Evan Wilson ‘17
Magna Cum Laude
Why Stony Brook University?
I ultimately chose Stony Brook after all my research suggested it had one of the top three anthropology departments in the country, particularly pertaining to human origins research in Africa. I also wanted a change of pace from my home state of California.
On his major/minor:
My major is anthropology with a focus in archaeology. I chose anthropology on a whim: I wanted to be an actor, but it wasn't feasible. In the end, because I love history and studying people, I chose anthropology as a good middle ground, only to discover the wonders of archaeology, human origins, and Africa. I fell in love.
On his favorite classes:
My favorite class by far is Primitive Technology, a hands on ancestral technology lab where making fire and stone tools are the assignments. The class is fun, interesting, and completely unique; I never thought I'd be graded on my ability to start a fire by banging some rocks together!
Interests and accomplishments:
My interest lies in human origins research, particularly in East Africa. I've been to the Turkana Basin Institute Field School in Kenya twice; excavated multiple archaeological/paleontological sites; analyzed real stone tools and fossils, and assisted lab research on ancient plants. I've also recently learned to drive stick-shift.
Awards & Accolades
Former President of the Undergraduate Anthropology Society
Co-founder and President of Tabletop Club
Plans for post-graduation?
I have a couple of fieldwork opportunities lined up in Ethiopia for the spring, and Zambia for the summer. After that, I'll be applying to grad programs for Early Stone Age African Archaeology and hopefully pursuing my PhD.
Career aspirations :
My dream is to conduct field research in Africa, studying the origins of our technology and development of human behavior over the course of our evolution. I want to be a professor at a university during the school year and a field archaeologist in the summer, publishing my research in both peer-reviewed journals and books. One of my main goals is to help elucidate the species identity of the first pre-human tool makers.