The Grad Post Spring 2019, Student Spotlight, Ahmauri Williams-Alford
Graduate program: Master of Art in Social Science, Anthropology
Undergraduate degree: Anthropology
Undergraduate University: Georgia Southern University
Length of program: 36 credit hours
Q: What drew you to Georgia Southern for your graduate studies?
A: I attended Southern for my undergraduate degree and fell in love with the campus. It wasn’t big, but it still had everything and more to offer. I knew right away it was the perfect fit. I decided to continue my graduate studies here because I was presented with opportunities that I knew I couldn’t pass up. I’m in an amazing program with the best faculty on campus. I have no doubts in my decision to becoming a Double Eagle. I have gained a wide range of experiences and knowledge, and I have a hard time believing I would have gained them anywhere else.
Q: What are your Georgia Southern “points of pride?” What is one thing you are most proud of during your time here at Georgia Southern?
A: To choose “points of pride” is difficult, so many amazing things have happened in the almost 6 years that I’ve been here. We’ve excelled, and continue to excel, in so many things whether it’s athletics, academics, or program excellence. If I had to choose within my program, it would be the opening of the R M Bogan Archaeological Repository in May of 2017. Being one of the biggest archaeological and curation facilities in the Southeast is impressive for the size of program that we have, and it makes me happy to see and know the kind of support we have for something like this to happen. If I had to choose within the school in general, it would be our relentless acts of service (e.g., Treasure Savannah, etc.), and our diversity.
Q: Are you a part of any research projects? If so, what are you doing?
A: Right now, I’m essentially working on 3 master projects. The first project is with Dr. Jennifer Sweeney Tookes and involves Georgia commercial fishermen along the coast. The project aims to capture the life histories and experiences of Georgia’s commercial fishermen through oral history interviews. I’ve been acting as project manager of this research project since the beginning of my graduate program and have helped organize and contribute to the day-to-day operations (e.g., logistical planning, support with undergraduate student training in oral history strategies, transcriptions, etc.). I am currently pulling together a traveling exhibit covering the project that will be presented throughout Georgia, especially along the coast, and will be permanently housed on display at the Marine Extension Facility in Brunswick, GA.
The second project I am doing is with Dr. Heidi Altman and involves a curatorial project on the Willow Hill Heritage and Renaissance Center in Portal, GA. This project is still in the early works, but I am acting as lead supervisor in the curation and restoration process of the heritage center. I am currently working on creating an archival database that will store the center’s records, as well as helping organize and create a catalog system for the artifacts located at the center.
Q: Are you a part of an internship or co-op experience? What are you doing? What are you learning?
A: The third project I am working on is more along the lines of an internship. I am working with Dr. Matthew Compton and acting as graduate collection manager of the Laboratory of Archaeology. Essentially, I am doing all the archaeological collection management responsibilities (e.g., inventory, collection care, loans, help plan/coordinate public outreach events, etc.). I also hold archaeology lab hours throughout the week where undergraduate students within the program come and volunteer in the lab. I help supervise and monitor them as we handle collections and perform lab related responsibilities.
Q: How is Georgia Southern preparing you for your future career?
A: Georgia Southern has provided me with more opportunities and knowledge, where as I stated before, I believe I wouldn’t have been able to get anywhere else. My program especially has given me the tools I need to go out into the field ready. I feel more confident and capable in my skill-sets that I’ve gained while here as the days go by, and I know that everything I’ve done and learned will help me tremendously for my future. Doing all these projects and opportunities related to my desired career path, and loving every moment of it, also helps reassure myself that I made the right decision in my career goals. Just like I made the right decision in becoming a Double Eagle.
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