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Dr Robert Edinger with Son David



MA Environmental Anthropology, Ecotourism

“To leave the world a little better, 

Whether by a healthy child, 

A garden patch,

Or a redeemed social condition;….

To know even one life has breathed easier
Because you have lived…
This is to have succeeded.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from the University of North Texas (UNT) in 2006. I was on the Dean’s or President’s List every year and a member of Phi Theta Kappa and Golden Key Honor Societies. My experience has been so positive at UNT that I would love to continue to study here, towards a graduate degree in Anthropology. Currently, I am taking graduate anthropology courses at UNT as a non-degree seeking student, so as to establish my capacity to perform at a graduate level in this field.

I am a very serious and dedicated person for my age, in part, because I grew up with a mentally handicapped sister and a physically handicapped brother, helping me to become strong and responsible while still very young. The daily challenges that my family has had to face daily have assured me that anything can be overcome through hard work and determination. I have sought social confirmation and solidarity through volunteer participation with the Charity Gala for Collin County Children & Community Health Clinic. I am also a volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Texas, serving as a ¨big.¨ A smile on my little brother´s face makes my day.  Itt is an honor to be his mentor. After losing my second grandfather to cancer in January of 2009, I also became a volunteer for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, where I raised $1,500 for cancer research. This was a very proud moment for me and my family.

My love for Spanish language and culture led me to pursue a B.A. in Spanish. My greatest passion in life is to travel and I have a special affinity for Latin America. Most particularly, I adore the intersection of indigenous culture and environmental issues. For me it was love at first sight when I found myself in my first Anthropology class, and the romance continued through several other elective classes in Anthropology as an undergraduate. This is why I have my heart set on going to graduate school in this area. I have always been intrigued by cultures, languages, and especially religion. The importance of preserving the cultures of indigenous peoples and maintaining the natural diversity of our world can hardly be underestimated.

With each passing day, I become more ecologically and socially conscious. I have always cared about the environment, but I became especially enlightened to the dire situation of our planet through my environmental anthropology class with Professor Grace Bascope. I have been deeply moved by Dr. Bascope’s passion for the environment. Dr. Tony Burgess from Texas Christian University has been instrumental in inspiring me to be more active in doing my part to save our planet. My dedication to our environment, along with my passion for travel and cultural studies, has naturally led me to get involved with ecotourism. I intend to continue to study its pros and cons and its impact on local communities. In my opinion, the best way to educate people about the environment is by allowing them to experience its wonders for themselves. Personally connecting to the land, I believe, helps to instill the importance of conservation. I hope to become part of a team that takes ecotourism to new moral levels of collaboration and grass roots work with communities in such a way that the local populations are themselves benefit from the experience of tourism. Studying environmental anthropology will increase my sensitivity to the complex issues that result out of competing cultural and economic visions, interests, and ideologies. By studying in your program I will come to a much better understanding of our symbiotic relationship with our environment. I keenly look forward to studying the broad gambit of theoretical frameworks that help us to understand our chances for salvation and redemption for our bleeding planet, finding solutions that benefit everyone involved while protecting indigenous people in particular. My hunger for knowledge increases every year and I am eager to attain this new level of full time graduate study. I will give my all towards excelling with my studies, spurred on by the hope of being able to make this world a little better by improving the lives of others through a career in socially-conscious ecotourism.

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