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Senior finds joy in anthropological work

A love of anthropology in high school led Jocelyn Minsky-Rowland to a discovery that would be a key to her career evolution: Binghamton University.

Minsky-Rowland was collecting newspaper articles on different finds and excavations when she noticed that many featured the works of the University’s Anthropology Department and Distinguished Professor G. Philip Rightmire.

“It was a good fit for me,” said Minsky-Rowland, 22, of Morristown, N.J. “I can remember sitting in the high school library looking at the Binghamton website thinking, ‘I could be there one day!’”

Minsky-Rowland, now a senior, is a double major in anthropology and Judiac studies. Not only has she earned the Anthropology Department’s Marian Jean Giusto Scholarship, but she also applied her talents last summer at Bournemouth University in Great Britain.

“The course basically taught us to locate and excavate mass graves in a human rights context,” she said. “How do you find the graves if there has been a civil war and people are killed? It was a fascinating course and being in England was so much fun.”

Minsky-Rowland became interested in skeletal pathology after taking classes with Associate Professor Dawnie Steadman. She is working with Steadman on an honors thesis about the paleopathology of syphilis.

“Jocelyn is an extremely dedicated and hard working young woman,” Steadman said. “I am most impressed by her research capabilities and attention to detail. I am excited that she is going to pursue a career in anthropology and I look forward to working with her as a colleague one day.”

Minsky-Rowland, who serves as co-chair of Shammai, the orthodox committee of Hillel, enjoys history and traveling. While she would like to visit much of Europe someday, Minsky-Rowland’s immediate goal is graduate school, as she hopes to teach future students about the evolution of diseases.

“If I ended up being accepted and staying at Binghamton, I’d be very happy,” she said. “I’m familiar with the department and the professors. I know Binghamton and I like Binghamton. I’ve already learned so much, and I’m sure that as a graduate student it would further my knowledge of anthropology and my academic career.”

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Last Updated: 10/14/08