Thursday, March 28, 2013
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
After my May 2012 graduation, I was itching to explore a career interest in library science. I was extremely fortunate to be hired by the Evansville-Vanderburgh Public Library as a Digital Projects Processor, a grant-funded position in which I learned much of the digitization process. Working with local World War II-era materials, I did everything from scanning, to cataloging, to research, and many steps in between. The position has allowed me to learn valuable skills and given me an insider’s view of some of the daily operations at the center of Evansville’s Five-Star library system. It has been a wonderful learning experience, and I have enjoyed every step of this project. I gain a great deal of satisfaction from the knowledge that I have assisted the library in making its materials more accessible to the public and easier to use for researchers.
|Lauren at the scanner.|
|One of the images in the collection.|
Monday, March 25, 2013
I am pleased to annouce that Dr. John Wineland, Professor of History and Archaeology at Kentucky Christian University, will present The Archaeology of Ancient Jordan: Highlights and Treasures of an Ancient Crossroads tonight, March 25, at 7:00 in SOBA 173. Dr. Wineland has excavated in Jordan since 1984, primarily at the sites of Abila of the Decapolis and Khirbet Mudaybi in Central Jordan. All are invited to attend.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Congratulations to major Miranda Amey, who received the Gumberts' Award in the 51st Annual Student Art Exhibition at the Melvin Peterson Gallery on the UE campus. Stop by the gallery and cast your vote for the People's Choice Award, which will be annouced after the exhibit closes on April 5. Miranda has three pieces in the show!
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
After graduation, I went straight to work at a pool and spa store, Bradbury’s Waterin’ Hole, in my hometown. Since then the girl who hates chemistry has been learning all about balancing pH and keeping the right chlorine levels in pools and spas. I work mostly on the retail floor, a new experience for me.
|Elizabeth would like to sell you a spa.|
|The Indiana War Memorial|
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Since graduating from the University of Evansville in May 2012, I have moved to North Carolina, where I am completing my MA in Art History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While graduate school is often lonely, always stressful, and full of panic moments, it is also an incredibly rewarding experience. I have already had the opportunity to significantly broaden my knowledge base through coursework ranging in topic from Tudor portraiture to Andalusi Umayyad art to the art of the Russian Revolution. I have also been active in the organization and implementation of the Art Department’s Rand Lecture Series as part of my graduate assistantship. This has given me practical experience in event planning and allowed me to interact with several Medieval and Early Modern studies scholars.
In particular, the seminar on Tudor portraiture allowed me to explore my two primary interests: the museum field and sixteenth-century art. The course was predicated on a collaboration between UNC Chapel Hill and the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) in Raleigh, where a group of late Tudor and Jacobean portraits had recently been removed from storage for cleaning. Since the portraits had received little previous scholarly attention, each member of the seminar focused her research on a particular portrait for the duration of the semester. This research was supported by direct access to the portraits in the museum’s conservation lab and individual consultation with Dr. Tarnya Cooper, Chief Curator and Sixteenth-Century Curator at the National Portrait Gallery in London, during her visit to the NCMA. At the end of the semester, each of us presented an abbreviated version of our research to the museum staff and docents.
|Leah (third from right) after giving a presentation at the North Carolina Museum of Art last fall.|
Friday, March 15, 2013
Benjamin Ollestad, senior Archaeology and Sociology- Anthropology specialization double major, was presented with the inaugural Hanns G. Pieper Sociology and Criminal Justice Senior Research Award. Ollestad's research, entitled "Infidelity among College Students" was selected from a competitive field of senior research projects from Sociology and Criminal Justice majors. This award is named in honor of Dr. Hanns G. Pieper, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, for his dedication to promoting independent student research in Sociology and Criminal Justice. Congratulations, Ben!
Friday, March 8, 2013
Life the year after graduation is filled with great expectations as well as disappointments, and several curveballs. My summer after graduation started out exactly as I wanted: excavating several ancient Maya sites in Belize and gallivanting across Central and North America. Then I returned from my post-graduation honeymoon and had a long-delayed appointment with reality. I was near broke, living at home, and frantically searching for an archaeology-related job to no avail. Practicality arising from a desperate need for cash flow forced me to widen my job-search net landing me in the world of retail. After being offered positions in everything from hardware to eye-care to electronics, I finally ended up as a sales consultant for cell phones at Best Buy Mobile. Many of you who know me will find great irony in this: the girl with the brick flip phone who just got texting this past summer and is one of the least tech-savvy people when it comes to smartphones now makes much of her living from selling phones.
I still wanted to do something that was archaeology or museum related so I decided that if no paid positions were open, then volunteering was the best avenue. I quickly discovered that unlike requests for paying jobs, people rarely turn down the offer of free labor and respond to your inquiries much faster. I chose to volunteer at a local war museum, the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park, where I helped in the digitization of hundreds of original documents and artifacts from WWI to the Iraq War. After volunteering over 50 hours in four months’ time, the museum encouraged me to apply for a paid internship position in the archives department. This was rather unexpected, but it proves that just getting your foot in the door can lead to greater opportunities. I have been working as an intern since February and am in charge of cataloguing and reorganizing thousands of documents and artifacts from a donation that fills 25 teetering banker’s boxes. The challenge I face now is balancing three jobs, as I still work at Best Buy and consistently babysit, which makes for a few twelve-hour work days and work weeks of nearly 60 hours. I am also studying for the GRE, which I am set to take next month. The best advice I can give on that is to take the GRE as early as possible so it is not looming over you!
Although my life mostly consists of work, study, and sleep when there is time, I can already see the benefits of my hard work. Clearly, the internship is one of them, but the money I saved from working three jobs is allowing me the opportunity to participate in another archaeological dig this summer, the Jezreel Expedition. This fall I will apply to grad schools for Mesoamerican archaeology while continuing to work. In short, while life after graduation may find you living back at home with a non-archaeology-related job, do not worry or give up. Instead, concentrate on preparing for grad school, save the money you earn for something to strengthen your archaeology resume such as field schools or conferences, and stay involved in something archaeology related, whether it is a class or volunteering, to help prevent you from losing focus or desire to go back to school for archaeology. And for those moments when you feel discouraged, sit back, drink a root beer, and watch the fourth Indiana Jones movie to reinvigorate your fervor to educate the public that aliens have nothing to do with archaeology and to put on your fedora once again.
It’s hard to believe that I graduated college less than a year ago. I decided to take a year off between undergrad and grad school and I am really glad that I did. After graduation I was able to relax for a few weeks and prepare for my trip to Israel to participate in the Jezreel Expedition (I recommend this to all current and prospective UE students!). I also spent considerable time sending out resumes and cover letters in hopes of securing a job when I returned from Israel and my side trip to Jordan.
When I returned to the States, I was fortunate enough to get a job interview with a local children’s museum - the Explorium of Lexington - and was offered a position in visitor’s services. My job involves working with visitors of all ages as well as cleaning and maintaining the museum. During the fall of 2012, I also had the opportunity to complete an internship with the program director at the museum. This allowed me to help plan the museum’s weekly programs. It also gave me the opportunity to design an archaeology-themed scavenger hunt and alter the museum’s “Dino Dig” exhibit and turn it into an “Archo Dig” exhibit for National Archaeology Day.
As far as my future goes, I am returning to Israel this summer to again take part in the Jezreel Expedition, which I am really excited about. I also plan to travel to a few places in Europe after the field season is over. In the fall I will be attending graduate school to complete a master’s degree in museum studies. The education and experiences I received at the University of Evansville have prepared me for both the real world and graduate school.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
|Megan works on her SCUBA skills.|
Down at Texas A&M, I've spent almost a year climbing up the steep learning curve that the Nautical Archaeology Program (NAP) throws at its first-year students. Having not taken time off between undergraduate and graduate studies, I am one of the young students in the department. However, with the solid preparation I received through the archaeology program at Evansville and my previous underwater excavation experience, I haven't felt unprepared for the challenge. So far I have learned how to draft ship lines and construction drawings (and in the course of doing so I learned that 68 hours without sleep is about the limit a person can go); how to prepare and give thirty-minute presentations on a weekly basis; and that a twenty-page paper is "a bit short." I've also spent quite a bit of time working at the Conservation Research Lab, helping to record barrel staves and other interesting bits recovered from shipwrecks. The NAP has a very strong emphasis on hands-on learning, and this semester I am enrolled in a scientific diving course in order to gain familiarity with all of the equipment and techniques used in underwater excavations and become a better diver in general. This summer I will be participating in the Burgaz Harbors Project in Turkey run by Dr. Elizabeth Greene in collaboration with the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA). Information on this and other INA projects can be found at inadiscover.com.