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SFU Archaeology student confronts uncertainty and finds academic success
Kym Jones never pictured herself graduating from university. She was cautiously optimistic about returning to school as a mature student from Kitwanga, unsure about succeeding after years away from the classroom. Not only will she graduate this June but she will receive the Undergraduate Dean’s Convocation Medal in recognition of her stellar academic performance.
“I was unsure how I would do but I’m proud of myself for keeping my grades up, volunteering, making friends, and working while in school,” says Kym.
She decided to return to school after a conversation with an SFU archaeology alumnus inspired her to imagine exploring similar topics. “I remember hearing about her amazing experiences and then realizing ‘Hey, I can study archaeology too!’” says Kym.
Kym tested out her interest in archaeology by first taking a couple of courses at Douglas College before keenly transferring to SFU’s Archaeology program and added an anthropology minor and a certificate in cultural resource management.
At SFU, Kym immersed herself in extracurricular activities spending time volunteering on the Archaeology Student Society as Treasurer, helping with the department’s annual Paleo-Olympics, and lending time to the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology on campus. However, it was the K’omoks Field School in 2019 that Kym reflects most fondly on from her time at SFU.
“It was amazing to get hands on experience doing archaeology and getting to know other people with common interests,” says Kym.
Equipped with skills gained in courses and applied in field schools, Kym now works as a Cultural Heritage Associate for First Peoples’ Cultural Council (FPCC) where she supports the revitalization of Indigenous cultural heritage. “It’s really rewarding to help communities achieve their goals,” says Kym.