To celebrate world anthropology day, the current CAP graduate fellows wanted to share how they became interested in anthropology, and some current or favorite projects they are involved in! Grace: As a first-year PhD student moving to a new state and school, I initially came…
This year we have two undergraduate interns working in the Campus Archaeology Program lab. These two students both attended the summer 2019 archaeological field school. Below you can read a little more about them! Reid Ellefson-Frank is an undergraduate student at MSU working towards a…
Benjamin Akey: Benjamin (they/them/theirs) is a first-year doctoral student and graduate research assistant studying historical archaeology. They received their BA in Anthropology from University of California Santa Cruz in 2018, where they focused on the performance and negotiation of class and ethnic identities through patterns of alcohol consumption in the Santa Cruz lime industry. They currently focus on issues of identity and subject formation among diasporic communities at late-19th and early-20th century sites of industrial labor. Benjamin joined CAP as a fellow in Fall 2019, and is looking forward to opportunities for public outreach/education and collections management.
Jeff Burnett: Jeff is a second year Anthropology PhD. student. His past studies have focused on the archaeology of the African Diaspora in North America, with an interest in the process of freedom and how social constructs affect lived experiences. He is also interested in the production of historical knowledge and the utility of collaborative archaeology to challenge this production. Jeff is excited to start his second year in the Campus Archaeology Program and plans on working with the artifacts recovered in CAP’s 2018 and 2019 excavations of the Toolan house. Jeff joined CAP as a fellow in Fall 2018.
Rhian Dunn: Rhian is a first year biological anthropology doctoral student, focusing in forensic anthropology. Her research interests include human variation and aspects of the biological profile, particularly ancestry estimation. This year, Rhian has joined CAP and hopes to get more experience in archaeological surveying and with identifying historical artifacts. She is also interested in using ArcGIS to explore spatial distributions of artifacts found at MSU.
Grace Shu Gerloff: Grace (She/her/hers) is a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Anthropology. As a sociocultural anthropologist, Grace’s doctoral research focuses on identify formation for Asian American adoptees in the Midwest. This is Grace’s first year as a half-time CAP fellow. She is looking forward to engaging in community outreach and using her experience in education to make connections with the mid-Michigan community and bring awareness to the history of the space that Michigan State University occupies.
Amber Plemons: Amber is a fourth year Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology, focusing in Biological Anthropology, and a returning CAP fellow. Her research focuses on understanding the causative forces of human variation in craniofacial morphology, specifically the impacts of climate and genetics. This year, Amber will be helping to build a database for CAP artifacts recovered and housed at Michigan State University. Additionally, she will continue her work with the Girl Scouts organization to teach the future women of archaeology and help them earn their archaeology badge!
Today is World Anthropology Day, sponsored by the American Anthropological Association. This year we have decided to highlight the non-CAP research our director(s) and fellows conduct. Lynne Goldstein On this World Anthropology Day, I am doing archaeology, but differently than I have done it in…
The 2017-2018 school year has just begun here at MSU. Several large changes are in store at CAP this year, including the pending retirement of CAP director Lynne Goldstein and the addition of associate professor Stacey Camp. We’re excited to continue working on several ongoing projects and begin new and exciting research projects. So please meet the 2017-2018 CAP graduate fellows and undergraduate interns!
CAP Graduate Fellows
Lisa Bright: Lisa is a 4th year Anthropology Ph.D. student. This year Lisa will continue as Campus Archaeologist for her third, and final year. Her dissertation research focuses on focuses on the paleopathology and nutritional status of a historic paupers cemetery in San Jose, California. This year Lisa will be working with other fellows on their projects, supervising three undergraduate internships, and working to complete reports and process artifacts from this summer.
Susan Kooiman: Susan is a 5th year Anthropology Ph.D. student, returning for her third year as a CAP fellow. Her dissertation research focuses on pottery use, cooking practices, and diet of precontact Indigenous groups in the Upper Great Lakes of North America. This year, she and Autumn Beyer will be continuing their project documenting foodways on campus during the Early Period (1855-1870) of MSU’s history. This includes expanding their research and disseminating the results of the project through publication, conference presentations, and other outreach opportunities.
Autumn (Beyer) Painter: Autumn is a third year Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology. Her research focuses on prehistoric foodways through the analysis of animal bones in the Midwestern United States. This is her second year as a CAP fellow, and she and Susan Kooiman will be continue to work together on their project researching food on MSU’s historic campus.
Jeff Painter: Jeff Painter is a fourth year Ph.D. student at Michigan State University who is returning for his second year as a Campus Archaeology Fellow. He is a prehistoric archaeologist focused on foodways, ceramics, and migration in the late prehistoric Midwest. For CAP, he continues his focus on foodways and ceramics, investigating the diversity of dining patterns through time on MSU’s historic campus.
Mari Isa: Mari is a fourth year Ph.D. student in Anthropology. For her dissertation research, she studies the biological and biomechanical factors that contribute to bone fractures. Her other research interests include the potential social and biological impacts of malaria in Late Roman/Early Medieval Tuscany. Mari is returning for her second year as a CAP fellow. This year she is excited to be working on various projects including creating new digital media for msu.seum to highlight recent projects by CAP fellows and interns on topics such as sustainability, foodways, and gender.
Jack Biggs: Jack is a fourth year Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology with a focus in bioarchaeology of the ancient Maya of Mesoamerica. Specifically, he is interested in human growth and development and how infants, children, and adolescents interacted within society and how social constructions of age affected their experience of the physical and social world around them. He conducted some summer field work for CAP in 2016 putting in test units at various locations across campus, including Station Terrace and Beal’s Laboratory. This is his first year as a full CAP fellow and is very excited to be a part of the team.
Kaleigh Perry: My name is Kaleigh Perry, and I am a senior at MSU this year. This past summer, I participated in the CAP Field School and now I have been blessed with the opportunity to be an intern for CAP for the school year. Whereas my interests mostly lie in Forensics, specifically taphonomy – the science of understanding what happens to an organism as it decomposes – the Field School has peaked my interest in Archaeology. Now that I have some field experience, I am excited to get more experience working in a lab and doing research.
Cooper Duda: My name is Cooper Duda andI’m starting my junior year here at MSU. I have a twin brother, Devin, who just transferred here for Criminal Justice. I participated in the CAP Field School this summer, which helped me become more interested in archaeology. Although I do enjoy archaeology and Cultural Resource Management, I plan on going into Forensic Anthropology for graduate school.
Desiree Quinn: Hi, my name is Desiree Quinn and I’m a junior Anthropology major. I’m interested in studying bioarchaeology and environmental anthropology/archaeology. After attending the CAP field school this summer, I became certain that archaeology is the field for me and I am excited to learn more about the research side of archaeology this year!
The 2017-18 academic year will be a momentous one for MSU Campus Archaeology. We are now an established entity in the University with our own budget and clear goals, but as of May 2018, I (Lynne Goldstein) will be retiring from MSU, and the MSU…
By Lynne Goldstein I am also posting this on the Day of Archaeology website. I was not going to personally post today for Day of Archaeology (#dayofarch) since our field season ended a few weeks ago, and I am getting ready for surgery (hip replacement).…
This week kicked off our 2017 field school. Students will be investigation an area in the Abbot median that contained Station Terrace. Take a moment to meet this summer’s field school students. They will be posting weekly blogs during the field school.
Desiree Quinn: Hi! My name is Desiree Quinn and I’m a junior studying anthropology at Michigan State University. Like many others, I first became interested in anthropology after watching the show Bones. (I know that most anthropologists are cringing at my mention of Bones, sorry!) Since then, I’ve grown to love everything about anthropology which has made it difficult for me to pinpoint an area of focus. I have many research interests including bioarchaeology, environmental anthropology, museum studies, and biological anthropology. I’m hoping that this field school, after having some hands-on experience, will help me to narrow down that list.
I’m really excited to see how archaeology can be used in ways that I hadn’t considered. In particular, I’m really looking forward to learning about public archaeology because I think it’s really important for science to be accessible to the public. I also like that this field school gives me the unique opportunity to learn more about my university and I can’t wait to be an archaeologist!
Jerica Aponte: Hello, my name is Jerica. This is my first semester at Michigan State University as a transfer student. I think that getting involved in this field school is the perfect way to get started on this new journey.
Why Anthropology? Is the question that everyone asks me. Well, let me tell you a little about myself. I was born in Puerto Rico, but at the age of seven, my parents became missionaries. This gave me the opportunity to live in countries such as Belize, Peru, and Costa Rica, and I also got to travel to other countries. Getting to see firsthand, not only how much diversity there is, but also compare the similarity between people, sparked my interest in cultures and people.
Even though I am not a student seeking an Archaeology degree, I have learned that Anthropology is a holistic field. All of its different areas, such as: Archaeology, Linguistics, Cultural, and Applied Anthropology, work hand in hand in order to better understand the whole. My interest is in the cultural aspect of anthropology, and one way of understanding the social culture (abstract concepts and ideas) is by studying the physical culture (concrete representation of ideas.) This is why I have decided to participate in the Campus Archaeology Research.
This hands-on experience will help me apply knowledge that I have previously gained in my classes and it will also be a learning experience for me. Something that I am looking forward to is learning more about the roots and foundation of MSU. Learning about the history of the school that I am attending will allow me to appreciate it more. So, even though I like the cultural aspect of anthropology, archaeology helps me visualize how our ancestors lived and functioned in their different spaces.
I am looking forward to this enriching experience and I hope to make many discoveries alongside my classmates. Stay tuned for more updates.
Kaleigh Perry: My name is Kaleigh, I am a junior at Michigan State University, and will be participating in the 2017 MSU Campus Archaeology Field School this summer. I entered MSU as a Chemistry major, but quickly switched my major to Anthropology since I discovered I am more interested in how past people lived than I am in chemical reactions. I am specifically interested in pursuing a career in Forensic Anthropology (dealing with contemporary human remains) or Bioarchaeology (examining archaeological or historically significant human remains) because I find that bones of the deceased can tell fascinating stories about how people lived and died, thereby increasing our knowledge about past ways of life, technology, and cultures that may have become extinct.
I applied for the MSU Field School for two main reasons. First, excavations can be an important part in the Anthropological research process, and for this reason, I want to learn how to properly partake in an excavation. Secondly, by participating in the Field School, I hope to learn something new about the beautiful campus I have been fortunate enough to call home for the past three years.
I am looking forward to seeing what the next month holds.
Cooper Duda: I’m Cooper Duda and am going into my junior year here at MSU. I come from Commerce Township, Michigan; which is about an hour away. I have a younger twin brother that is transferring to MSU in the fall. My freshman year I lived in Wilson Hall and now I live off campus with some friends.
I became interested in Anthropology and Archaeology when I decided I no longer liked my first major, which was Chemical Engineering, and decided to change to something I would actually enjoy and like to do as a career. I have always been interested by history and how things have been changed to become how they are now. The more I learn about the more I am happy with the fact that I changed my major, but I am still unsure if I want to go into a sub-discipline of Archaeology or Physical Anthropology because both are really intriguing to me.
Josh Eads: Hello, folks. My name is Josh Eads. I’m currently an anthropology major at Michigan State University. After the Fall semester of 2017, I’ll graduate and head off to do Cultural Resource Management to start off my career in anthropology. For those of you who don’t know what cultural resource management is, basically it is the process of surveying an area for artifacts related to culture and history, such as American Indian burial grounds or arrow-heads, and saving them from total annihilation.
Initially, my major was physics, but after realizing that physics can be a complete nightmare, I decided to switch to anthropology and archaeology. For anyone who knows Kate Meyers Emery, she’s the one that I will always say “thanks” to for introducing me to the wonders of archaeology.
With CAP 2017, I’m looking forward to getting my hands dirty, literally, and engaging in some good old-fashioned excavation. I look forward to getting the chance to learn about the history of Michigan State University and East Lansing. GO GREEN!
Alex Samons: I’m Alex Samons. I’m a senior anthropology student at Michigan State University now but I’ll be starting to study at a school in England in the coming fall for my master’s degree in Osteoarchaeology.
Osteoarchaeology is, very simply, the study of very old human bones recovered from archaeological contexts. In the UK, osteoarchaeology is considered a field of its own within the larger field of archaeology (which is considered a separate field from anthropology) although here in the US it is considered a form of bioarcheology (an subset of anthropology that focuses on the biological remains of humans and their ancestors).
Yesterday was the American Anthropological Associations Anthropology Day. Campus Archaeology participated by posting a series of short videos showcasing some of the projects and outreach we had conducted over the past week. Here are the permanent links to those videos: CAP Fauna with Autumn Beyer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8tmhEvouXY…