UC Davis student shares personal experiences in archaeology


Emanuel Espinoza

The CRC Anthropology department held an event featuring keynote speaker Diana Malarchik on Oct. 27 at the Winn Center. Malarchik spoke about her journey in archeology

The Cosumnes River College Anthropology department welcomed Bioarchaeologist Diana Malarchik, who gave a presentation at the Winn Center on Oct. 27.

Malarchik is currently a Ph.D. student at UC Davis, she shared her personal experiences studying and working in the field of archeology with CRC students during her presentation. She said the book “Timeline” by Michael Crichton was influential in her decision to pursue archaeology.

“Being an archaeologist, we get to touch cool stuff,” Malarchik said. “So yes, Indiana Jones and ‘Bones,’ they can represent archaeology, but really what we do is a little bit of everything. We look at human life as individuals and as a species through an evolutionary lens.”

The presentation included various perspectives of anthropology, including the reality of the subject compared to the depiction in media. One of the primary examples Malarchik shared was that she had gone to construction sites to find junk and debris.

Malarchik said she had presented at conferences where she talked about the same subject with her academic peers, but liked presenting at college campuses with students who are studying anthropology better.

Malarchik said that she has had a lot of positive experiences in this field.

“I love meeting people, learning about new cultures, meeting a lot of the native monitors I’ve worked with,” Malarchik said.

Anthropology Professor Anastasia Panagakos said she had similar experiences to Malarchik’s path toward anthropology, with Malarchik going through teaching before going into graduate school.

Panagakos said she was a first-generation college student and an English-language learner. She said her parents didn’t go to high school and learning how to navigate higher education on her own was a challenge.

“I think Diana’s presentation was great,” Panagakos said. “Our goal with anthro stories is to have people who are graduate students in anthropology or early-career anthropologists, and Diana is both. And so for us, what’s really important is to be able to give our students an opportunity to see what some of the possibilities are if you want to go into a career in anthropology because a lot of students come into college and they have no idea what anthropology is.”

Holden Alameda, a 19-year-old political science major, said this presentation was amazing because he never thought about how much he learned about teeth and things related to cultural anthropology like nature vs. nurture.

“The presentation added some inspiration to study anthropology,” Alameda said. “Or to pursue learning more things that I never realized had such a cultural impact.”

Jordyn Gilyard, a 22-year-old history major, said this event was educational and she learned things she didn’t know. During the Q&A, Gilyard said that she had an interest in archaeology and what drew her to it was a news report about King Richard III’s body being found under a park in Leicester, England.

“If you’re a history nerd, then definitely come to these presentations,” Gilyard said.