This year there have been some curious public reactions to a girl’s prom dress and Zac Ephron’s new hairstyle. In May, Keziah Daum wore a Chinese-style dress to her prom. After posting pictures of her prom night on social media, one Twitter user responded with “MY culture is not your prom dress.”
In today’s academic environment, community colleges face a combination of challenges that make establishing a relevant and meaningful identity somewhat difficult. These challenges include the question of what we specifically want to define as our community college brand and how we can make that brand fit the needs of the greatest number of today’s students.
My students and I do some “myth busting” on the first class meeting of the semester. “How does pop culture portray archaeology?” I ask. Students are quick to identify classic movies cast by actors who portray archaeologists in leading roles: Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider, or The Mummy. I ask them to tell me about these characters; students typically discuss the fictional archaeologists’ brush with dangerous booby traps, their quest for sacred artifacts and precious metals, the pillaging of archaeological sites, and even the characters’ sex appeal.