Adélie Oakley Barry, B.A. 1995

English Faculty, St. Francis Catholic High School, Sacramento, CA

B.A., Cultural Anthropology (1995)

How has being a Cultural Anthropology graduate from Duke helped shape you personally and/or professionally?

"As a Cultural Anthropologist, I am a keen observer of humanity - and a high school campus is a vast showcase awaiting observation! I am always looking at the microcosms amongst us - specifically, the ways that my students divide themselves into groups, categorize one another; the social hierarchy involved. And when we discuss literature in my classroom, I constantly draw my students’ attention to what makes the characters tick. What is it about a character’s context that helps define who that person is? How have they been shaped by their society? The fact that my degree is from Duke has opened many doors for me in my career. The name carries weight. People take you more seriously when you have the educational chops to back up your bluster."

What advice would you give students in Duke's Cultural Anthropology programs? 

"Really enjoy what you’re studying. I never loved linguistics, so I knew that wasn’t the branch of Cultural Anthro for me. Follow your gut and your heart to figure out where your passion lies. From the moment I first stood in front of a class, I knew I was meant to be a teacher. Find your a-ha moment."

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