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Jasmine Kidwell
Jasmine Kidwell, a graduate student, discusses why she chose ENMU. Photo by Dr. David Kilby.

Jasmine Kidwell, a graduate student studying anthropology and archaeology at Eastern New Mexico University, chose her field because it "allows me to study something I enjoy."

She enjoys her field because she can work outdoors and adventure to new locations. She likes working with the dedicated archaeology community in Portales and has made "amazing friends throughout my career."

Jasmine, who will graduate from ENMU this fall, previously attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where she received a bachelor's degree in anthropology.

She has had the opportunity to work in the western region of the United States for the United States Forest Service, the United States Air Force, private companies and, currently, the Bureau of Land Management.

"I've really enjoyed working with various federal agencies, and I'd like to continue doing so throughout my archaeological career," she explained. 

The graduate student has presented papers and posters at conferences for the Society of American Archaeology, the Archaeological Society of New Mexico and for organizations like the Panhandle Archaeological Society.

Her experience at Eastern has challenged her to grow in her career because the "professors are accommodating, motivating and truly talented instructors."

Her professors, including Dr. John Montgomery, Dr. Kathy Durand, Dr. Heather Smith, Dr. Jim Constantopoulos and Dr. David Kilby, have "all served as exceptional mentors.

"From answering my endless questions to career advice, to pushing me to do things outside of my comfort zone, they've all encouraged me at one time or another," said Jasmine who is involved in ENMU's Anthropology club, Mu Alpha Nu.

Jasmine's "Intro to Geoarchaeology" class has helped her "advance my thesis research and has helped me tremendously in my career."

She explained that the course covers a substantial amount of material and is "essential" to any student who continues to work as an archaeologist in New Mexico.

Jasmine has "enjoyed just about every class I've taken here."

Her favorite part about being a Greyhound is the opportunity to study and visit the Blackwater Draw National Historic Landscape and Museum.

"This archaeological site is one of the most important sites in the United States, and it is right here in Portales," said Jasmine. "I would encourage all of our students and faculty to visit the site and museum to learn more about archaeology and the history of humans in North America."

Jasmine's friend and colleague, Erin Enright, received her master's degree in anthropology from ENMU.

"I knew I wanted an education similar to hers," said Jasmine, who added that Erin is a "talented archaeologist."

The ENMU student, who attends the annual Atlatl Competition at Blackwater Draw National Historic Landmark, encourages other students to network.

"Go to conferences, volunteer at a local historic site or museum and, if you're trying to get your foot in the door, try applying for positions through programs such as AmeriCorps or the Student Conservation Association."

Jasmine grew up in southern California with two younger brothers and a younger sister. Her father is a real estate broker, and her mother is a nurse.

When asked about her hobbies, Jasmine responds that "I always laugh when people ask grad students this question. My thesis is my hobby. Also, sometimes hiking and visiting with friends."