Department of Anthropology Undergraduate Student Joshua Schnell Wins Prestigious Beinecke Scholarship

Joshua Schnell

Joshua Schnell

The Department of Anthropology is very proud to announce that Joshua Schnell has been awarded the highly prestigious and competitive Beinecke Scholarship. Founded in 1971, the Beinecke Scholarship supports students pursuing graduate studies in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

Joshua Schnell, a junior, is an Honors College member studying Anthropology and Religious Studies. He has always been passionate about anthropology and archaeology. He spent his childhood reading his grandpa’s National Geographic magazines and every book ancient civilizations book he could find. His love of bones stretches back as far as he can remember- collecting and cleaning animal bones he found in the forest as a kid. His interests were taken a step further during a high school World History class where he learned more about pursuing archaeology.

Joshua has taken advantage of every opportunity to get more involved within the discipline and to learn more about anthropology broadly. He works in the MSU Bioarchaeology Lab run by Dr. Gabriel Wrobel and is working on his own research, which he presented at the Society for American Archaeology meeting. He is also involved with the Undergraduate Anthropology Club, and became the club’s webmaster during his freshman year, as president last year, and is now the treasurer. Additionally, Joshua has worked with the Campus Archaeology Program since his freshman year. Two summers on CAP’s excavation team provided the basis for research on the historic use of space on MSU’s campus, which he presented at the 2014 University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum.

Joshua is also working with Dr. Lynne Goldstein to conduct a spatial analysis of Aztalan, a Mississippian site, which he presented at the 2015 UURAF in April. This summer, Joshua will attend Dr. Wrobel’s Maya Culture History Fieldschool in Belize. There, he will be excavating at an ancient Maya rockshelter cemetery site and a surface civic-ceremonial site, as well as surveying several cave sites.

Joshua plans to attend graduate school, and get into a PhD program in bioarchaeology, mortuary archaeology, or Mesoamerican archaeology. Joshua wants to investigate the relationship between ritual and space, particularly from a mortuary perspective, how space is used for ritual, how ideas of sacred space and ritual landscapes are constructed, the modification of natural landscapes for ritual purposes, and the role landscape plays in a culture’s worldview or cosmology.