My name is Tiffany Peacock and I am a rising senior at the University of South Carolina. I enter my fourth and final year with anticipation to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and History by May 2017. Since my freshman year at USC, I was determined to study subjects that I am passionate about building a career in. As an African American female, I am interested in historical origins, identity, bioarcheology, and expressional culture within the African Diaspora because I desire to learn as much as I can about my personal ancestral heritage. The desire to learn about my heritage and sharing this knowledge with others of my ethnicity are my primary motivations for becoming a researcher within the academic field. I believe that through research and cultural awareness projects, this exploration of African American history and the African Diaspora culture will create more openness and less ethnocentric mindsets throughout the U.S and the world.
Choosing to major in Anthropology was one of the best decisions I could have made because the discipline opens up many opportunities where I can transform my dreams into realities! Divided into four fields consisting of Archaeology, Biological/Physical, Linguistic, and Socio-Cultural; studying to become a professional anthropologist provides me with the necessary skills to interact with various cultures, communities, and historiographies. My ultimate goal is to become a researcher through academia or began a career working for the Federal government in either Heritage Preservation, the National Park System, or the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs. I plan to become a trained professional in bioarcheology and cultural Anthropology field work to further develop how to expand my research skills as a member of a collaborative and professional team.
For the summer of 2016, I was awarded the opportunity to attend the Ifugao Archaeological Project Field School in the Philippines. Earning a scholarship from the National Science Foundation, I am very gracious to be a part of the Research Expericence Undergraduate program. Participating in the Ifugao Archaeological Project will lend support for fulfilling my goals by allowing the opportunity for application of methodologies and knowledge learned within the classroom, to be put into practice within the field. Having completed lab courses such as Human Osteology and Archaeology Lab Methods, I look forward to using artifact analysis and identification within the research field to learn firsthand about the techniques of preserving cultural heritage. I have never studied abroad before and I hope that attending the Ifugao Field School will build a network of professional peers and mentors that I will potentially be able to collaborate and brainstorm research ideas with as a student researcher. One thing I am looking forward to learning more about is how the Ifugao Archaeological Project incorporates the community in everything. I believe that for a research project to be successful, project leaders and fellow research associates should have a great relationship with the community being that it directly involves their personal history. I am also excited to be working with a cohort who share the same passion for anthropology as I do, while taking part in an experience that will impact and stay with me forever.