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Department of Sociology and Anthropology
University of Mississippi

MyKayla Williamson – Alumna Spotlight

MyKayla WilliamsonMaster’s student in archaeology, Cornell University

Hometown: Waynesboro, MS
BA in Anthropology, minors in Classics and Journalism (2022)
LinkedIn Profile


Why/when did you decide to study anthropology at UM?
I knew that I wanted to be an archaeologist from childhood. Archaeology, in America, is a subfield of anthropology. I knew when I decided to come to UM that anthropology was the proper track to learn about cultures scientifically and become an archaeologist.

What were some significant experiences or fond memories of your time at UM?
A significant experience I have had at UM was becoming a McNair Scholar. UM’s McNair program is geared toward helping students learn about post-baccalaureate programs. For those considering a Ph.D., it is a fantastic opportunity.

Please describe your educational/career path since graduation from UM.
Since graduating from UM, I have started the Masters in Archaeology program at Cornell University in New York. I have also commenced my tenure as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow.

What is the value of studying anthropology in today’s world?
When I have been called upon to describe anthropology, I always tell people it is the “mother of all majors.” A person can find something within Anthropology and its subfields that nurtures any interest they may have. In biological anthropology and bio-archaeology, students study the behavior and physical aspects of humans. Anything from determining the likely gender of human remains to tracking a person’s migration pattern using the chemical make-up of teeth is done in this field. Those who like communications, literature, and journalism may take a liking to the subfield linguistics. Archaeology is attractive to aficionados of history, geology, and geography. International studies majors, lawyers, and philosophy majors can benefit from learning about other nations and their cultural values via an anthropological lens. Studying Anthropology is a crucial component of gaining a holistic understanding of today’s world.