Abby Vidmar '19

Abby Vidmar '19

Major: Anthropology

Why did you choose to study anthropology at Luther?

I chose a liberal arts college because I wanted to be able to take courses in a variety of disciplines. It is critical to have an understanding of a vast number of subjects because issues in the world are complex. Luther’s anthropology program reflects this multidisciplinary mindset. Students in the program take courses in several areas of anthropology. An important part of the program is how anthropology can combine with other fields of study. Faculty members also provide opportunities for practical experiences. The professors push students to consider areas they want to study, helping them understand what options are out there. They also focus on how students can take their interest in anthropology into the real world. Deciding the areas on which I wanted to concentrate my studies was challenging, but it helped me figure out what I enjoy most.

What has been your most valuable experience at Luther so far?

Taking Cultural Anthropology with Lori Stanley was pivotal in my decision to be an anthropology major. I loved reading about cultural anthropology and discussing it in class. Listening to Lori’s experiences in the field made it applicable. Surrounding myself with other students interested in anthropology has also been valuable.

Interacting with students pursuing other subject areas has influenced me as well. It was through conversations with them that I decided to take Global Politics. This class helped me decide to include international studies as a major area of my anthropology focus.

What are your plans after graduation?

I am interested in joining the Peace Corps for a year. After that, I plan on applying to graduate school to continue studying anthropology. I would also like to complete internships in different areas of anthropology to gain experience.

How do you get involved on campus and in Decorah?

During the weekends, I love to wake up early and get coffee in downtown Decorah. Homework breaks involve exploring the many trails around Luther while running, biking, or hiking. I often take my camera with me to take photos of the beautiful scenery. In the fall, I walk to the farmer’s market to get fresh produce. Otherwise, I try to get involved in the community whenever I can! One way I join in is through Community Sing, an informal singing group open to anyone.

What is one class you would recommend to all students?

Statistics is an important class for everyone to take. Understanding how to interpret data is important to ascertaining what is true or opinionated. It applies to daily life, regardless of your occupation.


  • Varsity Soccer
  • Norse Club
  • Anthropology Club
  • Dance Marathon

I get excited learning about the differences between peoples and cultures. It's interesting to see how they find meaning in their behaviors and practices. Understanding these differences is important for creating acceptance, peaceful interactions and healthy environments in the world.

—Abby Vidmar ‘19