The Society for American Archaeology has awarded three undergraduates in New Mexico State University’s College of Arts and Sciences with competitive scholarships.
Kayla Brown, Keighley Hastings and Kailey Martinez each received the Cheryl L. Wase Memorial Scholarship for the Study of Archaeology last month in acknowledgement of their exceptional promise for academic and professional development in archaeology, explained Rani Alexander, head of NMSU’s Department of Anthropology. The scholarships will cover the cost of tuition and fees, as well as books for classroom and field-based courses.
“Each student possesses a ‘can do’ optimism about their education and future careers, as well as the enthusiasm for archaeological fieldwork, laboratory work and public archaeology that characterizes the most successful young researchers in our discipline,” Alexander said.
The Wase Memorial Scholarship is competitively awarded to undergraduate women who are residents of New Mexico studying for a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology, with a concentration in archaeology, from a fully accredited New Mexico university.
Brown, Hastings and Martinez make up three of the four 2016 scholarship recipients, along with Samantha Ascoli at the University of New Mexico.
“Being awarded out of such a strong candidate pool has reassured me that all of the classes, volunteer work and field schools are paying off and helping me to build a strong foundation for my future career,” said Martinez, a senior double majoring in anthropology and wildlife science, with a minor in biology.
This summer, Martinez will participate in an archaeological project at South Diamond Creek in the Gila National Forest.
The Wase Memorial Scholarship is named after archaeologist Cheryl Wase, who spent most of her career working in the high deserts of New Mexico before her death in 2004 at age 53. When her mother, Jane Francy Wase, passed away in 2013, she left a donation to the Society for American Archaeology to endow a memorial scholarship in her daughter’s name.
“It’s such an honor not only to be a recipient of this scholarship, but to represent NMSU at such a prestigious level – I’m extremely grateful,” said Brown, a junior anthropology major and religion minor.
After dropping out of school and returning several years later, Hastings – now in her junior year as an anthropology major – said receiving this scholarship “meant the world” to her.
“Prior to this, I was only able to take one class at a time, and worked very hard throughout the year to be able to afford it,” Hastings said. “This scholarship will allow me to be a full-time student and study a subject I love.”
With help from this funding, Brown and Hastings will attend this summer’s NMSU Archaeological Field School at Cottonwood Springs Pueblo, located north of Las Cruces.
The Wase Memorial Scholarship is renewable for up to five years, as long as the recipient remains enrolled, maintains the required grade point average and continues to pursue a degree in anthropology with an emphasis in archaeology.
For more information on the Society for American Archaeology, visit www.saa.org
Author: Dana Beasley – NMSU