Maggie Butler, Student Anthropological Society

Year:

Senior

Major:

Anthropology

Hometown:

Shaker Heights, Ohio

Her Campus Ithaca College: What inspired your interest in Anthropology?

Maggie Butler: I have wanted to study anthropology since I did a career project in my sophomore year of high school. I was looking through different social science and humanities fields that were available in college; I read about anthropology and something just clicked. I thought, "Oh wow, this is perfect for me." People and their cultures have always fascinated me and I am always “people watching”: a hobby I cultivated at a very young age. It was not until I was already in Ithaca College’s anthropology program that I realized I wanted to focus in the subdiscipline of biological anthropology and focus my research on infant and child development.

HCIC: What are some common topics of discussion in the Student Anthropological Society?

MB: In SAS we have focused a lot on educating people about where things come from. Cultural appropriation is a huge aspect of American culture and a hot topic in today’s society, as well as anthropology. We want people to know the origins of certain aspects of their culture and to show some respect for those origins and the people who produced the ideas.

We are working hard to become more collaborative with other student organizations. We are working on coordinating with IC International Club and the Cornell Anthropology Exchange. We would love to work on collaborating events with other clubs on campus too!

We are also transitioning into a more event based student organization. Anthropology is all about experiential learning and we want our club members to have fun. Just last week we took a trip to the Sacred Root Kava Bar down near the Commons so that we could not only learn about where kava comes from, but try some and have a good time.

HCIC: What advice do you have for non-majors in getting involved in Anthropology?

MB: Take an anthropology class! And if you can’t fit a class into your schedule, either come to a SAS meeting or reach out to an anthropology major or professor. This field is one of the most diverse, interdisciplinary fields of study that exists. Anthropology is applicable to anything because it is, at its core, the study of humans. Anthropology is a great tool and we need more people in the world to recognize that fact. The IC Anthropology Department is a very kind, open, and accepting place. Anyone and everyone is welcome and encouraged to learn more or come get involved!

HCIC: What traits do you think a leader of a student organization needs to have?

MB: I think a leader of an organization needs to be committed to getting things done and open to communication with members of the organization and the community.

HCIC: What’s your favorite class that you’ve taken at IC?

MB: I have loved so many classes at Ithaca College, but I think it is a three-way tie between Biology of Poverty with Professor Jennifer Muller, The Theory and Practice of Anthropology with Professor Michael Malpass, and Prizing the Postcolonial: Novels of the British Commonwealth with Professor Chris Holmes. All three of these classes made me think in new ways that have permanently shifted my worldview.

HCIC: What’s one thing you love in Ithaca that you can’t get anywhere else?

MB: I am obsessed with kofta curry from Diamond’s on Green Street. While I am sure I could find kofta curry in many other places around the world, there is only one Diamond’s.

HCIC: What is one food you never get tired of?

MB: Coffee