Lynn Sikkink, Ph.D.
Professor of Anthropology
How did you discover Western?
I was working in California at a big commuter school and longed to come back to my roots in Colorado. I watched the job ads for Western specifically, as a small institution with a private school feel located in some of the most beautiful parts of the Rockies. I was thrilled to get the job, and the opportunity to work here also came with great colleagues.
What are some of the highlights of your career?
Working in the Andes of Peru and Bolivia and doing fieldwork in both archaeology and cultural anthropology were some of my most rewarding fieldwork experiences. I had two Fulbright awards in Bolivia, and on one I was able to work with Bolivian graduate students. The work I conducted on my second Fulbright is about the commercialization of traditional medicines in Bolivian marketplaces (New Cures, Old Medicines, Cengage 2010).
Since coming to Western, I have developed a field school in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. Getting to know the place alongside my students has been eye-opening and endlessly interesting.
What most excites you about your field?
Anthropology has the broadest scope of any field in that it studies humanity through time and space. Some anthropologists research our earliest ancestors; on the other end of the spectrum, anthropologists consider the culture of work in Silicon Valley.
What is your favorite thing about the Gunnison Valley?
Because of the wealth of archaeological sites and cultural traditions clustered in the Four Corners area, we are able to take Western students on some amazing field trips.