I graduated from Concordia University in 2007 obtaining a B.A. Honours Anthropology, and the Everett Hughes Medal in Sociology and Anthropology. My years at Concordia marked a significant shift in my life and academic pursuit. Beginning my studies in anthropology as a newly-arrived immigrant from Romania, the department’s faculty and staff continuously supported me in my desire to both critically evaluate my experiences and cultural background, and find new directions of thought and investigation. In my first years at Concordia, I published the book Vin feciorii cu turca! (2004), and curated the ethnographic exhibition My Village in Transylvania (2005), both of which were based on research I had previously undertaken in Romania. Meanwhile, with the invaluable support and trust of Professors Anthony Synnott and Christine Jourdan, I managed to start a new research project in Kenya. Some of the early findings of this research were presented in an ethnographic exhibition entitled Routes through Northern Kenya (2006). Furthermore, my three years of work in the Sociology and Anthropology Lab have made me come to think of the department as truly an “extended family.”
Following my studies at Concordia, and continuing the research project I began here, I started graduate studies. In 2008, I obtained a Masters in anthropology from University of Chicago, with a dissertation entitled “Mombasa Morans: Embodiment, Sexual Morality and Samburu Men in Kenya.” Currently I am pursuing a PhD in anthropology at University of Chicago with research relating to issues such as embodiment, sexuality, gender, tourism and the commodification of Samburu ethnic identity in neoliberal Kenya.
It takes more then just will and passion to succeed as a student. It takes support, trust, and recognition, with every step undertaken, so that you know you are on the right path. More than anything else, in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology I found support, trust, and recognition. And, I wish to encourage current students to confidently seek out these qualities of the department, and make the best out of their studies here.