back to news Sept. 25, 2014

Anthropology Alumna Follows Her Research Passion Up North

By Kimi Swisher
Kimi Swisher (BA, anthropology, 2013) is a graduate student in archaeology at the University of Michigan.

Archaeology has always been a passion of mine, even from a young age. I was always fascinated with the past. I have very fond memories of when I was a child and we would go on family outings to Civil War battle fields. We would always get there early in the morning, the air would be cold and crisp and dew covered the grass. I was standing out in a field where people fought and died; my father explaining to us how the battle occurred. I could picture the past. It was awe-inspiring and humbling. In the museums, I would look at the artifacts and wonder about the people they once belonged to, I wanted to know who they were.

For me, archaeology provides a unique avenue for understanding, exploration, and continual intrigue into the daily lives of past peoples. It is a rare field which draws and combines aspects of many schools of thought, skills, and views. It draws on not just one moment of a place or time, but pulls all of these moments together to form a continual spectrum of humankind. I want to understand the connections forged between the peoples of the past and how this shaped the realities of present day peoples. It is my hope to work towards this goal by continuing my education and obtaining my doctorate at the University of Michigan.

It was my foundation in the anthropology department at Ohio State that solidified and validated my desire to be an archaeologist. My professors did so much more than just teach me. They were always there for me and fostered my passion for archaeology. As a young, enthusiastic undergraduate they always made time for me no matter how busy they were with their own research. I was important to them. They cared about me and my desire to be a fellow archaeologist. It was this shared enthusiasm for archaeology, this excitement for the past, and caring that made me realize that archaeology and academia were my calling.

Ultimately, I want to be able to further pursue my own research interests within archaeology, but also I want to share what my professors did for me, to help fuel the passion of other students and teach and guide them in their interests of the past. This is a very special privilege for members of a discipline. It is my hope, after obtaining my doctorate, to do this. I want to be able to teach and educate alongside my own archaeological research goals.

Some of my best memories of being at Ohio State were running around the campus at night with my friends. I was always feverishly studying and once my friends thought I had studied enough they would take my books make me go out and enjoy time with them. We would make weekly late night trips across campus to the north campus dining hall to get late night burritos at Burritos Noches. We come back across the oval at midnight and everything would be calm and quiet. We would then lie down on the grass and stare up at the stars. It was my relationships with my friends and professors that made my time at Ohio State such an important part of my life and made me forever a Buckeye.

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