2019 Field School Students

I’m Kendal Albrecht, a junior anthropology major studying at Michigan State University! I finally made the jump to join MSU’s field school and was accepted for this summer. I am so excited to be working around campus doing something that I have wanted to do for so long. I have only heard good things about those running the field school and its educational value, I couldn’t let an amazing opportunity like this right in my community go! Archaeology is such a unique and interesting field of study that always leaves you wanting more, and doesn’t lack hard work. I also am fascinated by learning how people have lived in the campus area in the past and what they have left behind for us to interpret. I am greatly looking forward to learning professional techniques and ways of public outreach within the field of archaeology that I can take with me to grad school, and even further into my career past higher education.


Ana Buitron is currently a senior studying Anthropology at Michigan State University. She has always been interested in discovering how the smaller details in life help us understand the bigger ideas of society and culture. The MSU Campus Archeology Program Archaeology Field School is intriguing because it is the hand’s on application of theories and subjects Ms. Buitron has learned at Michigan State University. She looks forward to learning anything and everything she can during this opportunity.


Cait Byron: My name is Cait and I am a junior at Michigan State University majoring in both Anthropology and Linguistics. I have always loved archaeology, as a kid I would read books about mummies and dig in my driveway for “fossils,” but it wasn’t until I started my college career that I realized how much I wanted archaeology to be a part of my future. I believe that human history is a truly important area of study and that many answers and insights can be found by observing the past. Every civilization that has risen and fallen has a lesson to teach and I think it can be a waste not trying to learn from them. Looking at the development of humanity throughout time and how we have become what we are today can be humbling and help us to appreciate the ingenuity and skill of past humans as well. I also believe the study of culture and looking at the way different people live and have lived their lives is exceptionally valuable. Having said all of that, I think archaeology also has important functional purposes as well. I want to work in archaeology someday, so I want to know how to practice it appropriately. This field school is a way to do archaeology, not just study it and I’m looking forward to learning.


My name is Courtney Byron and I am a linguistics and anthropology major in their junior year at Michigan State University. I started out interested in general anthropology but when I started taking archaeology classes it became my favorite subject. I’m always happy to learn more about archaeology from all over the world, though lately I’ve been very interested in North American Archaeology. I’m especially fascinated by archaeology that has been done in Michigan, particularly in the upper peninsula. I hope to learn how to do archaeology myself at this field school partly because I simply want to know how to do it, but also because I hope to someday be a professional archaeologist. I’m not sure exactly where I want to go or what I want to do in the future, but I do know that I want archaeology to be a part of that.


Casey Carter: I have been interested in Archaeology since I was a child. I used to dig holes in the woods next to my house looking for the remnants of some ancient civilization. I would also spend a lot of time sifting through the rocks of our gravel driveway trying to find fossils or even arrowheads. I am currently in my fifth and final year of my undergraduate studies at Michigan State University as an Anthropology Major with an Asian Studies Minor. My goal is to become an Archaeologist one day. I am looking forward to every aspect of this field school but I am really interested in the practices and methods of performing an Archaeological dig that we will be learning throughout the month long dig. The most important thing to know about performing an Archaeological dig is how to do it properly. I am very excited to start and eager to learn!


My name is Alexis Cupp, and I am entering my fourth year at Michigan State University. I am majoring in anthropology and minoring in environmental health and sustainability studies. Archaeology and the CAP field school intrigue me because of the opportunity to piece together and appreciate past lifestyles and material cultures. My minor sparked my interest in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and I’m excited to learn how Archaeology and mapping information will relate. I also want to learn more about the process of excavating, surveying, and analyzing data collected from the past. Excavating this campus and being apart of a group that recovers the stories and archaic culture of past historic families is important to me because of its preservation of Michigan State’s heritage. I hope to build on my critical thinking, patience, technical skills and leadership in order to set me up for a future career path and lifestyle.


Reid Ellefson-Frank: Reid is a sophomore who went to Bard College at Simon’s Rock before transferring MSU. His primary era is interest is Anglo-Saxon/Post Norman Conquest England and Wales. He has taught himself Welsh and enjoys reading historical fiction. He hopes that the dig school will give him fundamental field schools and looks forward to digging some very plumb pits. He is accompanied by his service dog Llywelyn, a miniature red poodle. When he is not working Llywelyn enjoys chewing on bones (not sourced from archaeological digs) and running very fast.


Carolyn Faulkner: I have always been interested in archaeology and have leaned towards specializing in historical archaeology. After working in a lab cataloging artifacts, I have decided that I would like to be the one digging instead of only filling out catalog sheets. After experiencing an excavation on a small portion of campus I definitely would like to see more of MSU’s history! Attending a site for the next  month or so should be an good opportunity to find out whether I would like to pursue archaeology any further. I attend MSU currently and will be a senior in the fall, graduating in the spring with my bachelors degree in Anthropology, with minors in International Development and Environmental Health. 


Hi, my name is Dominique Horn and I am a Senior at Michigan State University. I am currently studying Human Biology with a minor in Health Promotion. An interesting fact about myself is that I have a thirty-pound cat named Fat Cat. After I obtain my bachelor’s degree in the Fall of 2020, I plan on attending medical school to further my education. I developed an interest in archaeology through a course I took here at Michigan State University. To me, archaeology is similar to a puzzle. The process of discovering human remains or artifacts through excavating specific sites is just like putting all the pieces together in a puzzle. My interest in the archaeology field school program is to gain a hands-on experience that will allow further development of skills to understand the true importance of archeology in all situations. I look forward to gaining hands-on skills from other individuals, who have knowledgeable information, through this experience. 


Annette McDowell: I am interested in the field school to better my knowledge of field methods in general for not only archaeology, but also any sub-field in anthropology. I believe this field school will be beneficial in training me in field methods as well as providing a basis of field knowledge that I will need for graduate school. I am interested in archaeology because I have found that I enjoy learning about artifacts and the context in which they were used; the history behind them intrigues me. I have also read about laboratory archaeology that involves, to some degree, a knowledge of chemistry. I am intrigued by this too as I enjoy science in general.

I am currently a senior at Michigan State University majoring in both anthropology and history. I continuously hear about working in the field in my anthropology classes, what to do and what to look for, but I have yet to apply that education to a real-life situation in archaeology.  I am looking forward to learning the practical side of archaeology.


Mary Murphy: I’m interested in this field school because I really enjoy field work and I’m looking to expand my knowledge in historical archaeology. I love archaeology, especially neolithic, because I really enjoy the challenge of trying to understand how people lived before any of the modern conveniences that we have. I am an Anthropology and Criminal Justice major here at MSU and I’m junior.  


My name is Jessica Pavlik. I am currently a sophomore studying anthropology at the University of Michigan-Flint. I am interested in archaeology, as this field provides the opportunity to uncover and preserve the material culture of the past. Having the ability to study artifacts in relation to the history of the campus will allow me to further my education as both an student of anthropology and archaeology. By studying and applying archaeological research, I will gain a new insight into the people and places of history. Attending this field school will allow me to apply and expand upon the information I have learned inside the classroom. Through participating in an archaeological field work and research, I hope to gain experience in the field of archaeology. I look forward to having the ability to learn more about the methodology and real world applications of archaeological field work while contributing to our knowledge of Michigan State University’s history. I also look forward to participating in a program that emphasizes community engagement. 


My name is Tabitha Robinson and I major in anthropology as a senior at the University of Michigan-Flint. Since childhood, I have had an enthusiasm for museums, but it was college that guided my passion into something I could do for the rest of my life; anthropology. Since the start of college, the world of anthropology instantly intrigued me. Classes such as public history, historic preservation, and historical archeology are one of the many which have blossomed my passion for understanding material culture and its identification and interpretation as well as creating an engaging experience for the communities one works and studies in. Through participating in this field school, I look most forward to utilizing my knowledge of artifact identification and GIS in real-world applications. This field school will also provide me with the necessary experiences needed to better understand archeological methods as well as the complexities of an archeological site. With this, I will be able to develop the essential skills needed to pursue a career in the fields of public history and archeology. 


My name is Bella Rosi and I am an Anthropology Major at Michigan State University. I am in my second year at MSU, but I am a junior. I’ve been interested in archaeology for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I used to talk about Egyptian archaeology for hours on end, and that fascination has led to a love of archaeology as a whole. I think that my draw for archaeology is wanting to truly understand the human condition, where we came from, why we do what we do. And also to certain degree, the fascination with the past due to what some could consider at not so pleasant present. The main draw to the Campus Archaeology program really lies in wanting to know more about the history of the area. I am not originally from Michigan, I am a military child and have moved across America and also to Italy. So I wanted to learn more about the place I live, allowing for a kind of semi-permanence. Not to mention, it is much more convenient to stay in the country for a field school! 


My name is Sarah Schanhals and I’m a senior at Michigan State University where I’m majoring in Anthropology and minoring in African Studies. I’m very interested in paleoarchaeology and hope to be able to travel to South Africa to search for hominin fossils one day! Ever since I was younger I have had an interest in animals as well as history. When I took my first physical anthropology class, I developed a curiosity for evolution and the transitional hominids whose fossils were waiting to be discovered. I’m looking forward to gaining experience and knowledge from the field school that I will be able to use in my future career. I love archaeology as well as the Lansing area, so I am very excited to participate in the opportunity to excavate a part of campus. Archaeology is a passion of mine and I am very eager to see what the field school will teach me.