Vina Smith | St. Lawrence University Anthropology

Vina Smith

Vina Smith
Class year: 
Francophone Studies
Whitesboro, NY

I have always been passionate about making a difference through healthcare systems, and started my St. Lawrence experience as a biology major. I had no idea what other avenues out there would match my interests. It was actually my biology advisor, Dr. Kari Heckman, who introduced me to the field of public health and suggested I take some anthropology courses. By the end of my sophomore year, after taking cultural anthropology with Dr. Wendi Haugh and Human Origins with Dr. Mindy Pitre, I was hooked. I couldn't believe I had never known about anthropology before. It did not take long for me to declare my new major, therefore changing my academic plans.

What I love about this major is the variety of topics it spans across. The multi-discipline approach encompasses biological anthropology, archaeology, linguistic anthropology, and cultural anthropology. While I plan to focus more on the biological aspects of anthropology and apply them to public health, it is so exciting to get to learn about all of these other disciplines along the way as well. There is really never a dull moment, and I find myself in academic situations where I am continuously stimulated, challenged, and engaged. 

Since declaring my major, I have completed an internship at a public health department where I was able to apply many of the things I learned, especially from my cultural anthropology class. Our anthropology department here at St. Lawrence is truly wonderful and I would recommend that every student should take at least one anthropology course before graduating.