Michele Rasmussen, Ph.D. 1999

The University of Chicago – Chicago IL

1999 Ph.D., Biological Anthropology & Anatomy (now Evolutionary Anthropology)

How has being an Evolutionary Anthropology graduate from Duke helped shape you personally and/or professionally?

"My entire postgraduate career has been in U.S. higher education. My experience as a student, researcher, and instructor at Duke gave me opportunities that have been invaluable in my professional growth and trajectory. In particular, familiarity with faculty culture at a leading research institution and understanding the evolving needs of students as they move through their programs have been very helpful to me in the work I do. Being trained in quantitative methods and effective communication (especially writing) have also been very advantageous to me in a variety of contexts."

What advice would you give students in Duke's Evolutionary Anthropology programs? 

"Take advantage of any opportunities to serve on departmental or university committees, including advisory councils and boards. The time commitment is generally manageable and it will give you a window into institutional governance and how decisions get made. Whether you pursue an academic career or not, getting a sense of how complex organizations like universities work is useful and interesting. It will also expand your network of colleagues and give you a bit of a reprieve from your research without taking you away from it for too long."

Michele Rasmussen