Congratulations are in order for NAPA’s Organizational Relations (OR) Committee Member, Joshua Liggett, for his recognition as this year’s Volunteer of the Year. We asked Joshua a few questions for the September 2017 issue of NAPA Notes as he reflects on his time as committee member and Co-Navigator of the Expo:
How did you get your start in anthropology? What drew you to the field?
I’ve always been a huge science fiction nerd and one of my heroes growing up was Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation. In the series, you find out he had two fields that he found inspiring: Astrophysics and Anthropology. I did try my hand at physics, first, but an elective drove me to switch academic trajectories: Ethnic Relations and Cultures. My interest was piqued by one of the books we read about cultural conflict that arose from public service agencies interfacing with members of refugee community, and I wanted to know more.
Where did you go to school?
I began taking college courses earlier than I care to admit, but spent my first year of traditional college-age at Fresno City College. Following this, I transferred to Fresno State and attended through a “great smattering” of coursework ranging from cultural to archeology and osteology, culminating my degree in Anthropology.
My next step was to get a Master’s degree, so I made the logical choice for my little applied heart: University of North Texas (UNT). It was here that I expanded my use of quantitative analysis and rocketed through to the workforce.
How have you seen your career move along? What have been doing since graduation?
Since graduating, I’ve been working for a non-profit behavioral health agency in California. Over the last four years, my work has ranged from research and reporting to the data analytics and visualization. I’ve seen my work evolving into producing deliverables that are more widely available and digestible, that will ultimately inform programmatic changes within our agency. I’ve also been a regular attendee of the AAAs, and it was at my first where I initially met LTG Associates, and after this meeting eventually started helping out with the NAPA/AAA Careers Expo.
How do you feel about being recognized for your efforts?
I feel greatly honored to receive the NAPA VOY Award. Getting to plan for the Careers Expo for the past few years, and ultimately helping bridge students and newly minted anthropologists to more established anthropologists, is immensely rewarding in itself. It gives me a sense of our community building and being part of the inestimable force that keeps our constellation of colleagues expanding, as we see new professionals join us in the vital work that we all do.