Pictured above from left to right are Abbey Fraker ’19, Anna Crichton ’21, Casey Juday ’20, and Danni Hurley ’19 - all 2019 Society for Historical Archaeology Ethics Bowl attendees.
During the summer of 2018, I was given the incredible opportunity to work at the Columbia Street Cemetery Excavation, a project focused on the oldest cemetery in Springfield, Ohio. The purpose of the project involves locating missing headstones and the historic pathway that used to run through the site, as well as revitalizing the historic landmark in hopes of commemorating the space for the community and the rich history tied to Wittenberg’s hometown. Because of my involvement with the project throughout the summer and fall semester, Dr. Brooks Hedstrom invited one of my peers and me to present a paper about our work performed at the site at the 2019 Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) conference in St. Charles, Missouri. In addition to presenting our paper and making connections with multiple professional archaeologists, we were also given the opportunity to compete in an Ethics Bowl.
The Ethics Bowl is a competition for conference attendees to form teams of four and respond to ethically challenging scenarios chosen at random, presenting them to a board of judges. While we were given a list of potential questions to prepare answers for, we weren’t sure which ones would be chosen during the competition. In addition to that, we were also the only undergraduate team competing in the Ethics Bowl. Not only was it difficult to come up with a thoughtful response that followed the principles set forth by most archaeological organizations, but we also had to think about our commitment or role in situations where our employers were the ones making questionable ethical decisions.
Our group was allotted eight minutes to discuss our response and then five minutes to present our solution to the panel of judges. Our opposing team members would then present their response, and the judges would have a few minutes to ask general questions for both teams to respond to. Each team was only permitted a minute to discuss its answer and then present its rebuttal. Afterward, the judges would make their decision on the winning team and then that team would move on to the next round.
When I first started at Wittenberg, I never imagined that I would be able to participate in things such as the Columbia Street Cemetery project, presenting at the SHA conference, or competing in the Ethics Bowl. While I had always hoped to further explore different career paths and opportunities, I had no idea that my professors would be as encouraging, helpful, and supportive in all of my goals. They have provided me with these experiences because they want to help me succeed in life outside of Wittenberg, not just in their classes. Wittenberg is truly dedicated to helping their students reach their goals and providing them with opportunities that set them apart. When I was at SHA, there were many professional archaeologists and graduate students who were shocked with how much experience I had already had in my undergraduate program, which is all thanks to the opportunities Wittenberg has provided.
After graduating from Wittenberg, I hope to further my education in graduate school with a focus on either historical archaeology, cultural heritage management, or archivism. Whichever path I decide to follow, the experiences I have had while participating in the Columbia Street Cemetery project and attending the SHA conference have truly given me a step forward toward reaching my goals. I always knew that I would want to find a career related to history, but the opportunities I have been given at Wittenberg have made me confident that my goals can become reality.
In addition to taking advantage of the above opportunities, Anna also serves as the vice-president of New Member Education for Kappa Delta sorority, treasurer of the Archaeology Club, secretary of the History Club, as a junior editor for the Wittenberg History Journal, and as a member of the Honors Advisory Board. She is also a student manager at Thomas Library and is in training to work as an advisor at the Wittenberg Writing Center.
By Anna Crichton ’21
Hometown: Springvalley, Ohio
Majors: History and English double major