May 2019 graduate Patty Bumgarner shares insights into her WSU experience…

Patty Bumgarner
Major/minors: Anthropology
Tribal Affiliation: Cherokee tribe/Colville Confederated Tribes
Hometown: Entiat, Washington

Patty Bumgarner ’19

Why did you pick that major/minor? I chose anthropology- specifically forensic anthropology to study skeletal remains within Native populations and how the harsh conditions that were inflicted upon them effected the way they survived.

What was an obstacle you faced while in school and how did you overcome it? I had a baby in my junior year of college, and between studying and taking care of her it became almost impossible. Her dad watched her through the day, while I worked fulltime and was part of the osteology and social media internship my senior year.

What extracurriculars were you involved in while you were at WSU? Osteology internship and Social Media intern for Anthropology

What made your time at WSU most valuable? My time at WSU was most valuable was when I used my skills set working with the three bodies that my group identified. This contributed to my love for forensics and finding closure for families who have lost their loved ones who are unidentified.

Who was a favorite professor and why? Erin Thornton, because she loved bones as much as I did, and encouraged me to pursue a master’s.

Favorite part about campus atmosphere? The atmosphere was more conservative than the college I had attended before in New Mexico. I was able to see not only liberal views, but conservative minds put to work as well.

What will you miss most about WSU? I miss interacting with other students, and compiling data on the three bodies we worked on.

What will you miss about Pullman? I will miss Pullman in the fall around campus with its dynamic scenery.

Where are you now in terms of life/career? I will be attending Law School Gonzaga in the fall for constitutional law, to repeal oppressive Indian laws, vaccine mandates and so on.

Advice for students in your degree field? I advise students not to stop at a bachelor’s, but pursue a master’s or PhD, because it is hard to find a job outside of graduation with this degree.