Kaya Zepeda, Sophomore

December 14, 2018

"...It's a field where you not only learn and engage with varying cultures, but you are also encouraged to self-reflect on your own life as well," says Kaya Zepeda.

What has been your favorite course and why?
“My favorite course that I have taken here at UCSC would definitely be ANTH 110T: Motherhood in American Culture. It was the first upper division course that I had taken for Anthropology and it was a beautiful experience. It opened my eyes to the various debates on motherhood and how there isn't "one" ideal way to be a mother. The beauty of that class not only comes from the passionate instructor, Dr. Megan Moodie, but also from the participation of the insightful students who took that course. Being that the course was heavily discussion-based, it provided an opportunity for individuals to speak their minds without having the fear of being wrong. After taking this course, the amount of respect I had for all mothers, grew immensely and it will continue to grow as I become more educated on the issues surrounding the topic of motherhood. ANTH 110T provided me with the confidence to speak out and question the outrageous “norms” that are placed upon motherhood. I find myself criticizing the “new momism” daily and educating those around me about the difficulties that mothers face both inside and outside of the United States.” 

What does Anthropology (biological, cultural, or archaeological) mean to you?

“What cultural Anthropology means to me is that it's a field where you not only learn and engage with varying cultures, but you are also encouraged to self-reflect on your own life as well. With that being said, it is important to not let your own personal biases influence the discussions about other cultures. I haven’t yet planned on a specific career path in the anthropological field but I would really like to dip my toes into various fields such as exploring the cognitive advances of nonhuman primates, becoming a part of a museum and exploring the curation process, or even advancing myself in a field study program. There are so many different career paths that one could pursue with an Anthropology degree and I don’t see the point in limiting myself to just one career path, but who knows! I might find myself fall madly in love with a certain field and never want to leave it. My advice to those who are just entering the Anthropological field would be to be open and willing to learn in every anthropology course. Granted, there may be a field that's just not your cup of tea, but if you go into any course with a negative mindset, it's going to reflect in your work. Try to find the beauty in everything that you’re learning and try to see how it applies to your own life! The more that you are able to connect to the work, the greater the impact that it will have.”