At a very early age, Hilary Wolkan became interested in archaeology and knew she would pursue this subject in college. “What really drew me to UE was that it had one of the few departments in the US that not only required hands-on experience, but it also taught various types of archaeology, including methodology and theory, classical archaeology, Near Eastern archaeology, and Egyptian archaeology,” she said.
Hilary served as secretary and president in the Archaeology Club. She also worked as a research assistant in the fall of 2008 for Heidi Strobel, associate professor of art history. Hilary helped interview local women who worked in defense industries during World War II and helped transcribe Professor Strobel’s taped interviews and expand her bibliography for the project.
Hilary also secured a part-time position with the UE phonathon and traveled abroad to Harlaxton College, UE’s British campus in Grantham, England. She participated in digs while in England as well as in Spain. Hilary also interned at the Children’s Museum of Evansville, where she developed and led art history activities for children ages 3 through 10.
In 2009, Hilary graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in archaeology and art history. She worked for a season as the archaeologist for an Anasazi and Mexican homesteading site in Northeast New Mexico. Following this position, she continued her studies at Tufts University, earning a Master of Arts in classical archaeology in 2011. During her studies, she was a teaching assistant for courses such as Introduction to Egyptian Archaeology, Greek Mythology, and Classical Archaeology. Additionally, she participated as an assistant trench supervisor on the Castel Viscardo excavation in Coriglia, Italy, and was an assistant to the director of the Latium Vetus program in Italy. Hilary returned to Harlaxton in the spring of 2012 as an instructor, teaching British prehistory.
Although she has graduated from several other programs, Hilary stated that the UE faculty remains “some of the best I have encountered.” She credits her UE education for preparing her for work on university digs. “I was more aware of broader theory, had more experience in the field, and had a deeper understanding of various aspects of history than many students did,” she said. “This all is due to the subject material of the courses and the requirements and expectations established by the faculty at UE.”
Hilary is pursuing an additional MA degree in field archeology at the University of York in the United Kingdom, and she plans on applying for jobs in contract archaeology or public outreach.