The Future of Texas Archeology ad hoc committee was formed as a result of the ‘Women in Texas Archeology: Current Realities and Looking Ahead’ panel held during the 92nd TAS annual meeting. While a variety of topics were discussed, a recurring theme throughout the discussion was the importance of quality mentorship to achieve success in the industry, both in the traditional sense and between peers. At the request of our TAS president, the panel has evolved into an ad-hoc TAS committee to continue these important discussions and to devise and implement programs that address the issues that were examined.
The committee has searched for similar mentoring programs in place in other organizations like the Society for Historical Archaeology, (SHA) the Advisory Council on Underwater Archaeology, (ACUA) and the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) to serve as a model for our own. Believe it or not, few programs similar to what we hope to create currently exist so we are working hard to craft one that works for us. The committee created an interest form to help us understand what our community’s current needs are and to better match individuals together for one-on-one mentorship. Are people looking for career advice? Training or skills development? Networking? General mentoring? Looking for a way to get in the field without starting a professional career? Or maybe you just need a buddy to help you navigate your first TAS field school or annual meeting? We want to know what it is you’re seeking from participating in this program.
Texas archeology is diversifying, reflecting a trend seen in the broader archaeological community. The committee hopes to make Texas archeology a welcoming and supportive space for archeologists from all walks of life as the discipline continues to diversify. Archeology is a physically demanding and mentally taxing job with unique social conditions, and the creation of strong mentor-mentee relationships and peer networks can be the key to whether the new field technician or steward continues in the discipline or burns out. The TAS has an exceptionally strong history of providing leadership opportunities to professional and avocational archeologists and we want to continue to foster that tradition.
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