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February Student of the Month

Meet Madison Dillard, Humanities and Social Sciences Student of the Month

Hometown: Many places!  She has traveled the world with her military family.

Class:  Junior

Major:  Anthropology

Minors: Biology; Forensic Science

Sample Courses:

  • Human Osteology
  • History and Archaeology of Ancient Latin America
  • Russian Literature in Translation


  • Volunteer, NC Museum of Natural Sciences – prepared dinosaur fossils, Summer 2015
  • Paleontology Field School, NC Museum of Natural Sciences (Mussentuchit, Utah), Summer 2015
  • NC State Bioarchaeology Field School (Lopburi, Thailand), Summer 2015
  • Alternative Service Break, Dominican Republic, Spring 2015
  • Member, Anthropology Club
  • Member, Clown Nose Club
  • Member, EcoVillage Living and Learning on-campus residence
  • Tutor, NC State Tutorial Center


Anthropology Honors Student

Academic Goal:

Doctorate in Physical Anthropology

Why did you select the College of Humanities and Social Sciences?

I started at NC State as a biology major. I took physical anthropology my third semester, a class that focused on primate and hominid evolution, which I found fascinating.  The professor, Dr. Troy Case, helped inspire me to change my major.  I realized that anthropology fit me better, and was more in line with my interests.  I was an anthropologist at heart.

What has been your greatest challenge so far?

Switching from biology to a Humanities and Social Sciences major was initially challenging.  I had been used to studying a data-based field, and then shifted to courses where there was an emphasis on reading.  Balancing coursework with out of class activities has also been difficult at times.

What was the impact of your study abroad in Thailand last summer?

Participating in NC State’s Bioarcheology Field School allowed me to collect data and learn techniques of archaeological excavation firsthand at a 1,700-year-old grave site.  It provided an excellent background in research and fieldwork.  Being in a foreign country was also a tremendous learning experience, as you can observe the differences in areas such as culture, language, food and family.

What advice would you give incoming students?

It is okay if you don’t know precisely what you would like to do with your life.  College permits you to explore many different things.  Life is too short not to take risks and try something new – it could lead you down a previously unknown path.  Use this time to follow your dreams.