From archaeological digs to museum intern, student finds unique niche researching the ancient past

SIU News

July 03, 2018From archaeological digs to museum intern, student finds unique niche researching the ancient past
by Hannah Erickson
CARBONDALE, Ill. — Living in a tent while digging around for old artifacts might not be what most students would consider an enjoyable summer, but for Jordan Bonadurer, it’s a perfect fit.
Like many young people, when Bonadurer, a senior from Chicago, Illinois who is working on a triple major in classics, art history and English, first started at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, she had no clue what she wanted to do with her career. But after taking a class in Greek mythology, everything started coming together.
Using her new passion to tell a story
With the help of her teachers, the world of art history began to open up for Bonadurer, and suddenly, the objects weren’t just objects, but they were a link to past cultures and real stories. Each artifact she studied had new life as she began connecting the story to the piece. These early steps prepared her for the future goal of working in art interpretation at a museum.
“With my love of learning the story, and explaining the story, and getting the background, I kind of wanted to bring it to a museum, because that’s the place where the story is often lacking,” Bonadurer said.
After spending last summer living in a tent and working at an archaeological dig in Pompeii, Italy, Bonadurer was accepted this year into a fellowship at one of the most visited art museums in the world, the Cleveland Museum of Art. Working as an interpretation intern, she is focused on making museums more accessible to those who might visit.
People often see an item only as a random piece of art, but there is so much more to it, Bonadurer explained. Each piece represents something bigger that once happened, every …

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