After 25 Years as a Miner, Student Earns Degree in Anthropology: Christopher Dziadosz, '20

May 6, 2020
Christopher Dziadosz

Christopher Dziadosz

Christopher Dziadosz is an Honors student graduating with a 4.0 GPA, a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology, and a minor in American Indian studies.

Christopher transferred to UArizona from Pima Community College in the fall of 2018 and has received the Spring 2020 Honors College Outstanding Transfer Student Award.

Christopher returned to school after a 25-year career in the mining industry. He also has been raising five children, with two still at home.

“Before I enrolled in community college at the youthful age of 49, I had a nagging feeling for decades that something important was missing in my life,” Christopher said. “As someone who promoted the value of education to his children, it only seemed fitting that I back that up by returning to school.”

Christopher worked full-time while going to school. He is a program coordinator for Wayfinders at the University of Arizona, helping with outreach activities, programs, and services to support academic advising on campus.


Last spring, Christopher presented his research on “White Mountain Apache Food Sovereignty as an Expression of Tribal Sovereignty” at the Arizona Undergraduate Research Symposium:  His Honors Thesis is on “Historical and Contemporary Dynamics of Water in Relation to Diné Peoplehood.”

“When you study anthropology at the University of Arizona, you have the opportunity to learn under renowned luminaries in the four subfields,” Christopher said. “Our professors are world leaders in research and field work yet they are readily accessible and genuinely care about your success. I cannot imagine a major that better prepares students for all that life will throw at them than anthropology. No matter what career you choose to enter, the ability to understand and interact with other humans is paramount. Knowing and understanding past, present, and, potentially, future events is what sets anthropology apart from many other disciplines.”

“We both got to know Chris in our classes. He is prepared and interested in every topic discussed, and he has very thoughtful and informed questions indicative of a deep intellectual curiosity,” wrote Vance Holliday and Irene Romano, both professors in the School of Anthropology.

Christopher has also volunteered at the Tucson Mission Gardens, with voter registration, and on the White Mountain Apache Reservation as part of the Honors Alternative Spring Break.

“In all endeavors, my objective is to create, to empower, and to unite,” Christopher said. “All of the paths I have taken have led me to this moment in time, where service to others takes precedent above all else.”

Christopher added, “Earning a BA in anthropology from the University of Arizona represents the culmination of a dream and perseverance. I hope others are inspired to realize that it is never too late to change your life's trajectory and to make your mark on the world.”