Student Profiles

Matthew P. Bell, Junior

Matt Bell is from Oxford, Massachusetts, and graduated high school at Northern Adirondack Central. Matt is an anthropology major with a minor in biology, and is active in Plattsburgh State's student-run Anthropology Club. He is in his junior year.

In his own words:

"Having been an anthropology major here at Plattsburgh State for over a year now I have had the opportunity to experience several diverse cultures inside and outside of New York State. I have not only learned much more about many other cultural values that coincide with our own beliefs today, but it has also taught me just as much about myself.

"Studies in the field of anthropology have not been limited to class lectures, assigned readings, and papers. The curriculum has been designed to get the students as hands-on as possible in their individual research. Classes lead by a faculty specializing in diverse fields of anthropology brings unique perspectives to the classroom, inciting enthusiastic class discussions that are insightful and informative.

"At this point as an anthropology major I have already had the opportunity to do ethnographic studies working with elementary school children in a local rural community setting, helping to determine the effects on a low income community that is separated by large distances from a district school. I have also had the opportunity to spend the summer of 2003 in a Native, Y'upik Alaskan fishing village working with members of that community who experience a developmental disability. Through the Anthropology Department, this internship with HOPE Community Resources in Alaska has made possible lasting friendships with people from many different regions of the world and an experience that I will never forget and value for the rest of my life."

Danielle Parrotte, Senior

Danielle entered Plattsburgh State in the fall of 2000 as an anthropology major. She is a North Country native who went to Peru High School.

Danielle is a Dean's List student, and a member of ODK, Phi Kappa Phi, and the Honors Students Association. She plans to pursue graduate studies in anthropology, most likely in a field related to social services.

In her own words:

"The Anthropology Department at Plattsburgh State has been my academic home for four years now. Upon first entering the program I realized that my professors were willing to help me be successful in their classes. I made frequent stops at their offices to ask endless questions and they were always willing to critique my work and point me in the right direction.

"As I worked with them over the years I grew academically and personally. Their various specialties in areas of the world like Greece, Peru and Israel diversified my interests. I learned through my professors' first hand experiences how to be a better anthropologist, to be a better archaeologist, to open my mind, to realize cultural biases and about the many facts of the human condition all over the world.

"With their encouragement I have had the opportunity to participate in several internships. The first opportunity was a summer field school where I had hands on experience in historical archaeology and excavation. This was an opportunity to learn methods of excavation, data recording, and the history of the area.

"Recently I was encouraged to apply for an internship with Hope Community Resources. This internship offers students a chance to go to Alaska and get involved in the disabled community there. This summer I developed personal relationships with disabled children I worked with that I will cherish for the rest of my life. These experiences have made a profound impact on my life. They have changed my ideas about who I am, what I am capable of and what I would like to devote my life to.

"As I am in my final year here at Plattsburgh not only do I have much to look back and reflect upon, but I have much to think about for the future. As I complete my regular course work here, I also have the task of selecting a graduate program and institution. This may seem like a daunting task, but I am secure in the knowledge that I can turn to my professors for the advice and support I need to make the right decision."

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?

If you would like more information about the Anthropology program at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact:

Dr. Deborah Altamirano, Chair
Office: Redcay Hall 121
Phone: (518) 564-4010

Laura Collier
Department Secretary
Office: Redcay Hall 103
Phone: (518) 564-3003
Toll-Free Phone: (800) 398-4801