I graduated from Fort Lewis College in 1996 with a degree in Anthropology and a minor in History. I went on to finish an MA and PhD at Binghamton University, specializing in Historical Archaeology. I currently work as a Principal Investigator at Binghamton University’s Public Archaeology Facility. The collaborative nature of learning fostered by the Anthropology faculty in field projects and in the classroom allowed me to better understand not just the fundamentals of the discipline, but the effects of Anthropological research. In discussions with the faculty and members of the diverse student community, I became involved with important issues within Anthropology, specifically how Archaeologists engage with descendant communities. I have used the lessons I learned in these conversations to help me connect with descendant communities whether it is with union members associated with the Ludlow Striker’s Colony, members of the Six Nations in promoting their role in the American Revolution, or connecting descendants with their ancestors at the site of an abandoned farmstead. My experience at Fort Lewis College taught me not just how to excavate a site, but to remember that the sites we are excavating were occupied by people not abstractions.