Cole Wicker, B.A. 2018

Incoming Ph.D, Student, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

B.A., Cultural Anthropology, Certificates in Human Rights and Documentary Studies (2018); M.A., Graduate Liberal Studies (2022)

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

"Cultural Anthropology laid the foundations for my future path. Each choice I made collectively led to a robust and thorough understanding of my interests. My research interests were in the early days while I wrote my senior thesis, but its roots in Public Anthropology, Ethnohistory, and documentary interests inspired me to continue my research as a Public Historian within my MA program. My research in my thesis formed the basis of my MA work and is a cornerstone of the interests I plan to pursue at the doctoral level. Outside of explicit influence, I gained a strong critical thinking lens from cultural anthropology. This lens allowed me to effectively review many applications during my role as an Undergraduate Admissions Officer from 2018-to 2022."

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

"Take the classes you want to take. Don't stress too much about the subject matter. You will be amazed at how useful even some of the more "obscure" or seemingly distant subjects become in your everyday work. My critical thinking ability (influenced greatly by the coursework and subject matter) has proven to be one of my most useful skills. Additionally, follow your interests and you will be surprised at where it will take you. I would have never known my senior year that pursuing an ethnography in "my backyard" as my senior thesis would lay the groundwork for each professional and academic accomplishment since. Do what you want, and the rest will truly follow."

Cole Wicker