SHA 2013: Gender and Minority Affairs Committee Travel Award

The Society for Historical Archaeology is committed to diversity, and is excited to announce its support of:

The 2013 Gender and Minority Affairs Student Travel Award

The Gender and Minority Affairs Committee (GMAC) is sponsoring two travel awards to graduate students who are presenting at the 2013 annual meeting in Leicester. Each award provides a prize of $500 to defray travel costs. Applicants must be currently enrolled in a graduate program, be a member of the SHA, and be presenting a paper or poster at the conference.

The goals of the fellowship are to increase diversity and to encourage student involvement at the meetings. Diversity is inclusive of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, abilities, and socio-economic background. Applications are encouraged from diverse populations including, but not limited to, groups historically underrepresented in archaeology.

To apply, send a CV (the name of your advisor/supervisor should be indicated on the first page), a letter of interest, and your poster or paper abstract submission. In your letter, please address the following:

1) Explain how you will increase diversity in historical archaeology, and why increasing diversity within the discipline and the SHA is important.

2) State how participation in the SHA Conference will advance your career and research.

3) Explain how your paper will potentially benefit those who attend your session.

The letter should be succinct and no longer than two single-spaced pages.

Following the conference, award recipients are required to submit a one-page report to the GMAC Chair on their conference experience and their thoughts on diversifying archaeology that will be posted to the SHA Blog.

Please note: individuals can apply for both the GMAC and Ed and Judy Jelks Student Travel awards, but may only receive one in the same year.

Deadline for submission:  September 3, 2012

Submit your application materials to Flordeliz T. Bugarin, Chair of the Gender and Minority Affairs Committee, via email at

The award will be announced by October 3, 2012, and the award funds will be distributed at the SHA conference in Leicester.

Don’t forget that in addition to the GMAC Travel Award, there are two other awards available to enable students to attend the SHA 2013 conference in Leicester.

All graduate students who are presenting a paper at the SHA conference should consider applying for the Ed and Judy Jelks Student Travel Award; two awards of $500 are available.

The Quebec City Award, of up to $750, is granted to assist French-speaking students to attend the SHA conference. To be considered for the prize, candidates must be a standing member of SHA, be registered in a French-language university (contrary to the name of the award, you don’t have to be studying in Quebec!) and preparing a thesis or dissertation in French – and they must present a substantive or theoretical paper at the annual conference. Further information about the award, and how to apply, can be found on the SHA Awards webpage.

Good luck!

Image: “Muro Occidentale o del Pianto” (Western Wall or Wailing Wall) by Fabio Mauri (1993) CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 via Flickr

Getting to Know the 2012 Ed and Judy Jelks Travel Award Winners

As a professional organization, the Society for Historical Archaeology promotes the participation of student members and supports the advancement of their careers. Students, in turn, may see the SHA as a resource in their professional development. One way the SHA encourages student participation in the annual meeting is through the Ed and Judy Jelks Student Travel Award, discussed on the SHA blog by both Paul Mullins and Charlie Ewen. Graduate students may apply for the $500 award to defray the cost of travel when presenting research at the annual conference.

What kind of students and research win the award? Mullins concisely described the work of last year’s two recipients and we were curious to learn a little more about Corey McQuinn and Adrian Myers as students. We interviewed McQuinn and Myers and the following is a summary of their responses.

Corey McQuinn, a master’s student concentrating in Historical Archaeology at the University of Albany, researches enslavement in the Northeast, an understudied topic. He examines the Mabee Farm in Rotterdam, New York, and how different archaeological models of enslavement and racialization apply to the Northern context. Through another project focused on the Underground Railroad in Albany, New York, he studies how the construction of a community that supported the Underground Railroad relates to New York’s earlier history as a slave state and its continued economic dependence on enslaved labor corps.

McQuinn working with students at the Schoharie River Center archeological field school in Montgomery County, New York. Dragon site on the Schoharie Creek (2008).

In addition to this academic research, as a project manager for the cultural resource management firm Hartgen Archaeological Associates, Inc., McQuinn says he must be flexible and cover a broad range of time periods and historic contexts. He has worked in a variety of historical contexts, including cemetery excavations, tavern sites, Shaker village sites, farmsteads and industrial contexts. He has also helped to run Hartgren’s youth archaeological field school summer programs, getting students involved in community archaeology.

McQuinn and students screening at Stephen and Harriet Myers house youth field school in Albany, New York, last summer.

The Ed and Judy Jelks Travel Award helped McQuinn attend his first SHA conference, where he presented a paper, met other professionals in his field, including authors of papers and books he has read. A highlight of the conference was getting to know people and learning about work in progress. He finds both the annual conference and quarterly newsletter valuable resources for identifying potential partnerships and opportunities in the future.

Though his three kids, Remember, Beatrix, and Jasper, are his greatest successes, McQuinn also received the New York Archaeological Association’s William Beauchamp Student Award in 1998 and the 1997-1998 Dana Student Internship Grant from Ithaca College. He is looking forward to completing his master’s thesis next semester and his PhD in the future.

Myers excavating at the PoW camp in Manitoba.

A PhD candidate at Stanford, Adrian Myers, learned of the Ed and Judy Jelks Travel Award through attending the SHA conference, SHA business meetings, and from the HISTARCH email listserv. The award enabled him to present a paper, “Dominant Narratives, Popular, Assumptions, and Radical Reversals in the Archaeology of German Prisoners of War in a Canadian National Park” in the session chaired by Michael Roller and Paul Shackel, “Reversing the Narrative.” The paper was about all the surprising and counterintuitive things he encountered while studying the history of Nazi soldiers in a prison camp in Canada during World War II. Long interested in the history of the Second World War, his dissertation research is a historical archaeological study of a prison camp in Manitoba, Canada. Over three seasons of work he and colleagues surveyed, mapped, and excavated portions of the camp. Myers also travelled to Germany and met with three men who had been prisoners of the camp.

Myers has participated in a variety of other projects, including the “Van Project” at the University of Bristol, the Stanford Gymnasium Dig, and Bonnie Clark’s field school at the Granada Relocation Center, a World War II Japanese internment camp in Colorado. He also used free Google Earth imagery to map the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, assembled and co-edited a book on archaeology and internment camps, did a study on 20th century porcelain electrical insulatorsand also manages to work part-time in CRM archaeology.

Myers interviewing German PoWs in Germany.

Also a recipient of the National Geographic Society Waitt Grant (2009), Myers suggests undergraduate students pursue ideas for projects, even if it seems impossible and incredibly far off, especially if they are passionate about the subject. He suggests finding a supportive graduate program and, with effort the research can probably be done. He also says having an awesome adviser helps.

Both McQuinn and Myers sound passionate about their research and actively pursue opportunities to participate in projects and make connections with their peers in historical archaeology. They recognize the SHA as a resource for students and advise them to participate in the organization by speaking or corresponding with other archaeologists and presenting at conferences. The Academic and Professional Training Student Subcommittee (SSC) is starting a group discussion on student professionalism and the Society for Historical Archaeology. Please become a member of the conversation by joining the SSC Yahoo! group. Email your request to and include your email to join.

We look forward to hearing from you!

2012 Ed and Judy Jelks Travel Award

Judy and Ed Jelks with a group of former students, taken at the 2004 SHA meeting in St. Louis, where the travel award was first announced. Judy is in the wheelchair, with Ed standing behind her. Mike Wiant, kneeling on Judy’s left, led the effort to create the award.

The SHA has long included a significant number of student members at the outset of their careers, but attending conferences is logistically and financially challenging, so students and advisers have developed many different strategies to make conference attendance feasible.  Eager to attend the conference but compelled to save some money, many of us have stories of piling into our cars for a long drive to the conference; lots of students have been part of groups crammed into a single hotel room; and many groups migrate from the hotel restaurant to eat local fast food.  Edward and Judy Jelks spent their careers supporting scores of students on such journeys, encouraging them to attend and participate in the conference during Ed Jelks’ 1968-1983 tenure at Illinois State University, which followed a position at Southern Methodist University in 1965-1968.  Edward Jelks was John Cotter’s assistant in excavations at Jamestown, Virginia in 1954-1956 and one of the founders of the SHA, serving as the Society’s second President in 1968 and eventually receiving the JC Harrington Award in 1988.  For more than 30 years, beginning in the early 1950s, his wife Judy accompanied Jelks on numerous digs, helping plan field logistics, conducting various fieldwork tasks, reviewing manuscripts, and serving as, in her husband’s words, “a surrogate mother for scores of students over the years.”

The Ed and Judy Jelks Student Travel Award was established in 2004, when some of the Jelks’ former students, looking for a way to recognize the roles Ed and Judy had played in their education and professional development, approached the SHA with initial funds they had raised from former students and colleagues, and proposed that this be used as seed money to establish the award.  Every year beginning in 2005 two students have been awarded $500 each to attend the SHA annual meeting.  A list of the past recipients is included at this end of this posting.

This year we received 50 applications for the Jelks Travel Award, so the program is exceptionally popular and competitive.  Many universities have decreased their student travel support or simply eliminated it entirely, and other student funding like teaching assistantships has dried up, so the scant material support for student scholarship certainly encouraged student members to apply.  With Board Member Mark Warner I read 50 student paper abstracts and letters on their scholarship that included research representing nearly every corner of historical archaeology.  This was exciting but also difficult, because virtually all applicants thoughtfully outlined research projects that will make an important contribution to archaeological scholarship.

We selected Master’s student Corey McQuinn (University of Albany) for his paper “A Continuity of Heritage: Outreach, Education, and Archaeology at the Steven and Harriet Myers House, Albany, New York.”  Corey’s SHA paper will examine his work in Albany’s Arbor Hill neighborhood, where he is part of a project examining an Underground Railroad site in a mid-nineteenth-century African-American community.  McQuinn’s work focuses on a broad 170-year history of the site’s built environment, examining how Underground Railroad histories are wielded in archaeological analysis and public heritage discourses.

The second award winner was PhD candidate Adrian Myers (Stanford) for his paper “Dominant Narratives, Popular Assumptions, and Radical Reversals in the Archaeology of German Prisoners of War in a Canadian National Park.”  Myers’ research examines the Whitewater Prisoner of War Camp in Manitoba, Canada, where 450 German Afrika Korps soldiers were imprisoned during the Second World War. His SHA paper examines dominant narratives on the materiality of national parks, Nazi prisoner camps, and the complicated heritage in such contexts.

The awards will be presented at the Business Meeting at the conference in Baltimore.   In 2012 the Society is committed to further develop such scholarship programs that can support more student scholars’ conference attendance.  If you’re interested in contributing to that discussion or supporting such causes, do contact me.

For more on Edward Jelks’ career, see Robert Schuyler’s 2001 interview of Jelks in Historical Archaeology at If you do not have JSTOR access, the paper is in Historical Archaeology 35(4)

See a list of previous Ed and Judy Jelks Travel Award Winners.