*Sarah is the first installment in a new series of interview style Alumni Spotlights.
- Name: Sarah L. Posin, MSc., RPA (Master of Science and Registered Professional Archaeologist)
- Schools (after WCDS): Mount de Chantal, 2003; Marshall University, 2007; University of Sheffield, UK, 2010
- Occupation: Archaeologist and Osteologist (Archaeologist that specializes in studying human bones)
- What years did you attended WCDS?
- 1988-1996, PK3 to 5th grade
- Why have you decided to pursue a profession in archeology?
- I’ve always been interested in cultural studies and history, as well as art history. When I got to college and took my first anthropology and archaeology courses, I said to myself, “I could do this for the rest of my life.”
- Could you briefly describe some of the work you do for us?
- I work as a project archaeologist for a cultural resources firm. Basically, we are hired by public, private, and/or federal clients to access the archaeological deposits of properties prior to ground disturbing activities and development. Sometimes we are re-locating and reporting the status of previously recorded sites, sometimes we are finding new sites, and sometimes we don’t find anything. When we are done with fieldwork, we report our findings to the client and to the respective State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and recommend whether or not any further archaeological excavations are required. Sometimes we get projects where cemeteries are being relocated. If the graves are older than 60-70 years, I am one of the osteologists who will excavate the remains with care and provide any kind of skeletal analysis if necessary.
- How do you think WCDS helped shape your decision to pursue your current occupation, whether generally or specifically?
- In first or second grade, we had a field trip to Grave Creek Mound. I never knew a place this cool existed so close to where I live! I remember being in awe at not only the mound itself, but all the artifacts and information on display! I like to think that is precisely when the seeds of my path to archaeology and burial studies began.
- Do you have any distinct memories from WCDS? Could you describe them?
- Well, in addition to my memory of the Grave Creek Mound field trip, I remember all the other awesome field trips to other historic and places we went on as well: Roscoe Village, Meadowcroft Village, Schoenbrunn Village, COSI, Canaan Valley….the list goes on! A highlight of every year was World Culture Day, put on the 5th and 6th grades! I remember so many facts I learned then!
- What are some of the values you remember from WCDS? Global Awareness-the student body of WCDS has always been a diverse group, so at an early age we were exposed to all of our friends of different backgrounds, heritages, religion, and families. This gave us the opportunities to become open minded and culturally aware individuals.
- Finally, could you answer the question: Why WCDS? Why not?! Honestly, it was a wonderful opportunity and experience I had in my years at WCDS, one that I know that I would have not had if I had gone elsewhere!