Sophomore awarded NSF summer research scholarship in Cyprus

Katy Hillbo

Scholarship recipient Ashlan Falletta-Cowden (Lawrence University)

What college student do you know who is willing to get up at 6 a.m. every day for six weeks of their summer vacation? Sophomore Ashlan Falletta-Cowden will be doing just that as part of a summer fellowship to conduct a field study in Cyprus.
Falletta-Cowden was recently awarded a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates scholarship, which will allow her to conduct a field study with Davidson College’s Archaeology Field School.
Davidson College, a private liberal arts school in North Carolina, is conducting the Athienou Archaeology Project this summer. In this project students will work in teams with advisors to excavate different sites, study their findings in a lab, and carry out an independent project on an artifact of their choice.
Falletta-Cowden plans to do her project on either a tondo, a type of cup, or a grave stele.
While in Cyprus, Falletta-Cowden will be staying in the village of Athienou and will work with 15 other students to excavate various sites in Malloura.
Cyprus has the unique feature of beings on the borders of Africa, Asia and Europe. Therefore, as Cowden said, “Here we can study many different cultures and time periods, like the Ottoman Empire, the Venetians and the Greek Empire. There is a variety of cultures.”
Falletta-Cowden found out about the program from Erin Averett, a visiting art history professor at Lawrence. Averett works with the program and encouraged Cowden to apply when she was taking a course in ancient Greek art history.
As a double major in art history and anthropology, Falletta-Cowden feels that the courses she has taken at Lawrence have helped to prepare her for this study, and she attributes much of her influence to her professors.
“They open us up to the world. They give insights through their teachings; they give us good tools,” she said.
This will be Falletta-Cowden’s first field study of this nature and her first encounter with Cypriot culture. Although she has never been to Cyprus, Falletta-Cowden has traveled extensively, visiting Canada and Mexico with her family, Europe with the U.S. National Cadet Fencing Team, and studying abroad in Florence, Italy her junior year of high school.
She seems excited for this next adventure and thinks that “it will be amazing to experience a new culture and work at different sites.”
Falletta-Cowden will be preparing for the trip by completing final paperwork, reading up on Cypriot history, getting needed items for the trip, and learning how to call home while she’s away.
However, she will not be learning Greek or Turkish. “There is no language program . the field school focuses on archaeological techniques,” she said with relief.
Although she is not sure about future career plans, Falletta-Cowden thinks that this experience may give her some direction. She plans to do postgraduate work in the field of biological anthropology, but admits that, “The trip might change my mind. I might really love it. It is an interesting blend of my two majors.

Scholarship recipient Ashlan Falletta-Cowden (Lawrence University)

Top