Skip to main content

1993-1999 Alumni


Andrew Ugan - Class of 1993

I actually became involved with Anthropology at USU before it was a major, and graduated from Utah State University with degrees in History (Classics), Philosophy, and Statistics.  My career has taken me from managing the archaeology lab at Utah State through a Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of Utah in 2005.  Along the way I've had a pleasure to work and publish with colleagues from all over the world, but particularly here in the Great Basin.  My doctoral research focused on the relationship between climatic variability, prey availability and the ultimate structure of the zooarchaeological assemblages at Median Village and Evans Mound, two Fremont Period sites in Utah's Parowan Valley.  From 2008-2011 I was an NSF International Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Museo de Historia Natural de San Rafael, Argentina, where I developed research on stable isotopes.  From 2010-13 I was a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama City, Panama.  Since 2012 I am a Principal Investigator at Far Western Anthropological Research Group, Inc. in Davis, California.  I am also an Adjunct Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology, University of Utah.


Kevin Poe - Class of 1996

Since graduating USU in 1996 my NPS career has been shaped by the invaluable background in anthropology/archaeology that USU afforded me. My understanding of how much of human prehistory was shaped by our role in the food chain saved my life during a close encounter with a Grizzly Bear and her three sub-adult cubs in Glacier National Park in 1997. During 1998 and 1999 while digging/researching and interpreting the Underground Railroad in Cuyahoga Valley National Park (Ohio) I was reminded how a major contribution of archeology is to keep history from being intentionally forgotten or worse yet, remembered wrong. Now at Bryce Canyon National Park my job is sharing my passion for astronomy with thousands of people from every corner of the globe. What they sometimes don't realize, until peering through a telescope into the vacant vastness of the Void, is something anthropology taught me long ago. No matter how far we look or what technology we dream up, Earth and Each Other, is all we are ever really going to know. Indeed, it is also all we are ever going to have. Therefore, trying to glean a better understanding of both is worthy of more than the occasional a master's project. Perhaps it should be a way of life?


Megan Andrew - Class of 1999

Having completed my anthropology degree in 1999, I immediately entered the working world for the next year and a half. I first worked in a low-income school before moving on to a non-profit quality of life health research center. Having wet my feet in the world of work, I returned to graduate school in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Despite the switch to sociology, I have found the research and teaching foundation I was able to establish at USU to be an invaluable asset. I continually draw upon the apprentice-style training I received as an undergraduate including the project-based work in my courses, exposure to teaching as an Undergraduate Teaching Fellow and Rhetoric Associate, and the opportunity to conduct independent research for my senior thesis. Currently, I work with Robert M. Hauser on the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study as a research assistant. I generally study social stratification, social demography and quantitative methods and have particular interests in inequalities in the transitions to adulthood, education and health across the life course. I anticipate completing my doctorate in 2008.



Christopher Carlson - Class of 1994

The Anthropology Major had just been approved during my time at Utah State University—a good thing, as being an undeclared junior was becoming awkward. Steven Simms and Carol Loveland taught at my field school, the Great Salt Lake Burial project, where the lake shore sand trowelled like butter and has spoiled me to this day. After graduating from USU, I shovel-bummed around the West for five years, working mountain surveys in Colorado, Anasazi excavations in Southeastern Utah, oil-field surveys and excavations in Wyoming, even doing a brief excavation stint at the Fort Leavenworth Prison Farm. I was lucky that I could camp for a majority of my fieldwork, though in retrospect I should have spent those five years living out of a camper van rather than a Toyota Tercel. I am now settled and working for SWCA Environmental Consultants in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as their Field Director and as a Project Manager.


Jason Bright - Class of 1997

After graduating I spent a couple years on a Master's degree at the University of Utah, and then enrolled in the PhD Program there in 1999. That sent me to Namibia in the summer of 2000. I spent three more years in graduate studies. I put the studies on hold for a while and built a small cultural resource management firm in 2003 based in Salt Lake City. We're called Mountain States Archaeology, L.L.C. We do contract work in Utah and the rest of the Great Basin. Some of the larger projects we've completed include several hundred miles of survey in Sevier Valley and the adjacent plateau and an inventory of most of the Sevier Desert, near Delta, Utah. We're hoping to acquire some additional money for further research in the Sevier Desert. I recently re-enrolled in the PhD program at the University of Utah. I also serve as the editor of Utah Archaeology, an outlet for professional and avocational archaeologists in Utah and the surrounding area.


Stephanie Olsen - Class of 1999

After graduating with my BA in Anthropology I went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Instructional Design. My graduate thesis explored parallels of social theory and learning theory and sparked my research interest in social learning, thus creating a unique marriage of my two fields of study. Shortly after graduation I joined AmeriCorps and worked to design after school programming for at-risk youth. After my service in AmeriCorps I earned a teaching certificate and taught social studies. I also spent several years as an instructional designer for a variety of government, corporate, and nonprofit clients. I am currently the head of instructional design for University of Phoenix. I also sit on the governing board of several nonprofit organizations and continue to work as a consultant for a handful of nonprofit and international organizations.

Although my career path has been more of a winding road than an expressway, the thread that binds together my different occupations is my passion for understanding humanity in all of its varied facets. Social theory has proven to be the bedrock for every one of my ventures and I readily draw upon the foundations I acquired as an anthropology student at USU. The possibilities available to an Anthropologist truly are limitless. (I have to admit; it is also kind of fun to be the token qualitative research "expert” everywhere you go.)