Paola Gonzalez teaching in Seine Bight Belize
M.A. student Mackenzie Rapp and community partners work on HIV prevention video. Photo by Ashley Meredith
Burmese women participate in focus groups organized in Health and Ethnicity class. Photo by Natalie Hobbs
Community engagement has long been central to the Department’s mission of “making a difference” through applied anthropology. Engagement has two major dimensions: First, it represents a commitment to involve community partners actively in the development of research, teaching, and service projects, with the goal of bringing positive results to the community. Second, we aim to bring the insights of anthropologists into the public sphere, at both the local and global levels, through engagement with media, and development of alternative paths for public information, such as blogs, websites, exhibits, and visual creations.
To fulfill this mission, we host organized collaborations, such as the USF Center of the Florida Public Archaeology Network and the Institute of Forensic Anthropology and Applied Sciences. In addition, we support individual faculty and student research projects, and offer opportunities to carry out engaged work in the classroom setting, through service learning and community-based projects, often in connection with the USF Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships. Many of our faculty and students are leaders in creating a public platform for important social and cultural issues, such as the Access Denied blog, focusing on migration and health, the Heritage Research Lab, and the nationally recognized Neuroanthropology blog.