This week’s post features Emily Lew who completed the UGA Field School at Singer-Moye in 2015.
What have you done since field school and where are you now?
After field school finished, I had one more semester to finish off my other degree in Criminal Justice before graduating in the fall of 2015. In spring of 2016, I interned with the American Museum of Natural History in New York, then immediately followed that up with an internship in Virginia with The Germanna Foundation working in historic archaeology for the summer. And since last October I’ve been working with the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology and just wrapped up work with them at the end of February, and now I’m not entirely sure what will be next!
What kinds of projects are you been working on?
When I was working for SCIAA, I was mostly doing site surveys on Fort Jackson in Columbia, SC for the Army and National Guard. I will probably start applying for graduate schools for the fall of 2018, and I’m hoping to either focus my research on enslaved populations or Spanish colonization / Spanish contact in the southeast. In the meantime, I plan to enjoy having some time off staying in one place for a little bit and applying to some CRM jobs as they pop up.
How did field school help prepare you for this trajectory?
Field school really helped me decide for sure what I wanted to do with my degree. I think before I did field school, I was still on the fence about pursuing criminal justice or archaeology, and being in the field honestly made that decision really easy. I got to conduct my own research, experience my first professional conference, and hang out in nature for five weeks, every second of which was exhilarating. It was in part because I had experience working in Georgia from field school that I was able to get my internship with the AMNH, something I thought I was overwhelmingly underqualified to do. Through Dr. Birch, I was able to get my job with SCIAA and meet even more amazing archaeologists in the southeast and be involved with what they’re working on. On top of that, I run in to many of the same students I took field school with as professionals now, and I actually worked at SCIAA with another student I took field school with, Andrew Blank. Singer-Moye really showed me what to expect out of this profession, both in terms of what I needed to be able to give and what I would get in return, and helped put me on a journey into the professional world of archaeology and meet others who were on a similar path. I would recommend it to anyone!