Presidential - Oral Presentation Session
“Engagement” and particularly “public engagement” are terms increasingly heard across universities. While engagement involves different communities at differing levels, the term is used here to suggest a different kind of relationship – one that invites students and new professional anthropologists to participate in association service and governance. Directionality of focus and activity is now outward facing, but also inward facing to the discipline of anthropology. This paper explores how the NAPA Communications Committee served to engage and involve young anthropologists in their first steps in service to the profession. At times the committee had upward of 18 members. Coming in, the volunteers might not have had a full awareness of the profession. Their tasks included developing the website, building and maintaining social media, and managing special projects. They worked in pairs and in teams to create, for example, podcasts, video interviews, career-related resource web pages. NAPA was proud of the work they did, but equally proud of the relationships they acquired and the connections they built. They created “community” within our midst. Their service facilitated collaboration and the equitable sharing of ideas. As newcomers to NAPA, their presence, actions, and activities helped refresh NAPA’s broader mission and open up new ideas for future initiatives. The committee's launch and development can serve as a replicable model in recruiting, training and maintaining anthropologists in a meaningful and beneficial structure.