I will be graduating in May of 2019 with a dual degree, including a B.S. in Sociology & Anthropology (Archaeology track) and a B.F.A. in Medical Illustration. I've had a passion for studying ancient societies and death since elementary school, where I spent most of my time in the library reading books on subjects such as Ancient Egypt and mummification, the Titanic, and the mystery of Anastasia.

Forensic Anthropology is my main interest, and I would like to bridge the gap between the arts and sciences. Usually an anatomist and an artist are hired to create reconstructions of individuals; I would like to eliminate the need for two individuals by performing both of these functions myself. I would like to pursue a PhD in human anatomy with a focus in forensic anthropology so I can teach Gross Anatomy and work in the anthropology field. I help Dr. Meiggs with his research by sampling ancient tooth enamel. I'm also a teaching assistant for his Archaeological Science course this semester (Spring 2018), and work to prepare samples for the class labs. When I took the class last spring, I did a research project where I wrote a paper and performed a facial approximation with clay on a replica skull of Neanderthal called "The Old Man" from La-Chapelle-aux-Saints (see photo below).

This semester in Dr. Middleton's Archaeology of Death class I'm working on a paper exploring death on Mt. Everest to try and understand who dies from what on the mountain, and what happens to their bodies after they are left there. Studying anthropology has helped me find myself, as it allows for application of knowledge from many fields. It's helped me be more honest with myself about what I want from life and what I'd like to give to the world. Studying anthropology has also helped open my eyes to other cultures of the world and understand the human experience from more than my point of view, which is especially important in this day and age.

My dream job would be to tell the stories of people who are unable to tell their own anymore. I believe our skeletons tell our life stories long after we are able to and I want to be able to understand how to read them and pass that information on to others to hopefully bring peace. Another goal of mine is to help people be less afraid of death, and less afraid of discussing their wishes with those close to them. Death should not be a taboo subject, and those who study it should not be labeled as macabre or odd.

Heather Williams

Heather Williams

Dual degree: B.S. Sociology & Anthropology, B.F.A. Medical Illustration