Vanderbilt University has developed Immersion Vanderbilt, providing students with experiential learning opportunities to immerse themselves in a passion project. Anthropological bioarchaeology and forensics are well suited to this kind of hands-on engagement, and my labwork and fieldwork in the Bioarchaeology & Stable Isotope Research Lab on Vanderbilt campus and in Peru, respectively, gives students a unique opportunity to participate in research, creative projects, and/or travel. These activities that are fostered by Immersion Vanderbilt create meaningful moments and lasting works for students and for others. The Immersion opportunities that I offer easily align with two of the Immersion Pathways: Research or International. One of the goals of Immersion Vanderbilt is to aid students in identifying meaningful and impactful paths of inquiry and experience. See here for a detailed description of one such project.
Immersion Vanderbilt has two key parts:
- EXPERIENITAL LEARNING (“the experience”). Think of this as the hands-on work and immersive learning that you do. This could be an archaeology field project with a Vanderbilt professor or a summer excavation offered by another university. It could be labwork in a science lab, a local ethnography project, or an internship at a company or NGO; it could be apprenticing with an artist or musician, or it could be a semester of study abroad where you immerse yourself in another language and culture. The experience opportunities are limitless.
- CULMINATING PROJECT. This is the final, tangible product that you produce, such as a senior thesis, a presentation at the Vanderbilt Research Fair, a musical performance, an Op-ed for a newspaper, a work of art, or a video, among many other options. The creativity, knowledge, and entrepreneurial spirit of Vanderbilt students come to life through the Culminating Projects.
To see other Immersion Project possibilities in Anthropology, see this link. For funding opportunities to support an Immersion Project, see here.