Annual Meeting 2024: We’re All About Building Skills and Career Readiness

2024 AM Logo.jpgA.J. Faas
2024 Program Chair

The Society for Applied Anthropology has long emphasized skills-based programming in the annual meeting and this year, I am happy to report that we placed special emphasis on skills, mentoring, and career development. It is important to note that this type of programming is not exclusively or even primarily directed at students. Skill-building and career development workshops and sessions are appropriate for students and professionals at all stages of their careers, and often when making career transitions such as into or out of graduate school, from academia to practice or vice versa, or often when we want to develop a new skillset to apply new methodologies to tackle abiding problems in our fields. This programming is split between workshops that require additional registration and sessions in the main program. Below you will find a list of our workshops. And below that, I’ve listed just a selection of the main program sessions focused on skills and career development. Have a look and take advantage of some of what we’ve put together.

This year, we’ve got more than a dozen workshops covering a wide range of skills (e.g. visual methods, spatial analysis, writing) and career development topics (e.g., career readiness, networking, finding employment), all delivered by subject matter experts. See the full list of workshops and register at this link. Note that workshop enrollment is first-come, first-served, and seats are limited, so be sure to register soon. Take a look at what’s on the menu:

  • Applied Visual Ethnography Workshop, with Ashley Stinnet

  • Got Those Anthro Skills Yet? Let’s Create a Plan. A Workshop by the Anthropology Career Readiness Network (ACRN) and the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology (NAPA), with Elizabeth Briody and Jennifer Studebaker

  • Anthropological Approaches to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Work in Organizations. A Workshop by the Anthropology Career Readiness Network (ACRN) and the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology (NAPA), with Melissa Maceyko and Lucy Arciniega

  • Talking About Anthropology to Others: A Career Readiness Network Workshop, with Riall Nolan, Elizabeth Briody, Jennifer Studebaker, Ryan Klataske, Adam Gamwell, and Abigail Baim-Lance

  • Introduction to Mapping with Public Participation Geographic Information Systems (PPGIS), with David Banis, Rebecca McClain, Thien-Kim Bui, and Lee Cerveny

  • Leveraging LinkedIn for Career Growth, with Racine Brown

  • Crafting Compelling Narratives: Storytelling Anthropology for Mainstream Audiences, with Adam Gamwell and Elizabeth Briody

  • Learning How to Build Your Network. An Anthropology Career Readiness Network and National Association for the Practice of Anthropology (NAPA) Workshop, with Elizabeth Briody and Niel Tashima

  • So You Want to Publish?: Demystifying the Hidden Curriculum of Academic Journals, with Elizabeth Chin, Editor-in-Chief of American Anthropologist

  • Storytelling for Anthropologists: An Essential Tool and Art, with Niel Tashima and Cathleen Crain

  • Becoming a Practicing Anthropologist: A Workshop for Anthropologists Seeking Non-Academic Careers. An Anthropology Career Readiness Network Workshop, with Riall Nolan

  • Cultural Consensus Analysis, with John Gatewood and John Lowe

  • Introduction to Implementation Science from Anthropological Perspectives, with Cathleen Willging, John Shattuck, and Sara Raskin

  • Applying Anthropology in an Aging World: Breakfast and Networking Event, with Maria Vesperi, Jay Sokolovsky, and Sherilyn Briller

Here are just some of the skills-based and career development sessions you will find in our regular program. As you can see, our program is built and enriched by a combination of core SfAA members and Topical Interest Groups, as well as valued partners. Look out for these sessions and more in the program.

  • Schools & Strategies: Applied Anth in Education    

  • Anthropologists as developers? Applying Anthropology to Make Tools for Solving Social and Environmental Problems 

  • Bridging Generations: Mentoring Models & Model Mentors    

  • Anthropologists in Washington, DC Addressing Public Health Challenges (WAPA)

  • Communicating Research in Words They Can Hear: Approaches to Dissemination (MASSH)

  • Transformation, Participation, Decolonization: Methodological Directions

  • Methods in Migration Research (Immigration)

  • Ethnography & the Co-creation of Care (MASSH)    

  • Critical Ethnographic Methods for Revolutionary Praxis    

  • Decolonizing Disaster (Risk & Disaster)

  • People, Places & Pixels: Integrating Ethnography with Spatial Analysis (PESO)

  • Assessing Career-Ready Curricula for Anthropologists (Higher Ed)

  • Multispecies Ethnographies & Collaborations w/ Journalists & Lawyers

  • Finding & Crafting the Story

  • Community Engagement, Activism: Beyond Academic Publishing

As you can see, we’ve got plenty on the menu for Santa Fe. Browse the program and be sure to add some of these to your annual meeting itinerary. And tell a friend or colleague.
Do you have any ideas for skills or career programming that you’d like to contribute to the program in the future? Or something you’d like to see on offer? Feel free to contact me ( or 2025 Program Chair, Andrew Gardner (, or find us in Santa Fe. I’m looking forward to seeing you all there.

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