SERC > Gudrun Willett

Gudrun Willett

Evaluation Specialist

I joined SERC and Carleton College in January, 2009. As a SERC Evaluation Specialist, I am applying my qualitative and quantitative research skills to studying the efficacy of faculty development programs, interdisciplinary programs, outreach programs for students underrepresented in the sciences, and online instruction materials. In my capacity as Project Director for the Spencer Project ("Tracing the Effects of Faculty Development into Student Learning Outcomes"), I am evaluating faculty development efforts in relation to Quantitative Reasoning (QR) and the Writing Across the Curriculum program (WAC) at Carleton College in conjunction with similar programs (Critical Thinking and WAC) at Washington State University. We seek to understand how, and why, faculty development programs can create change in pedagogy and student learning outcomes.

In the last two years, I conducted three projects for Waterline Consulting, Inc. (Lutsen, MN), including an in-depth 360 study of an organizational consultant, market research for Waterline Consulting, and market research for a Lake Superior north shore restaurant. I utilized semi-structured interviewing techniques and online surveys.

From 1998 to 2005, I served as a teaching assistant and research assistant at the University of Iowa. In 2004, I assisted another Univ. Iowa researcher in his study of ethnic tourism and Mayan politics in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala through participant-observation of tourist activities (including Spanish language school, treks, and development projects). During the 2004-2005 academic year, I designed and taught a course on migration ("Issues in Anthropology: Anthropology and Immigration"). Over the years, I have taught sections of such introductory anthropology courses as "Introduction to Society and Culture" and "Contemporary World Problems." I also collaborated with faculty on an analysis of Russian-Soviet writing (Russian-language) on the United States and programs for developing non-U.S. scholars of American Studies. As a Crossing Borders Fellow (Ford Foundation), I studied and worked with faculty from a wide range of disciplines in the University of Iowa's Liberal Arts College.

The Wenner-Gren Foundation, Netherlands-America Foundation Fulbright, Stanley Foundation, and T. Anne Cleary foundation funded my dissertation research on Russian-speaking migrants' engagement with Dutch and European society in Amsterdam, the Netherlands (2001-2003). For fourteen months (in total), I conducted semi-structured interviews and intense participant-observation with former-Soviet street artists, homeless men, physicists, architects, musicians, sex-workers, Dutch nongovernmental organizations, Dutch police, and Dutch government officials in Amsterdam. I found that Russian-speaking migrants faced difficulties in integrating into Dutch society due to growing worries about migration and national security in the post-September 11 world and with European Union integration and enlargement efforts.


University of Iowa, Ph.D. in Anthropology (2007) and M.A. in Anthropology (2000)
University of California, Santa Cruz, B.A. in Anthropology (1997), phi beta kappa

Publications and Conference Papers

2008 "Consuming Amsterdam: Migrants' (and Tourists') Contributions to International Tourism in the Netherlands," paper presented to the European Studies Group, University of Iowa, Iowa City.

2007 "Crises of Self and Other: Russian-speaking Migrants in The Netherlands and European Union." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Iowa, Iowa City.

2006 "Alienation and Opportunities for Amsterdam's Russian-Speaking Migrants," paper presented at the American Anthropological Association meetings, San Jose, CA.

2004 Book Review in American Ethnologist (vol. 31, no. 3, Aug. 2004) of "Romance on a Global Stage: Pen Pals, Virtual Ethnography, and 'Mail Order' Marriages" by Nicole Constable (2003) University of California Press.

2002 "Trafficking in Generalities: Anti-Trafficking Discourse and the Politics of Exclusion," paper presented at the Crossing Borders Convocation, Ford Foundation and the University of Iowa, Iowa City.

2000 "In Search of the Perfect Bride: The Mail-Order Bride Phenomenon," M.A. Paper, University of Iowa, Iowa City.