"So many of the more senior graduate students have been incredibly kind and generous, always willing to provide a listening ear or advice. It's really because of them that I found the transition from undergrad to grad studies during the pandemic manageable."

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Student Profile: Alexandra Derian

Archaeology master's student in the Faculty of Environment

September 08, 2021
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I love animals and being out in nature. Having grown up in the city, I really value the time I get to spend camping or hiking with friends. When I'm indoors, I love cooking and baking.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

I originally came to SFU in 2015 for my bachelor's degree because my dad went here. I decided to stay for my master's because I enjoyed my undergraduate experience here so much. I had formed some very positive relationships with people in the Department of Archaeology and I felt I could learn a lot here.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?

I look at animal bones from archaeological contexts to help me understand how people in the past lived, and interacted with the land. I search for patterns in the bones to help access the past. For example, are there certain species more frequently represented? Are certain parts of the skeleton more common in the assemblage? Are there indications of butchery or bone tool manufacture? These are just a few of the many questions zooarchaeologists can ask.

WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?

Doing my master's degree during a global pandemic was not how I pictured my experience in graduate school. There have definitely been challenges, but these have been made so much easier by the support that I have received from professors and other graduate students in my department. So many of the more senior graduate students have been incredibly kind and generous, always willing to provide a listening ear or advice. It's really because of them that I found the transition from undergrad to grad studies during the pandemic manageable.

HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR-FUNDED AWARDS? IF SO, PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES AND A LITTLE ABOUT HOW THE AWARDS HAVE IMPACTED YOUR STUDIES AND/OR RESEARCH.

Special Graduate Entrance Scholarship & SSHRC CGS Masters Scholarship

 

Contact Alexandra: alex_derian@sfu.ca

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