Archived Story

Field school inspires students

Published 9:47pm Thursday, August 9, 2012

Leah Rice of Paw Paw, a third-year Western Michigan University student majoring in anthropology and minoring in Chinese, fit Fort St. Joseph into her college plan once exposed to it.

Leah Rice of Paw Paw studies anthropology and Chinese at WMU.

“It’s structured to teach archaeology and to provide field experience,” she said.

“The combination of excavation techniques and public outreach make it a unique opportunity I wish I’d known about in high school. Excitement of being part of an archaeological dig still has not faded.

“It’s a unique feeling to handle an artifact that hasn’t been used in everyday life for hundreds of years. In that moment, you become a part of history.

“The way Niles steps up to assist and encourage the field school means more than I can ever express,” Rice said.

“I’ve lost track of how many delicious meals and engaging conversations I’ve enjoyed in the course of these short few weeks.

“When Support the Fort invited (WMU) to help find Fort St. Joseph in 1998, no one could have imagined how big this project would get.”

Rice said she has always been interested in how people shape events.

“I chose field school because everything interests me, and I really like it,” she said. “When I started, I didn’t know how to use a trowel correctly. Now I don’t want to stop digging.”


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