On Sunday, April 2nd, Quest University Canada had the privilege of hosting faculty and graduate student speakers from Canada, the United States, and Europe to discuss their interdisciplinary approach to the field of Egyptology. The program included snapshots of research and career path presentations with faculty presenters, a coffee break for networking, and interactive workshops with the graduate student presenters. All presenters had the opportunity to go up the Sea to Sky Gondola in the morning (in uncharacteristically sunny April weather), and the faculty presenters were also given a tour of Quest and given the chance to ask questions about our curriculum and program.
During the research presentations, there were some recurring themes and words of wisdom for students at the start of their academic journeys. Many speakers, including Dr. Pearce Paul Creasman of the University of Arizona, spoke of how their professional careers are in fields that they discovered after their bachelor’s degree was already complete. Dr. Angus Graham of Uppsala University gave the advice “dance less, read more” – in other words, work hard for what you want and your future will be bright. Finally, all speakers spoke about the value of experience. Dr. Leslie Ann Warden of Roanoke College was on a dig as an undergraduate student, and she was placed in the “pottery tent” to draw, something she was unsure she was interested in. However, this experience led to her passion in utilitarian pottery, which is her research focus to this day. Dr. Judith Bunbury of Cambridge University agreed to a master’s degree doing fieldwork in Turkey, without knowing where Turkey was exactly. Now, she continues to do fieldwork in collaboration with Dr. Graham. The lessons that your career does not have to be linear, to be passionate about what you do, to continue to be curious and ask questions, and if an opportunity presents itself you should feel empowered to take it are invaluable to Quest students.
The idea for the symposium was that of our President, Dr. Peter Englert, and Dr. Thomas Schneider, Professor of Egyptology and Near Eastern Studies at the University of British Columbia, both of whom spoke at the event. Hopefully, collaborations such as this will continue to provide our students with access to internationally renowned researchers and continue to raise the profile of Quest University Canada and our incredible students.