Dr. Terry Brock is a historical and public archaeologist, and is currently the Assistant Director of Archaeology at the Montpelier Foundation in Orange, Virginia. He served as the first Campus Archaeologist from 2008 to 2010 while a graduate student at MSU. As someone who was…
Tag: campus archaeologist
Chris Stawski was involved with Campus Archaeology at its inception, beginning as an archaeological technician in the summer of 2008. Chris also held the position of Campus Archaeologist during the 2010-2011 academic year. During his tenure with CAP, he was a…
Dr. Amy Michael is a biological anthropologist whose research examines the microstructure of human bones and teeth in order to address questions ranging from health and social identity in the ancient Maya to the effect of lifestyle factors on skeletal age. She is currently a lecturer at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH and serves as a senior staff member on the Central Belize Archaeological Survey project. Dr. Michael was a Campus Archaeology fellow from 2011 to 2017.
As part of our ongoing series highlighting CAP alumni I (virtually) sat down with Dr. Michael to ask her about her time as a Campus Archaeology fellow. During our conversation we talked about how a biological anthropologist ended up spending six years working on projects in historical archaeology, and learned how that experience shaped who she is as an anthropologist.
Q: You’re a biological anthropologist, so how and why did you get involved with CAP?
A: I took a mortuary archaeology class with [Dr. Lynne Goldstein, former CAP Director] and I just really admired her. I thought that she was an incredible mentor and person. At that point in grad school I was still figuring things out and exploring my options in the [anthropology] program. I met with Lynne and she was very welcoming. She saw the value in bringing in different viewpoints to the table. Right away she put me on a project researching sustainability on campus, which got me working in the [MSU] archives. I realized I really liked doing archival work and that led to me developing a gender and landscape project that involved a lot of research in the archives.
Q: Can you tell me more about that project?
A: The project focused on how early college women experienced landscape differently from men. I spent a lot of time in the archives reading through scrapbooks and journals and notes from women’s student council meetings. I was able to piece together that early women on campus were restricted in where they were allowed to be. They needed chaperones to go certain places. But within the journals and scrapbooks you also saw a lot of humor about their situation. The women would pull pranks and write about the rules they had to follow in this really tongue in cheek way. It became less a story of restriction and more about how these women worked to make that section of campus their own. They set up their own student council, they policed themselves, and they made that area of north campus work for them.
Q: What was your favorite part about working for CAP?
A: For me the best part was figuring out that I was interested in an area of anthropology that I previously had zero experience working in. Even though I’m someone whose primary interest is in biological anthropology, [Dr. Goldstein and CAP] helped me conceptualize that to be a good anthropologist you have to be interested in everything else. You don’t have to be excellent in everything, but all fields should inform what you do.
Q: How do you bring what you learned in CAP to what you do now?
A: I think working with CAP and historical archaeology made me a better anthropologist because I couldn’t rest on my expertise in bones. The projects I work on in the Maya world are very much osteology driven, they’re focused on extracting technical and methodological data from bones. [In CAP] I had to get more creative about how to get at things. It pushed me to learn new skills – what isa good, efficient way to search the archives? How can I look at these artifacts? How can I use every line of evidence available to me? Being pushed out of my comfort zone made me realize I’m not just interested in bones and teeth. It gave me a better idea of what I’m interested in and what I can do.
Every job I’ve had I’ve been asked about CAP in the interview. They always want to know, “You’re a bio person but you did six years of historical archaeology?” There’s this assumption that you can’t have other interests, but that’s not true. I think that because of my experience I can speak to a broader audience of students.
CAP has also given me access to something I can share with my students. When I worked at LCC [Lansing Community College] and Albion [College], I was able to send some of my students to CAP. The CAP field school is such an important opportunity for students who can’t afford to spend the time or money to go abroad to get field experience. It’s important to me because I couldn’t afford it in undergrad.
Q: What do you miss most about CAP now that you’re an alumna?
A: Lynne Goldstein! I miss working closely with her and with the CAP fellows. Going to CAP meetings I really felt a sense of camaraderie. I miss being part of a project that was led by someone I really admired.
At UNH, [Dr. Meghan Howey, Professor of Anthropology] runs a campus archaeology project called “The Lost Campus.” It prioritizes freshmen to get them immediately interested in the history of UNH and making a connection to campus. CAP had a big influence on that program. It’s cool to me to be at a place where we’re paying homage to Lynne Goldstein and giving students these archaeology experiences early on.
Michigan State’s Campus Archaeology program has provided fellowships for a number of graduate students in anthropology. These fellowships are awarded to enthusiastic, motivated students who are interested in gaining a unique learning experience. The fellows dedicate a lot of time and energy into conducting research…
As a new member of the Campus Archaeology Program and as someone starting my first year in the anthropology program, I have not yet chosen a project, so I was delighted when the opportunity to interview a former member of CAP came up. As I…
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 Campus Archaeology Program will have a new Director and, hopefully, even more exciting and new directions.
Thanks to the assistance of Dean Rachel Croson of the College of Social Science, MSU has hired Dr. Stacey Camp as an Associate Professor of Anthropology who will become Director of the MSU Campus Archaeology Program in May 2018. We have the good fortune to be able to spend this year making sure that we have everything in good shape, and preparing Stacey for the details of running this unique program.
MSU has been extraordinarily generous and supportive of the Campus Archaeology Program, and I cannot thank the Administration enough for their vision in championing the program and providing both undergraduate and graduate students unique and important training and career opportunities.
The rest of this post is written by Stacey Camp, introducing herself to MSU Campus Archaeology Program supporters.
I am honored and excited to be joining Michigan State University as a faculty member in the Department of Anthropology and as the Director of the MSU Campus Archaeology Program. I appreciate the opportunity to shadow Dr. Goldstein to ensure continuity in the MSU Campus Archaeology Program. I come from the University of Idaho where I spent 9 years as a faculty member and close to 4 years as the director of one of three state repositories in Idaho.
I have admired the MSU Campus Archaeology Program’s work from afar for many years, attending sessions on the project at conferences, reading its blog, and following its Twitter account. I was attracted to the program because of my own research projects, which have foregrounded a publicly engaged approach to archaeology.
My research takes a comparative approach to understanding the lives of migrants inhabiting the late 19th and early 20th century Western United States. My first large-scale public archaeology project examined the lives and archaeology of Mexican migrant laborers and their families, which I blogged about on a now defunct website. My latest project looks at the archaeology of Japanese American prisoners incarcerated in a World War II internment camp, and has likewise been documented on the web.
One of things I have appreciated about the MSU Campus Archaeology Program is its innovative and creative approach to placing the history of higher education in Michigan into the public’s hands. Their recent historic “MSU dinner” and their ongoing partnership with the MSU Paranormal Society to offer historic haunted tours are just a few examples of this type of engagement. I look forward to collaborating with students, colleagues, and community partners on the MSU Campus Archaeology Program to continue to develop new strategies to push the boundaries of public archaeology at MSU.
Looking back at my tenure as Campus Archaeologist it’s clear that I’ve learned invaluable lessons in the past two years. Not only have I gained valuable skills in social media and public outreach, but I’ve been able to hone my archaeological skills. So here is…
Hi, I’m Lisa Bright, the newest MSU Campus Archaeologist. I’m very excited to take over this position from Kate Frederick. I’ve been working with CAP for the last year, but my personal experience with archaeology on MSU’s campus goes back much further than that. I…
The purpose behind the Campus Archaeology Program here at MSU is to connect the past to the present in order to inform the future. Archaeology allows us to engage the past so we can understand where we come from. MSU’s past is vibrant, making the archaeology of MSU even more fascinating. As the incoming Campus Archaeologist I look forward to delving into the dynamic history of this great University and gaining an understanding of what it means to be a Spartan today.
I am a born and bred Michigander. I grew up in southern Michigan (Coldwater), earned my undergraduate degree in Anthropology at MSU; received my Master’s from Wayne State University in Detroit; and am back at MSU working on my Ph.D. in Anthropology (archaeology). I am a Spartan through and through. You will hear me cheering at the top of my lungs every football Saturday and never see me wearing shades of maize and blue.
While I have a broad range of archaeological background, having dug in the Southwest (Arizona and New Mexico), Ecuador, Illinois, and Wisconsin, my true research interests lie in Northern Michigan (for reference, picture me pointing to the tip of my ring finger on my right hand). My research focuses on prehistoric food storage in the Inland Waterway of Northern Michigan.
My third year of graduate studies here at MSU is sure to be exciting. Taking on the role of Campus Archaeologist allows me a fresh perspective on archaeology. This position requires not only the coordination of the spectrum of archaeological excavation (from survey to full-fledged excavations), but also close collaboration with other sectors of MSU, such as the Physical Plant.
The title of Campus Archaeologist leaves big shoes to fill. My goals as Campus Archaeologist are to continue the strong tradition of public outreach and informing the public on MSU’s buried past. Campus Archaeology will give me the opportunity to protect and preserve the legacy of MSU.