Senior Spends Summer Digging History

Finding a tiny piece of quartz on a Connecticut hillside will always be a memorable moment for Alexandra Madsen ’14. The history major is spending the summer working at a Native American museum and troweling up artifacts at a multi-period excavation site.

Alexandra Madsen '14Madsen was always interested in archaeology, and visited the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington, Conn. many times while growing up in nearby Southbury. She enjoys working there this summer, helping to clean and categorize artifacts and design museum exhibits. The other half of her internship is on location in the town of Warren, where she works with the Litchfield Archaeology Club at a site containing Native American artifacts and evidence of colonial settlements.

Finding the quartz point was the highlight of the summer. “It’s either an arrow point or a knife, but probably a knife because one side is more pronounced than the other,” she says.

Last summer, Madsen fueled her passion for archaeology at the college’s dig in Italy with Professor David George and a group of students. She is minoring in classical archaeology and Spanish, and plans to pursue a graduate degree in museum studies.

Madsen’s internship is one of a dozen that are made possible by alumnus Kevin J. Gould (class of 1976). He feels that since many internships are unpaid, students with financial need miss out on valuable experiences that can enrich their education. The awards have gone to aid students in a variety of majors, who are gaining practical experience through summer internships at news organizations, law firms, financial firms, sports organizations, and other businesses.