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CCU student awarded field study fellowship in Kenya

Coastal Carolina University student Sydney James is one of three students in the United States to be awarded a prestigious fellowship to attend the Koobi Fora Field School in Kenya, Africa, this coming summer. Not only will James be studying artifacts that are several millions of years old, but she will also be learning about how those early ancestors interacted with their landscape.

The fellowship, funded through the National Science Foundation International Research Experience for Students program, was part of a grant received by the Koobi Fora Field School that will cover the cost of the program and James’ airfare to Kenya. The field school is a partnership between the National Museums of Kenya and George Washington University’s Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology.

“It’s probably one of the best sites in the world for studying some of our earliest hominin ancestors,” said James, a sophomore anthropology and geography major from Seaford, Del.

CCU student awarded field study fellowship in Kenya

Rare opportunity: Sydney James won a highly competitive fellowship to study in Kenya.

More than 30 candidates from across the country applied for the fellowship, and the Koobi Fora Field School accepted only three. The intensive 10-week program consists of four weeks of online classes and six weeks of field research. James and the other fellows will hold a conference in November to discuss their findings.

“I cannot stress enough how competitive this fellowship is,” said Carolyn Dillian, chair of CCU’s Department of Anthropology and Geography. “It’s an amazing achievement for Sydney to have been selected, and I’m excited for her to have this field school experience in Kenya this summer.”

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