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Nikki Phan ('21) Puts Liberal Arts Education to Use in Tech (January 2022)

Professor Anna Corwin releases Embracing Age: How Catholic Nuns Became Models of Aging Well (August 2021)




Uncovering Real­ World Experience


Digging up bones in an Irish monastery and learning about gardens in Costa Rica were just a few of the summer activities for two SMC students doing anthropological and archaeological fieldwork. With the help of Anthropology Department professors, they applied their studies to the real world and enlarged their perspectives.

Lizette Guevara ’16, who traveled to Costa Rica Monteverde through a program sponsored by the National Science Foundation, was encouraged to apply by Anthropology Professor Jennifer Hueng. “Gathering data or working at a field site gives students a completely different understanding of the concepts and theories we learn in class,” Heung said.

With 12 anthropology and engineering students from across the country, Guevara worked on community gardens; others worked on compostable toilets and graywater solutions. Guevara, who learned to use data analysis software, interviewed residents about their home gardens.

Sawyer Boigenzahn ’16 went to Trim, Ireland to excavate a Dominican medieval monastery and burial site on an SMC Archaeology Department grant. “I encourage all of our majors and minors to seek out fieldwork opportunities,” said Anthropology Professor Dana Herrera, who directed Boigenzahn to the American Anthropologists Association. “I want to help our students be as informed as possible when making choices about their academic careers.”

Boigenzahn, who loves Irish culture and medieval art, spent the summer researching the monastery’s architecture and using bone analysis to see what inhabitants ate and drank, solidifying his belief that “preserving the past is an important part of knowing the future.”

“Fieldwork is an important learning tool for all of our majors,” Herrera said. “They come back with wonderful stories, full of enthusiasm for the discipline.”