Student Spotlight
In the trenches

Every day, hundreds of historical artifacts are being discovered that help piece together the history of our world. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to uncover these historical artifacts? Or reveal tools used by ancient civilizations thousands of years ago?

Sophomore Kylie Holmes has experienced firsthand what it feels like to dig into an exciting excavation. Through the archeology department at UIndy, Kylie has stepped outside the classroom to take part in some amazing opportunities.

“I chose UIndy because anthropology department faculty members give students field opportunities within the first semester,” she says. “I wanted to be sure that I would not just be stuck in the classroom.”

Mixing classes with digs

“Within my first semester at the University of Indianapolis, I had the opportunity to do archeology. Not only did I gain valuable field experience, but I also met a well-respected archeologist, Dr. Robert McCullough.

“That was just the beginning of how the anthropology department has helped me grow as a student and
expanded my opportunities and relationships in the field.”

Kylie has enjoyed the best of the classroom and fieldwork. She and her fellow archeology majors have been to many dig sites to observe and practice the type of work they could be doing after graduation. Within her first month at UIndy, Kylie was able to participate in a particular dig in a nearby town with one of her archeology professors.

“We removed earth from a trench carefully and systematically,” she says, “then sifted through the soil. We looked for artifacts, threw out vegetation, and bagged rocks all day, and we couldn’t have been more pleased.”

Kylie also traveled to Georgia this past summer with several other UIndy archeology students and staff to participate in another opportunity for an archeological dig. Faculty and staff understand that learning must encompass practical and hands-on activities. And with the small class sizes, professors are able to offer their students amazing opportunities that will enable them to gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the subject.

“All of the professors in the department are just great. Dr. [Chris] Schmidt is incredibly kind and patient with students and so enthusiastic about his field. And Dr. [Alyson] O’Daniel is so energetic and interesting that she can excite anyone about anthropology.”

Kylie feels that her first year at UIndy was beyond successful. She made friends with students and faculty and gained knowledge of archeology that can only be gleaned in the trenches.

“The department is teeming with opportunity, passion, excitement, and a collection of characters,” Kylie says. “Anthropology and archeology at the University of Indianapolis are infectious.”

— Elizabeth Hale ’15