Hillary Lee

2015 Major: Evolutionary Anthropology; Minors in Music and Chemistry

Currently: The University of Texas Medical Branch — Galveston, Texas

How has being an Evolutionary Anthropology graduate from Duke helped shape your professional success?

"I loved studying Evolutionary Anthropology while at Duke. It taught me how to be curious about the world while expanding my horizons about our humanity. How did we, a species of great ape, evolve into such anatomically adept and cognitively intelligent creatures? What is it that makes us so similar yet vastly distinct from our non-human primate relatives? And most importantly, what can we learn from monkeys, apes, and lemurs about our own history? The interdisciplinary aspect of EvAnth exposed me to both the sciences and the liberal arts. I learned about genetics, sociology, cultures, anatomy and physiology, conservation, psychology, behavioral ecology, to name a few. Studying EvAnth showed me that I wanted a professional career in learning more about the human body while continuing to explore our humanness. I chose to pursue a career in medicine because it allows me to connect with people of multiple cultures, gives me an opportunity to listen to their stories and understand who they are, and equips me with the extraordinary capability to heal."

What advice would you give students in Evolutionary Anthropology?

"Always remember to keep an open mind! Take fun classes that sound different and interesting. My favorite classes from undergrad were definitely EvAnth electives since I always learned something new. Get to know your faculty because they are the best mentors who can help guide you along the way. And lastly, do not worry if you are still figuring out what you want to do after you graduate. I highly recommend taking gap years as needed to explore different career options, travel, spend time with family, or do something you love. Everything will work out in due time."