Allow me to introduce myself!
- Thanks, Bob, for suggesting this. I guess we should do this about once a
year so those folks who haven't been to the meetings, or those we didn't get
to meet, or the new folks to the list can get an idea about who is in the
My name is Dianne Chidester.
My first SACC meeting was Toronto. I was a graduate student from the
University of South Carolina looking for a job at the community college
level. I've been to every SACC meeting since. I now attend because I get
so much out of the meetings and it seems I'm always looking for a job!!
My area of interest is the Middle East and North Africa specifically women's
dances and rituals. My thesis was on Egyptian-American Weddings in the
Carolinas and how the brides tried to bridge the gaps between the two
I have good job news. I am happily and gainfully employed at Greenville
Technical College where I am teaching anthropology and sociology. We have
two physical anthropologists in the biology department. I'm the first and
only cultural anthropologist at the school. I'm hoping to connect with the
physical anthros (they're new, too!) and really get some good anthro
programs going here. I'm also very happy to be back in the South.
One of the most important things SACC members have done for me over the
years is encourage me in my job search and help me find my strengths and
weaknesses. There were many lunches, dinners, and coffees when folks gave
me very, very good advice. I appreciate it so much.
The meetings are very useful to me. I get lots of teaching ideas. I use
some of them and just like to think about others. I learn about programs in
other schools--archaeology and travel abroad, for example. I know that when
I ask for help or suggestions from SACC members, lots of good advice will be
forthcoming on a wide range of topics.
I also very much enjoy the site tours during our spring meetings. These
meetings have given me a chance to visit places I probably wouldn't have
visited. And we get tours that "normal" folks just don't get. I'll never
forget going to Monte Alban and our "tour guide" being one of THE
archaeologists of the site.
I love the dinners, the late nights in the bar, and the long discussions.
It gives me a chance to be around anthropologists who understand why I want
to teach at a community college. I am around other anthros sometimes, but
for a long time a few of them "looked down" on my choice to teach at "such a
level." SACC kept me going during these times. I have never felt "talked
down to" at SACC meetings and a couple of "university-types" have now told
me how much they appreciate what SACC does--especially with the Five-Fields
At a new faculty meeting the first week of class here at Greenville Tech, we
were each asked what one of the most important experiences in our academic
lives had been. For me it was being given the honor of organizing the 2005
SACC Spring Conference. This was, without a doubt, one of the most
rewarding experiences I have ever had. I feel honored to have been asked to
organize the meetings and was happy to make it possible for SACCers to have
an opportunity to gather in an interesting place and have new experiences.
Of course, no organization can meet the needs of all people. However, SACC
has really been a great experience for me. I have to admit, I am one of the
extroverts of the group and maybe we get a bit too rowdy for some folks!
Dianne Lynn Chidester, M.A.
Anthropology & Sociology
Greenville Technical College
506 S. Pleasantburg Dr