Alumni Profile


Kathryn Barton

Class of 2009

Major: Anthropology, Honors

When Kathryn Barton was in elementary school, she studied the ancient Egyptians and decided that when she grew up, she was going to be an archaeologist. Over the years, she lost touch with that desire, and when she entered Franciscan University as a freshman, Kathryn registered for a more “practical” major.

The following summer, she found herself cleaning museum exhibits on Mackinac Island, Michigan, and was reminded of how much she enjoyed the work. When she returned to Steubenville in the fall, she changed her major to anthropology.

“I like the idea of being able to look into the past, to see how things were and how they’ve changed,” Kathryn says. “As a Catholic it is great, because we have a universal Church and we all have things in common. Archaeology can help remind us of this.”

After graduation, she had a five-month internship at Custer Battlefield Museum in Montana, where she helped with research projects and prepared new exhibits. Today, she is back in Mackinac as an archaeology inventory assistant with the Mackinac State Historic Park.

“The area has a series of sites of historical significance, and archaeological excavation is done during the summers,” Kathryn explains. “It is too cold to continue the excavations in the winter, but I’ll be going through inventory from all of the excavations since the 1950s, organizing and labeling finds and updating records.”

The theories and terms from the classroom, as well as practical, hands-on training in archaeological field schools during the summers, gave her helpful experience as she started working, Kathryn says.

“People aren’t just throwing terms at me that I’m not familiar with,” she says. “My work in the archaeology lab and at the field schools, as well as my internship, really helped prepare me for what I’m doing today.”

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