I am an archaeologist and PhD Candidate at Michigan State University in the Department of Anthropology. This website is my professional portfolio and blog. The portfolio is divided into a series of products relating to the various research and professional interests, which include historical archaeology, digital cultural heritage, social media, and ending gender violence. Clicking on “Projects” takes you to a number of different projects that I have worked on, ranging from my dissertation research, field projects, and professional papers to my work in digital social media and gender violence prevention. There is a great deal of variety on this site, which is intentional. I have a number of interests, and have trouble separating one from the other, and I see no reason to do so online.
Why a Portfolio?
I started this portfolio as a way of curating the work and experience that I have accumulated since I began graduate school. While a regular CV is nice, I find that much of my work is connected in some way to a digital home, be it a museum display, a news article, or a blog. By building a place online where I can make my work accessible, while also creating an online hub for my professional self, I have found an increased interest in my work. I attribute a great deal of this to my online presence.
Dirt – The Blog
Since 2006, I have kept some sort of online journal or blog. Its original intention was to serve as a place where I could discuss my research with my committee while I was away on my first research trip to Historic St. Mary’s City. While this served to be a colossal waste of time, it has since grown into something much larger. Now, the blog serves a number of purposes, and I write about a number of different things. These tend to filter down to the things I care about:
- My current research, which include my dissertation project on American slavery and Emancipation and the importance of community engaged research as it pertains to cultural heritage.
- My process of developing a professional identity as I progress through graduate school as a professional archaeologist, cultural heritage professional, teacher, and community member. You can catch even more of this in my writings at Gradhacker on Inside Higher Ed.
- The use of digital technology and social media as a means of engaging with communities about cultural heritage. I have implemented a number of cultural heritage social media strategies, and believe this is a critical avenue for cultural heritage professionals.
- Gender violence and sexual assault prevention. I am a strong advocate for gender equality, and believe that men and women have a vested interest in ending gender violence: I use this as an outlet for discussing these topics.
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I consider blogging to be an important part of what I do as a professional archaeologist and advocate. This is a way for me to engage the wider world in my research, network with other archaeologists, and give a behind the scenes look at how archaeology, community engagement, and becoming a professional in the field is done (for better or worse). Of course, I blog about a number of things, some archaeology related, others not. No matter what, the idea is to start dialogue about these topics. So please, use the comment field to respond to anything I post, and the various social media buttons to share it around. I consider blogging to be a big responsibility, and I am always seeking input and new ideas about how to do it better and more effectively.
I do have links to affiliates on this blog, which provide me with extremely meager funds and resources. Please visit this page to learn more.