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Convocation, Students, Archaeology

New alumnus sets their sight on graduate school for a future in forensic anthropology and archaeology

October 07, 2022

New archaeology alumnus Rory Doucette is walking across the stage this fall with a BA with honours in archaeology, a certificate in biological anthropology, and a handful of experiences and contributions within SFU’s Department of Archaeology. 

Rory’s been heavily active and engaged within the archaeology department throughout their degree. On top of volunteer work at the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Rory’s been a member of the Archaeology Student Society for four years, starting out as secretary and working their way up to serve as the society’s president for two terms. 

In 2018, Rory attended the five-week Bioarchaeology Field School in Portugal, an experience focused on the archaeology, history, and culture of Portugal’s southern region. There they gained hands-on lab and field experience excavating an archaeological cemetery. 

As a research assistant for archaeology professor Jon Driver, Rory aided in cataloguing artifacts from a cave site at Charlie Lake. Additionally, they received an Undergraduate Student Research Award (USRA) to work with Driver authenticating sandstone artifacts found at T’sek’wa. This research has since been published in an open access journal. “These experiences have helped me in my upper-level courses as I have a better understanding of certain aspects of archaeology,” Rory says.

Rory is now in the process of finishing a certificate in forensics and working on a poster for an upcoming Canadian Association for Biological Anthropology conference. They’re also applying to master’s programs with the goal of obtaining a PhD to work in forensic anthropology and archaeology as a human osteologist.

When it comes to preparing for the future, Rory emphasizes that it’s about more than just having a high GPA, stressing the importance of extra-curriculars and work and volunteer experience. “If you have the possibility of going to field school, do it,” they say. “If you have the possibility of doing a research project, do it. Don’t worry about grades to the point that you neglect everything else.”

Congratulations, Rory!