Name: Richie Rosencrance (BA, ’15)
Major: Sociology and Anthropology, History
Hometown: Dailey, W.Va.
To become an archaeologist, you have to attend a field school that teaches you the basics of excavation and research methods. I wanted to expand my network and experience, so I applied and attended a field school through the University of Oregon. I was part of a crew of students under the direction of Dr. Dennis Jenkins excavating a very important Paleoindian site— Connley Caves in south central Oregon. I made many new friends who are now my colleagues and learned more than I can adequately express.
More than anything, participating in the field school set me on the path I am on today. Dr. Amy Hirshman, associate professor of anthropology, helped me tremendously in preparing and applying for the field school. On top of the amazing life and professional experiences I gained, it also counted toward my degree requirements. The Native American studies program (where I earned my minor) even awarded me a scholarship to help pay for it.
Since graduation, I have been working as a field technician in several regions. I started in New England working for a large civil engineering firm. Then I worked Vero Beach, Fla. where I excavated (with a paintbrush!) the remains of either a mastodon or mammoth.
I am currently conducting an archaeological survey in the Humbolt-Toiyabe National Forest at elevations over 7,000 feet in Nevada. I am also preparing to apply to the University of Nevada, Reno to pursue a master’s degree in archaeology. I plan to study hunter-gatherer lifeways during the Pleistocene to further understand the peopling of the Americas. Eventually, I want to become a professor or professional researcher and teach a field school to show students the wonder of the past (and how to dig properly, of course.)
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology prepared me not only as a student but as a professional and human being. I was challenged but also given room to grow and develop. I have a deep admiration and ongoing friendship with several of the professors. I truly wouldn’t be half as happy and successful as I am without their guidance, critique and support. They told me about the obstacles I would face, and ensured me they would be daunting. Most importantly, though, they told me I could do it.