Symposium & Beyond

Today is the 14th annual Undergraduate Research Symposium for Scholarly and Creative Work. Out of 18 entries in the Humanities division, 5 projects were submitted by Archaeology students, plus one in Social Sciences. After dedicating so much time and effort to these projects – wrestling with books, data, late (delirious) nights at the lab – it was really exciting to share our results with other students, professors, and friends of all different academic backgrounds. I was impressed with all the projects that I saw, but I have to say that I was really impressed with the depth and sophistication and overall enthusiasm involved in the Archaeology projects. We have great mentors who care tremendously about our development as researchers, and incredibly passionate students who are always looking to go the extra mile. The Symposium is a way to put our research into a broader perspective and explain to people outside the field why what we do matters, and I think after today we all have a better sense of that ourselves. Here are the 2012 Archaeology projects:

Inside the Getty Villa: Sourcing Ancient Design by Sam Trevino, Alex Yen, & Alex Zigrang
Macro-Mapping the Maya: A Large-Scale GIS Analysis of Maya Settlement Patterns in Belize by Anna Bishop
Remember What Siddhartha Said Under the Banyan Tree?: Safeguarding Material Culture in Modern-Day Anti-Buddhist Gandhara by Parin Patel
What Is a King to Do: An Investigation of Images of Kingship by Grant Dixon
Why Settle For Less?: Diachronic Shifts in the Human Landscape of the Amuq Valley by Michelle Lim & Jem Jebbia
ARC You Smarter Than a 6th Grader? by Kalena Giessler & Parin Patel

While I’m at it, here are some other awesome things USC ARC students are going on to do:

Jem Jebbia was accepted to the Master of Divinity program at the University of Chicago, where she plans to continue her studies of Buddhism and Islam as well as her interest in Archaeology with the resources available at the Oriental Institute.

Sarah Butler was hired by an environmental consulting firm called Paleo Solutions that specializes in paleontological and archaeological resource management. They send her off to remote areas in central California where she monitors sites that are being excavated in order to clear the way for wind turbines!

Grant Dixon will be excavating at Sant’ Omobono in Rome, Italy this summer, returning for a second season to join an international team of archaeologists at this important Roman site.

I will be interning this summer at the Getty Center’s Decorative Arts & Sculpture Conservation department, working on various conservation projects, researching a Roy Lichtenstein piece for my supervisor’s book, and cleaning bird poop off of outdoor sculptures.

So now we’re about to head over to the Awards Banquet to find out who the Symposium winners are. But at this point, no matter which way the judging goes, there’s really no way to lose.



Update: Congrats to Anna Bishop for her 2nd place win in Humanities!

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