By: Tia Hildebrandt
Even though Professor Mihok is a new addition to Eckerd’s community, she fits right in among faculty members and is quickly becoming a student favorite. Her passion for anthropology is apparent throughout her lectures and is spreading to students. If you take one of her classes, prepare to change your major to anthropology…because believe me, it happened to me!
Being a professor was not always in Professor Mihok’s mind growing up. She had “only considered a career as a curator in a fine arts or natural history museum” while in college. However, she shared that “it wasn’t until I became a graduate teaching assistant at USF that I realized how much I enjoyed sharing my knowledge and continuing to learn right along with my students.” Professor Mihok first earned a B.A. in Art History from Columbia University. She then went on to achieve her M.A. (in Latin American and Caribbean Studies) and her Ph.D. (in Applied Anthropology, focusing on Archaeology) from the University of South Florida. For her dissertation, she centered her project around Roatán Island, Honduras at the mid-eighteenth century settlement of Augusta. Her fieldwork included “documentary and archaeological evidence to explore the ways in which the English Crown governed its Caribbean colonies and how the occupants of such settlements expressed their identities through everyday practices.” This research project has been her favorite so far, and she hopes to continue it in the future.
When asked what advice she could give to Eckerd students, she replied, “I believe students should follow their passion. I did not have a specific plan for my life after I earned my undergraduate degree, but I knew I was interested in the history, art, and practices of pre-Columbian cultures and wanted these topics to be a part of my life. This desire did not lead to a precise roadmap of professional and academic opportunities, but by following my passion I have been able to build upon each experience and ultimately find a career that I love as a professor of anthropology.”
Along with her passion for anthropology, Professor Mihok is fascinated by the Civil War. Her goal for the future includes visiting more Civil War battle sights. When asked what she always has in her refrigerator, Professor Mihok answered “Chipotle pepper sauce. Almost anything is better with a little heat.”
She ended the interview by stating, “I feel very fortunate to be a member of the Eckerd College faculty today.” Professor Mihok is proving to be a valuable addition and is offering a lot to the Eckerd Community. Her passion for anthropology easy translates to students. Make sure you take one of her classes before you graduate or you will be sorry!