Field Experiences
 Service Learning project re: Apopka Farmworkers Assoc.

Dr. Rachel Newcomb

Students in Dr. Rachel Newcomb's senior seminar in applied anthropology conducted community-based research and a service learning project with former farmworkers from Apopka, Florida. The farmworkers of Lake Apopka were exposed to pesticides for over forty years before the farms closed in the mid 1990s, resulting in a range of health problems that many are still dealing with today. Students designed research projects to explore what other farming communities around the country had done to deal with some of the health issues Apopka farmworkers face, and they also created healthcare seminars based on concerns stated by the farmworkers, bringing local experts to talk to the farmworker community about health issues such as diabetes, substance abuse, and nutrition.

Dr. Rachel Newcomb

Dr. Newcomb has led field studies to Morocco. In these field studies, students gain first hand experience with Moroccan culture: living with families in homestays, engaging in a service learning project, attending lectures with Moroccan university professors, and engaging in dialogues with Moroccan university students. The Morocco field study provides a cross-cultural encounter with a culture that has multiple influences ranging from French to Arabic, Middle Eastern to African and Berber.

 Nolan Kline and Melanie Davis
 Teenage Mom and baby

Dr. Rachel Newcomb

Students in Dr. Newcomb's Applied Anthropology class work with the BETA center, a local nonprofit that helps teenage moms finish school and learn the parenting, child development and life skills they will need to succeed in the workforce.

Dr. Gay Biery-Hamilton

A senior anthropology student in Dr. Gay Biery-Hamilton's class (Rollins 2009), is measuring corn with a fourth grade student at Lakemont Elementary School in Winter Park, Florida, as part of an independent study class, Anthropology of Organic Farming (Spring 2009).  The two Rollins students, who participated in the independent study and community engagement project, helped Lakemont fourth graders plant an organic garden and learn about the scientific method by measuring the growth of corn; one plot that was amended by organic fertilizer and other corn plot was not.  Both groups of students expressed excitement about growing their own gardens and said that they learned a lot from the experience.

 Senior Rollins Student and fourth grader Lakemont Student working together on school project
Gardening Anthropologically Project 

Dr. Gay Biery-Hamilton
Dr. Judy Schmalstig

Drs. Gay Biery-Hamilton and Judy Schmalstig (Biology) taught an interdisciplinary sophomore honors class, Culture and Food (Fall 2009), which focused on the issues of industrial agriculture and organic farming in the United States and globally.  For the class, 18 students planted and maintained their own organic gardens situated in front of the Bach Building at Rollins, and were able to harvest some crops before Christmas break. Among other projects students wrote reflection papers about their experience, all of which indicated that the class had been a transformative experience for them.  One student wrote:  "I would view this garden as a powerful simile for the way in which we as a class can effect positive change and transform the world for the better."


Dr. Robert Moore

Anthropology students are encouraged to spend time overseas, and in recent years several students have traveled with me to China to do research.  Always our goal has been to see the world with a new perspective, the perspective of people like the young Chinese, whose lives have been so different from our own.  James Rizor interviewed young people in Beijing and, partly based on his studies we were able to write an article about contemporary Chinese youth culture.  Later, two other students -- Eric Bindler and David Pandich -- co-authored a paper with me on Mandarin slang.

James Rizor and Professor Li Wei on Lugu Lake in Southwest China 

 Students learning to make tortillas

Dr. S. Ashley Kistler

During Spring Break 2010, Dr. Ashley Kistler and two other Rollins professors escorted a group of Rollins students to Santa Anita La Union, Guatemala.  This trip, entitled, “Making Coffee, not War” gave  students the opportunity to experience Guatemalan culture, environment, and economy while providing valuable service for a community in need.  Founded by ex-combatants from Guatemala’s 36-year civil war, Santa Anita today operates as a fair-trade organic coffee farm.  Students helped Santa Anita’s residents to care for small coffee plants in the town’s greenhouse, tutored students in local schools, helped to establish the town’s technology center, and assisted residents in bringing potable water to the community.  Students learned first-hand about Maya culture by eating meals with local families and attending a conference in which local experts discussed Maya cosmovision.  This experience not only enhanced students’ knowledge of contemporary Maya culture, but also allowed them to learn about the brutalities of the Guatemalan civil war and the benefits of fair trade economics in a real world setting. In this picture, anthropology students learn to make tamales with the help of local women for a community celebration.