Nalatie Alpers


My elementary and high school years were spent in Waldorf education in Jamestown and San Francisco, California. I believe my experience in Waldorf provided me with an excellent personal and ethical foundation for meeting both the challenges of higher education and also those posed by an increasingly complex world. In the Fall of 2002 I began attending Columbia College and, purely by luck, landed in Paula and Ted’s team-taught Cultural Anthropology/Cultural Geography class. Their class was what I had been looking for in college — the intellectual engagement and challenge that I needed and wanted—it truly boggled my mind in the most wonderful ways possible. Over the next three years I took a total of nine classes with Paula and Ted, developing my critical reading, writing, and reasoning skills and falling in love with Anthropology. In 2003 I took a semester off from Columbia and traveled, along with a friend, to Guatemala to volunteer at A.W.A.R.E., a no-kill, non-profit animal shelter. We spent three months caring for the dogs and cats at the shelter before traveling (by bus) throughout Central America for a month. This was an amazing experience for me and it further solidified my interest in Anthropology, social justice, human and animal rights, and conservation. Before leaving Columbia to transfer to the University of California, Berkeley, I was honored to receive their Future Promise scholarship and the Columbia College Faculty scholarship. I studied for two years at UC Berkeley, graduating with a B.A. in Anthropology in 2007, earning high honors. Currently, I am back at Columbia, happily working for Paula and Ted as a teaching and research assistant. Since graduating from Berkeley I have been able to do some summer traveling around the Western U.S. visiting National Parks, including the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Grand Tetons, and Yellowstone. It has been a joy to see these amazing natural wonders. Also, in the summer of 2011 I was able to volunteer for two weeks at the Best Friends Animal Society's Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. Being at this incredible sanctuary was an inspiring experience and one that I am eager to repeat. In the future I am planning to attend graduate school and am researching programs in the areas of Anthropology, Primatology, and Library Science.

UC Berkeley, Anthropology Department

Animal Welfare Association-Rescue/Education (AWARE)

Best Friends Animal Society