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College of Arts & Sciences
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P.J. Gustafson

I got my first introduction to Anthropology when I took Dr. Nancy Lutz's 111 class and found that I was really interested in what we were learning. So, I dropped the minor I was pursuing and took up Anthropology as my 2nd major. I specialized in Archaeology, and therefore took several of Dr. Julie Holt's classes, where I found a large interest in Prehistoric Native American studies, particularly the Mississippian cultures. I started volunteering at Cahokia Mounds, and made a video for my senior project comparing Cahokia with Angel Mounds and Moundville (and I'm told that some of the professors still show this video in their classes).

Unfortunately, due to personal reasons I had to reduce my Anthropology major into a minor during my last semester of classes. After graduating in August of 2003, I followed another passion and went to work in the software industry for a company based in Houston, TX. My Anthropology training has not been forgotten, however, and in fact I find myself needing to use the cultural relativity training that was hammered into me from day one in Nancy's class. In my job, I constantly come into contact with people of various cultures all around the US, Canada, and the Caribbean, as I've traveled to those various places to work with different types of business. Each group I work with has a different dynamic to it, and my Anthropology studies have really helped me to not only understand, but appreciate them as well.

In addition to my professional life, I now volunteer at a developing flight museum in Houston, and am finding myself using some of the museum theory lessons that I learned in assisting with the growth of this organization. This goes along with another passion that I am pursuing… earning my private pilot's license.

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