Blake Hite, a recent graduate of the UNC-Chapel Hill Class of 2020, is a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and was born and raised in Pembroke, North Carolina. During his time here, Blake double majored in Anthropology and American Indian and Indigenous Studies with a minor in History. He was extremely active in his extracurriculars at UNC, finding his “home away from home” with both the Gamma Chapter of Phi Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc. serving as both the Secretary and Historian, as well as serving as both the Secretary and Historian in the Carolina Indian Circle.
Blake is currently a M.A./Ph.D. student in cultural anthropology at the University of South Carolina at Columbia. He is a Teaching Assistant for ANTH 102: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology and he is also a Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program Scholar, a program made for a select few graduate students from underrepresented backgrounds who are interested in entering the professoriate and increasing the diversity of tenured professors. He learned about the Grace Jordan McFadden Professors Program when he visited the university during the summer of 2019, when his McNair cohort went to visit the campus. His credentials and work ethic caught the attention of his graduate director, who recommended him applying to the program.
When asked about his motivation for going to graduate school, Blake said that he decided that he wanted to go to graduate school after his sophomore year of undergrad. During that time, he was accepted to do an internship with the Southern Oral History Program and conducted original research on Native activism at UNC. With this invaluable experience he had gained from the internship, he applied to the McNair Scholars Program, a program designed for preparing undergraduate students for doctoral studies, focusing on those from underrepresented backgrounds, and was accepted.
The McNair Scholars Program provided Blake with a strong cohort in which he was a beloved member, and had the opportunity to connect with many other like-minded students. He was able to attain the tools and guidance needed to navigate the graduate application process, and through all of his experiences he learned that pursuing graduate school would provide him with an avenue in telling the stories of modern day Native people.
For after graduate school, Blake has goals to apply for a tenure-track position at a research institution after completing his PhD. Following his passions for anthropology and American Indian studies, he hopes to one day teach these subjects to his own students.