Tag: CAP Fellows

CAP Fellows Reflect on a Society for Historical Archaeology Anti-racism Training

CAP Fellows Reflect on a Society for Historical Archaeology Anti-racism Training

In this blog post CAP fellows share our reflections on an anti-racism, anti-bias training we took on Friday October 30th . The training was sponsored by the Society for Historical Archaeology and dozens of archaeologists, educators, and heritage professionals participated in the four hour session. 

The Haunted Tour Re-CAP: Going Virtual in the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Haunted Tour Re-CAP: Going Virtual in the COVID-19 Pandemic

With COVID-19 still dictating much of our day-to-day lives, Campus Archaeology made the early call to put all of our outreach events for the foreseeable future online or in some digital format. One of our most popular and fun events we put on is the 

INTRODUCING OUR 2020-2021 CAP GRADUATE FELLOWS

INTRODUCING OUR 2020-2021 CAP GRADUATE FELLOWS

Thank you Autumn Painter, outgoing Campus Archaeologist:

Autumn Painter, Campus Archaeologist

As we say goodbye to outgoing Campus Archaeologist Autumn Painter who, in her two years in the position, continued CAP’s legacy of creative outreach, education, and mitigation while also profoundly shaping the future of the program, we welcome in a new Campus Archaeologist and a cohort of new and returning graduate fellows.

Campus Archaeologist:

Photograph of Jeff Burnett sitting, hands clasped, at a table.

Jeff Burnett: Jeff (he/him/his) is a third-year Ph.D. student in the department of Anthropology. After two years as a CAP fellow, this fall Jeff begins his first term as the Campus Archaeologist. His research focuses on the archaeology African Diaspora in the 19th and 20th centuries and using community-based practices to explore the intersections of class and race in the construction, maintenance, and memorialization of place and space in the United States. This year Jeff will be working with other fellows on their projects, helping to rethink our outreach in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and studying the archaeological and historical presence of children on MSU’s campus.

Campus Archaeology Program Graduate Fellows:

Photograph of Benjamin Akey looking down at an artifact in their hands.

Benjamin Akey: Benjamin (they/them/theirs) is a second-year doctoral student and graduate research assistant, with a focus on North American historical archaeology. They received their BA in Anthropology from University of California Santa Cruz in 2018, where they wrote a thesis on identity formation and the (re)production of consent for capitalist modes of accumulation through patterns of alcohol consumption in the Santa Cruz lime industry. They currently focus on the intersection of company-town labor regimes and the formation of specific radicalized, classed, and gendered identities among Japanese-American communities in the early 20th century. Benjamin joined CAP as a fellow in Fall 2019, and is particularly looking forward to continuing to develop outreach skills, doing archival research, and report writing.


Photograph of Jack Biggs crawling out of the mouth of a cave.

Jack Biggs: Jack (he/him/his) is a seventh year Ph.D. candidate, specializing in Biological Anthropology and is a returning CAP fellow (after a year hiatus). His research is focused on the ancient Maya of Mesoamerica and how their cultural ideas of age, identity, and cosmology intersect and record themselves within their bones and teeth. As a big proponent of using 3D technologies to teach and show others about MSU’s cultural heritage, Jack is hoping to use this skillset to bolster CAP’s digital outreach during the current COVID-19 crisis so that anyone can have access to the rich history beneath our feet.


Photograph of Rhian Dunn hand-mapping at a table.

Rhian Dunn: Rhian (she/her/hers) is a second year biological anthropology doctoral student, focusing in forensic anthropology. Her research interests include human variation and improving aspects of the biological profile (i.e., human identification). Rhian is starting her second year as a CAP fellow and hopes to continue getting more experience in archaeological surveying and with identifying historical artifacts. She is also interested in public outreach and archival data used to provide context for archaeological work. 


Photograph of Emily Milton with a camera in front of a vista of the Atacama desert.

Emily Milton: Emily (she/her/hers) is a second-year dual-degree doctoral student in Anthropology and Environmental Science and Policy. Her research combines archaeology and paleoclimatology to study how human use of mountain landscapes has changed since the last ice age. This is Emily’s first year as a CAP fellow. She is excited to engage with CAP’s existing public outreach events by helping to transfer in-person experiences online.   


Photograph of Amber Plemons using a total station to take measurements of a coffin.

Amber Plemons: Amber (she/her/hers) is a fifth year Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology, focusing in Biological Anthropology. This is her third year serving as a CAP fellow. Her research focuses on understanding the causative forces of human variation in craniofacial morphology, specifically the impacts of climate and genetics. Amber assisted in building a database for CAP artifacts recovered and housed at Michigan State University and aims to continue to improve and modify the database and prepare a public searchable front end for the database this year. Additionally, she will continue her work with the Girl Scouts organization to teach the future women of archaeology by creating an online platform and help with other CAP duties, such as site research, report writing, and researching the history of minorities on MSU campus.

CAP logo
Stranger in the Lab

Stranger in the Lab

“What were you thinking?!” I asked myself a cool day in September. I kept my eyes down toward the black tabletop to avoid making eye contact with the trowels across from me that seemed to be staring back and whispering “you’re in the wrong building!” 

Final ReCAP: A Fellow’s Farewell to Campus Archaeology

Final ReCAP: A Fellow’s Farewell to Campus Archaeology

Hello, old friends. It is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye. It is a bittersweet farewell: I’ve finished my Ph.D. (a good thing),and it is therefore time for me to end my tenure with Campus Archaeology (a sad thing). The past three-and-a-half years 

Meet the 2016-2017 CAP Fellows

Meet the 2016-2017 CAP Fellows

It’s that time again, meet the 2016-2017 CAP fellows.  We’re excited to get to work on a batch of new projects this year, under the guidance of CAP director Dr. Lynne Goldstein.

Lisa Bright: Lisa is a third year PhD student in Anthropology, returning for her second year as Campus Archaeologist. Her dissertation 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 two undergraduate internships, and working to complete reports and process artifacts from this summer.

Amy Michael: Amy Michael is a returning CAP fellow (can’t get rid of me!). She is furthering her research on gendered use of space on campus and looks forward to including artifacts found during the summer 2016 excavations in her analysis. This year, Amy will work with Lisa Bright on a variety of projects including the analysis of the historic privy vs. campus middens or trash sites.

Susan Kooiman: Susan is a fourth year Ph.D. student in Anthropology. Her research focuses on prehistoric pottery use, cooking practices, and diet, and her dissertation will explore these topics in the Upper Great Lakes of North America. This is her second year as a CAP fellow, and she and Autumn Beyer will be working together on a project highlighting food on campus during the Early Period (1855-1870) of MSU’s history. They plan to recreate historic MSU meals based on food remains found in an early privy during CAP survey in 2015 and create online digital media documenting the project for the public.

Jeff Painter: Jeff is a third year Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology, with a focus in prehistoric archaeology in the Midwest and Eastern Woodlands. Specifically, he focuses on interaction and foodways in late prehistory and the function and use of ceramic vessels in the past. This is his first year as a CAP fellow and he plans on exploring the role of institutional ceramics at MSU as well as the ceramics found in the Gunson House trash pit excavations from summer 2015.

Autumn Beyer: Autumn is a second 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 first year as a CAP fellow and she plans on working with returning fellow Susan Kooiman on a project to recreate historic MSU meals based on artifacts recovered from a privy.

Mari Isa: Mari is a third year Ph.D. student in Anthropology. Her research focuses on the intersection between anthropological analysis of skeletal trauma and biomechanical experimentation. Additionally, Mari’s fieldwork focuses on bioarchaeology in Late Roman Tuscany. She is excited for her first year as a CAP fellow, during which she will be examining sustainable practices at MSU through time.

Final Grad Project Update

Final Grad Project Update

Well, the semester is finally done, and we’re wrapping up our projects from the year. Here are updates from two of our graduate researchers on what they’ve accomplished! Amy: During the fall semester, I continued to research sustainability on the historic campus. I tried to pick 

The New Grad Student Research Team

The New Grad Student Research Team

Every year Campus Archaeology has a number of graduate students working on various projects. These projects use the artifacts, excavation reports and historic documents to conduct research about MSU’s past. Previous projects have examined animal bones to determine butchering and dietary habits of the late