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Lycoming College archaeology major, and anthropology and painting minor, Jazmin Jones ’20 (Gloversville, N.Y.), was named the recipient of a $3,000 Historically Underrepresented Groups Scholarship (HUGS) from the Society for American Archaeology (SAA). The award supported Jones’ enrollment in Lycoming College’s Archaeological Field School at the Lycoming Biology Field Station*.
The nationally competitive HUGS award was developed by SAA to help increase the number of minorities obtaining degrees in archaeology, and was given to just two undergraduate students this year to help enhance their education. The scholarship can be used for a field school, to volunteer on a project directed by a professional archaeologist, or to receive other forms of archaeological training. Jones chose to enroll in Lycoming College’s five-week Archaeological Field School to gain hands-on experience in archaeological excavation as she prepares for a career in archaeology or heritage management.
“This is an impressive and well-deserved honor for Jazmin that also brings great recognition to Lycoming’s Archaeology Program. Field experience is an essential part of student training in archaeology, and this scholarship from the SAA provides a great opportunity for diverse students to gain the skills they need to become professionals in the field — assuring that the discipline is representative of the diverse populations it studies,” said Jessica Munson, assistant professor of archaeology and anthropology, and Jones’ advisor.
Jones worked alongside classmates to first complete a land survey, followed by an excavation project on the 19th-century Keebler farmstead, located on the Lycoming Biology Field Station. Field work included learning how to locate, record, and excavate archaeological sites. By working and studying at the Keebler site, Jones was able to build her skills and analytical methods.
To Jones, the opportunity to work in the field proved to be invaluable. “It is hard to capture a holistic understanding of archaeology in the classroom. Feeling, manipulating, and being able to describe the dirt and objects you’re working with is not something that can truly be captured during lectures. Some techniques you just have to do. It made learning the technical skills, like filling out detailed paperwork, less intimidating,” she said.
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*The Lycoming Biology Field Station Inc. is a nonprofit corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary of Lycoming College.