handbook for Sociology and Anthropology


Search the I.S. Database

Student Year I.S. Title Major 1 Major 2 Advisor
Please search to view results

Related Articles

“Does this spark joy?” Aesthetics, Gender, and Ideals in Marie Kondo’s ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’

Name: Kayla Stevens Major: Anthropology Minor: Environmental Studies Pathway: Museum & Archival Studies Advisor: Beth Derderian; David McConnell (second reader) The Life-Changing Magic of […]

Megan Tuennerman '22

Wrong-way Icelandic puffins lead student researcher to follow the right path

When you love animals as a child, people often say “You should be a veterinarian when you grow up.” Megan Tuennerman ’22 heard this […]

head shot of Shelby Jones

PaleoliTHICC: Understanding the Woman of Willendorf using contemporary fat studies

Name: Shelby Jones Major: Anthropology Minor: History Advisor: Dr. Siavash Samei; Dr. Beth Derderian (second reader) My research focused on the Woman (“Venus”) of Willendorf figurine, one of […]

Kate Read

Forming National Identity through Commemoration: Representation within Postage Stamps at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum

Name: Kate Read Major: Anthropology Minor: Art History Advisors: Dr. Elizabeth Derderian & Dr. Zareen Thomas This independent study focuses on the idea of forming a national identity […]


Many anthropology majors from The College of Wooster go on to complete graduate study in anthropology, but many others pursue careers in education, international development, law, social work, public administration, business, English as a Second Language (ESL), counseling, medicine, or museum studies.

Related Articles

Stephanie Castrejon '16

Theatre & Dance and Anthropology alumna combines theatre with social activism

Stephanie Castrejón ’16 came to The College of Wooster as a self-described shy student who had difficulties speaking up in class and realizing where […]

Sara Artes '03

Anthropology alumna expands public knowledge of underrepresented stories

Sara Artes ’03 oversees the Smithsonian Institution’s traveling cultural and historical exhibitions


Stieglitz Memorial Fund

Established in 1989 in memory of Martin Stieglitz, a sociology major at The College of Wooster who died in an off-campus apartment fire in the spring semester of 1989, this fund supports an on-campus lecture by a prominent sociologist or anthropologist. Stieglitz Lecturers are selected by department faculty members and invited to speak at an event for students and members of the Wooster community.

Stieglitz Lecturers in past years have included:

2019: Patrick J. Carr, Billy Clubs and Terry Stops: Minority Youth Experiences of Police

2018: Matthew W. Hughey, White Bound: Nationalists, Antiracists, and the Shared Meanings of Race

2017: Lieth Mullings, Engaged Anthropology: Race, Racism, and Social Movements in the Americas

Faculty Emeriti

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Robert Blair

Professor Emeritus, Sociology and Anthropology

gray silhouette outline of a person

Charles Hurst

Professor Emeritus, Sociology and Anthropology