Alexis Alemy '16: Internship at the American Museum of Natural History
Alemy with her intern group at the American Museum of Natural History
Alexis Alemy, from Wantage, New Jersey, has just completed a prestigious internship at Manhattan's American Museum of Natural History focused on North American Archaeology.
For the 2016 graduate, the internship was a natural extension of her work as an anthropology major and archaeology minor. She was able to work with artifacts from St. Catherine's Island, Georgia dating from the Spanish Mission period (roughly 1600 to 1700). Her main tasks were digitizing parts of the collection and rehousing artifacts.
Taking Advantage: Faculty-student research opportunities
Alemy's studies at Montclair State and her collaboration with faculty prepared her well for the internship. Arriving as a transfer student from Sussex County Community College, Alemy took full advantage of the research institution.
Julian Brash with a group of Anthropology students, including Alemy, on the High Line
She worked in the Center for Heritage and Archaeological Studies lab and honed technical skills working with Prof. Christopher N. Matthews. She served a research assistant conducting interviews to assist Prof. Julian Brash with his New York City High Line research, funded by the National Science Foundation.
Later, Alemy presented findings from the excavation in digital form by working on the Counter-Map of Setauket, New York project with Matthews and another student.
In addition to the American Museum of Natural History internship, Alemy completed an internship working in the repository of the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Why study anthropology?
Alemy on an excavation on Long Island
"I've always been interested in studying people so I took an Anthropology class at Sussex County Community College and was hooked!"
"So what are you going to do with that?" is the reaction she says that she gets from many people when she tells them of her major. And Alemy says she has trouble answering, but that's because she feels there are so many opportunities and she's only just started on her career path.
Alemy is also a model of determination. When she first applied to the American Museum of Natural History program, she was not accepted. Instead of moving on, she pursued more outside experience to beef her resume up. On her second attempt she was accepted. "Don't give up" is the moral of the story, she says.
Next, Alemy is pursuing work in cultural resource management. She's also exploring different techniques in digital archaeology that will be useful in her career. She plans to pursue a certification in geographic information systems.