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Leighann Jones

I graduated magna cum laude Spring 2008 with a major in Anthropology and a minor in Spanish. My focus is on cultural anthropology, although I also have a strong concentration in physical anthropology. I am the recipient of the Bank of Edwardsville Award in Anthropology and two- time recipient of the Katherine Dunham Award in Anthropology. On campus, I participated in the Student Leadership and Development Program and the Anthropology Club. I worked part-time as a student worker in the America Reads tutoring program. Since graduation, I initially worked as a certified substitute teacher in Madison County. In Madison County, anyone with a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution may apply for a substitute teacher's certificate.

I then successfully interviewed for two internships funded through AmeriCorps. I accepted their internship in the Personal Health Division of the St. Clair County Department of Public Health where I am primarily responsible for client outreach and education. My supervisor assigned me to the Department's Cultural Competency Committee where I am responsible for recruiting speakers and selecting topics of discussion as part of an ongoing effort to overcome communication barriers formed by cultural differences among and between clients and employees. The Health Department is training me in emergency preparedness, CPR, first aid, and office support duties, among many other areas. I observed the procedure for collecting and analyzing mosquitoes for the presence of West Nile Virus. I went on restaurant inspections. I observed in our clinic where we administer an immunization program and the WIC nutritional program.

I also plan to learn about grant writing and about the requirements of grant recipients to satisfy the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health Care. This is a potential career field for Anthropology students, wherein one advises and trains grant recipients on cultural relativity and effective communication. The AmeriCorps funded internship provided me with professional development, a stipend for the term of service, and an education award upon completion of 1700 hours of service within the eleven month term. I will use my education award to help pay for graduate studies, although I am undecided at this point as to what I will pursue. Student loan deferment, childcare and healthcare are additional benefits. For information on AmeriCorps opportunities please see www.americorps.gov. I have the opportunity to do great things, and I wouldn't be here without the excellent education that I received at SIUE.