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Post-secondary doesn't have to be a straight path.
Before Rory started at SFU, they travelled abroad to Spain and Morocco, where they saw the world and gained valuable cultural experience. Then they took classes at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
Many transfer students, like Rory, often find themselves more prepared and have better defined educational goals than direct-from-high-school students when they start at SFU. Before enrolling in SFU’s archaeology program, they studied biology at KPU. After taking a Forensic Anthropology and Archaeology course, Rory fell in love with the discipline. Rory didn’t have the funds to move out of province. Luckily, they didn’t have to look far. SFU has one of the best archaeology programs in Canada with internationally-recognized faculty, and the archaeology focus in biological anthropology aligned perfectly with Rory’s interests.
At SFU, Rory got involved, from gaining career experience as a research assistant documenting archaeological remains to volunteering at the SFU Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. Rory also joined the Archaeology Student Society and as the current president they help plan events and engage students.
SFU students are diverse and fearless, and Rory is no exception. As a queer, non-binary, and neurodiverse individual, Rory’s experiences bring perspectives that help them critically assess the colonial past within archaeology, and advance reconciliation work.
Rory contributed to this reconciliation during the 2018 Bioarchaeology Field School, a five-week program held in Southern Portugal where they had the opportunity to put their course theory into practice through excavation projects. Students got to explore the history and culture of the area, and helped excavate an archeological cemetery.
“I found the field school to be exceptionally rewarding. I had never experienced history to that extent. Being able to learn about the history of the region while excavating was an exceptional experience and I highly recommend any type of field school to undergraduate students.”
Rory is currently finishing their Archeology degree (pre-Honours) and Bioanthropology certificate, and hopes to pursue a master’s afterwards. From getting ready at Kwantlen to growing within SFU, Rory hopes their journey inspires others.