Angela Zimmer, Human Biology
Class: Graduate Student
Hometown: Byram, NJ
Role: Field Expert
(May 2018 & Jan 2019 Teams)
Why is this humanitarian work important to you?
I’ve always been interested in helping people less privileged than I am. I think a lot of what you get in life is set by some arbitrary, predetermined factors that you have no control over and, unfortunately, many people have to work five times as hard to be successful. I never want to put myself in a bubble where I believe everyone lives the same way I do. It’s important to see the adversity others face, and it’s more important to show those people that they are not alone or forgotten.
What do you hope to gain from this experience?
I hope to gain first-hand, on-the-ground knowledge on the current migrant crisis. I think you can read about something a thousand times, but nothing compares to actually seeing and living it. I also hope to gain experience with working with other organizations that all have the same goal.
What are some of the biggest challenges you will face while in Texas?
I REALLY hate the heat. I’d rather work in the snow. Other than the weather I’m curious about the emotional toll this work may have.
What’s one thing people probably don’t know about you until they’ve known you a long time?
I am a voracious reader. I love it. Anytime I have a break from school I read. I also pull the cheese off my second slice of pizza. It usually takes people much longer to notice that one.
I heard a talk when I was in undergrad by a PhD candidate who had done work with the mass graves in Iraq. The thought of those people being tossed away like they never existed while their families and friends worry about what happened to them struck me. I decided I wanted to help people who no longer had the voice to help themselves. When I was first researching graduate programs, UIndy’s Human Biology program seemed like it could be applied to a number of fields. It was later that I saw the previous work done in Texas and I knew that this particular program offered everything I was looking for. This work in South Texas allows me to do that.
What advice would you give other students interested in pursuing a human biology degree at UIndy?
Work hard and apply! It was stressful taking the GRE and filling out all of the applications, and I wasn’t even sure I was going to get accepted but here I am! It’s worth every minute of preparation.
What makes UIndy’s human biology program distinctive?
The human biology program at UIndy allows for so many opportunities and hands-on experiences! Very few programs offer exploration in a number of forensic fields and allow you to follow forensic cases from start to finish.