Each year the Archeological Institute of America accepts ten undergraduate poster presentations for its national conference. Only ten, from across the country. . . and this year one of them will be by a Sweet Briar sophomore!
She’s been photographing and translating Latin inscriptions at archeological sites, mostly in Ephesus, as her Pannell Scholars project. Working with anthropology professor Debbie Durham and her spouse/collaborator Keith Adams (with assistance on points of language from classics professor Bryce Walker), sophomore Jessica Barry is doing meaningful archeology, adding to and interpreting the scholarly record of important sites. She is a student in the process of becoming a scholar, something the Pannell program makes possible for several sophomores each year.
Jessica’s is a project that beautifully represents the integrated nature of a Sweet Briar education. Combining hands-on archeology with classical languages, international travel, photographic technique, historical perspective, student-faculty research, and presentation skills, it exemplifies the way students and faculty work together to bring the theory and practice of multiple disciplines to bear on complex and important problems.
Of course, it’s always a challenge for me to single out any one project for this blog, when so many others, equally impressive, are happening across the curriculum. We’ve recently featured some other Pannell projects in the Sweet Briar Magazine; for example, last February we ran a story on Kasey Stewart’s work on health care systems in Costa Rica (a pre-med minoring in Latin American Studies, Kasey was studying Doctors Without Borders) and last year we presented Ashley Baker’s work on a blog called Chemistry for Everyone. (“Science too cool not to share.”)
Holla Holla to Jessica, Kasey, Ashley, and all Pannell Scholars — and to the faculty members who support, inspire, and guide them.