What does the newly-elected President of Afghanistan and President Obama’s mother have in common? Answer: anthropology. Both Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Ann Dunham earned PhDs in Anthropology—she from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1992, he a decade earlier at Columbia University. And while this factoid might seem like the lead-in for the opening monologue on late-night television, it actually suggests something rather important for the future of global leadership.
How do college students choose their majors?
Are finance majors lured by Wall Street and potential future earnings? Are English majors hoping to become the next Walt Whitman or Billy Collins? Are political science students looking for an easy A in ‘Intro to Government,” hoping to boost their grade point average and to increase their chances of getting into law school?
Professor of sociology Dan Chambliss at Hamilton College in upstate New York said it's more simple than that. As undergraduates descend on college campuses across the country, Chambliss has found many of them will be more likely to major in a certain field if they have a caring and charismatic professor at the front of the class.