University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

The Penn Museum Fellows program is a new initiative that aims to support and promote advanced undergraduate research at the museum. Over the course of the academic year, the fellows will work with museum curators, staff, or associated faculty on a significant project in the collections, laboratories, or galleries. In support of this research, students will receive a stipend, as well as access to necessary collections, labs, and archival materials.

Nominations for the 2018-2019 Academic Year are due March 16, 2018 and should be submitted by the student's project supervisor.

Penn Museum Fellows will meet regularly as a group and will gain experience presenting their research both within the museum, via blog posts or at museum events, and on campus at undergraduate conferences and poster sessions. The Penn Museum Fellows program is an excellent opportunity for the completion of a senior thesis or other capstone academic experience.

“This past summer I excavated at the Smith Creek in Mississippi with Dr. Megan Kassabaum and I have spent this semester working on the paleobotanical remains from the site, which has just been synthesized in my senior honors thesis, Ritual and Subsistence: Paleobotany at the Smith Creek Site (22Wk526). In doing this work I have extensively utilized many of the museum's resources including support of the Penn Museum Fellows and the facilities in the CAAM laboratories. As a Penn Museum Fellow I have been exposed to advice from mentors and support from peers. Having a structure in place to support me has been invaluable as I peruse my own research. I hope to take these new skills with me to graduate school, where I plan to focus on paleobotany and archaeology.”

Ally Mitchem, College ’16 (Anthropology with a Linguistics minor)

“As a Fellow, I have worked to complete my senior thesis and create an archival museum exhibit. Both of these projects look closely at archival materials concerning early archeology in ancient Sumer. My thesis examined how the division of finds between countries effected archaeological processes in the early 20th century, looking at the Joint Expedition to Ur of the Chaldees as a case study. My exhibit explores the many faces, stories, and legacies of the work at Ur and Nippur through eyes of those who pioneered these projects. I am senior in the college majoring in Classical Studies with a concentration in Mediterranean Archaeology. Next year I plan on attending the University of Virginia Law School.”

Kamillia Scott, College ’16 (Classics)

“As a Penn Museum Fellow, I have been privileged to work on a subsidiary project relating to the reinstallation of the Middle Eastern Galleries. For my project, titled In Their Own Words, I have compiled a repository of excerpts from Sumerian literature in translation. Some of these quotes will be selected and incorporated into the reinstalled galleries. Not only will these quotes supplement the museum’s stunning artifacts, but they will lend the voices of ancient Near Eastern peoples to the themes of galleries. By including them, we allow the ancient Sumerians themselves to describe their culture and society to the visitors. As a junior majoring in ancient Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, I have also used my compiled repository to aid my research for classes and presentations. I am also interested in going to graduate school for philology so the importance of writing and how we reconstruct the ancient past from written material lies at the heart of my passion. With a second major in South Asian Studies and a minor in Linguistics, I hope to continue working with ancient texts from across Asia in the future, and, if I can manage it, in their original languages and scripts.”

Julia Chatterjee, College ’17 (NELC)

How to Apply

Acceptance to the Penn Museum Fellows is based on faculty nominations. Students interested in becoming a Penn Museum Fellow should discuss their project and their interest in the Fellows with their project supervisor. Nominations for Penn Museum Fellows should be submitted by the student's project supervisor to Sarah Linn, Research Liaison, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by March 16, 2018. Nominations should reference the student's previous research and include a short description of the proposed project.

If you are interested in becoming a Fellow, we encourage you and your supervisor to contact Sarah Linn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Anne Tiballi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details about the program and the nomination process.


Academic Engagement Department


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