Alumni Spotlight: Kendall Concini '11
Bear Creek, PA
Cultural Anthropology Specialist
Department of Environmental Safety
My Widener Experience
Why did you decide to major in anthropology?
Growing up, my dad was a physician's assistant and my mom was a nurse. This led to a fascination with medical procedures, which eventually developed into a goal: to become a coroner. I wanted to be unique with my educational path, so I pursued forensic anthropology.
During my junior year medical examiner internship, I put more work into my elective anthropology courses. Therefore I decided to pursue a sociocultural anthropology passion/major instead, dropping the forensics.
What made you choose widener?
My college choices were limited; my major was offered in only four colleges across the country. Widener was one of those, and added outstanding internship possibilities. The choice was easy. What helped me to embrace Widener was my decision to stay, even after I changed my major. But I was hooked.
Widener felt like a small community, with professors who exceedingly built rapport, gave me opportunities to take ownership of my new major, and helped me demonstrate my potential.
My Professional Experience
what do you like most about your current position?
In my interview, I was asked what I knew about safety culture in laboratories. I admitted ... not a lot, asked them how they defined culture, and what they considered safety. They stared at me blankly, told me I was hired, and defining these concepts was part of my new job.
I now get to shed a new light on concepts that individuals once thought they understood. I can fully engage my anthropological foundations as I use methodologies I merely wrote papers on. I provide holistic views; I take full control of this new research.
What advice would you give a prospective student considering your major?
Do things with passion — or not at all. Anthropology isn’t yes/no or multiple choice; it is becoming an honest, powerful, and comfortable storyteller. Always be an active listener and a critical thinker. Make the unaskable, askable; use the tools you’ll learn to move closer to the roots of your question. To succeed, you need the right insight.