Uncovering the past while finding her future
“I came face-to-face with people, or what was left of them, who had been buried thousands of years ago and wondered about their lives, feeling nostalgic for a time in which I’d never even lived.”
Class of 2010
Students come from all over the world to study at the University of Evansville. With such a great amount of diversity, students will experience so many perspectives different from their own. One of the things about UE, though, that rings true for almost any UE student also rang true for Andrea Kendrick: “I knew what I wanted from a university, and UE was really the only school that pinpointed everything I wanted for my college experience: a strong archaeology program, exceptional study abroad opportunities, financial aid possibilities, and a small population.”
Andrea found that the small classes sizes led to one-on-one interaction with faculty that greatly benefited her education. “I had Dr. [Alan] Kaiser for three classes,” she said. “His were never classes where I felt like I needed to sit down, shut up, and take notes. We were always able to ask questions and, thanks to Dr. Kaiser’s teaching style, everyone felt comfortable participating in discussions.”
Having direct access to her professors helped Andrea handle some of the more difficult course work. “When I was struggling, Dr. Kaiser was always willing to recommend either another student I might work with or a study tip to help improve my performance.”
Like more than half of all UE students, Andrea was able to take advantage of study abroad opportunities that expanded her skills in the archaeology field. She participated in the Mitrou Archaeological Project in Tragana, Greece, where she learned techniques that every budding archaeologist will acquire, in addition to learning the ropes of ‘grunt work’ that may not be quite as glamorous (such as pottery washing and ‘flot’ sorting).
She said her time in Greece was life-changing. “I came face-to-face with people, or what was left of them, who had been buried thousands of years ago and wondered about their lives, feeling nostalgic for a time in which I’d never even lived. We even had one young excavator find a potsherd with a fingerprint in it. We could literally see the hand of the potter in his (or her) work after millennia.”
While in Greece, Andrea was able to work closely with Pat Thomas, a UE professor who was one of the ceramic experts on site. “I like to think I did him proud when I aced the mid-excavation pottery quiz. Even though we were in Greece, we still had to take tests! I didn’t care – I was in Greece, for crying out loud!”
After graduation, Andrea was hired as assistant editor for acquisitions in the subjects of anthropology, archaeology, communications, and performing arts for Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Imagine her surprise when one day, a manuscript for a book came across her desk, the author of which was her former professor, Alan Kaiser. The manuscript was the culmination of years of research into the secret and fascinating life of a UE professor from the 1960s. Andrea recognized the book as having great potential and was very instrumental in moving it through the publication process, and Archaeology, Sexism, and Scandal, Kaiser’s newest book, hit bookshelves earlier this year.
For Andrea, UE and the city of Evansville were overflowing with possibilities, and she didn’t hold back at getting involved in whatever opportunities came her way. “I participated in Quidditch Club, Archaeology Club/SAHA (Society for Archaeology and the History of Art), PRIDE (People Respecting Individual Diversity Everywhere), GLLC (Global Learning and Living Community), and WA (Women’s Awareness). I also occasionally participated in intramural sports.”
The city and community around the University also provided plenty of food and fun during her four years at UE. “I loved Evansville! Mesker Zoo and the annual interactive showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show are two of the things I miss most.” She recently came back to campus for a reunion and was able to satisfy a craving for Turoni’s Pizza, a local pizza shop located a few blocks from campus.
For prospective students, Andrea has valuable advice. “Never underestimate the power of a small school education – and participate in as many extracurricular activities as possible…without damaging your grades, of course!”