Alexandra Jones (B.A. '01; M.A. '03)

Alexandra Jones

By Briahnna Brown

For Alexandra Jones (B.A. ’01; M.A. ’03), archaeology never seemed to be in the plan.

She had never had the opportunity to learn about the field as a child, and after studying both biology and history at Howard University, Jones realized that becoming a medical doctor was not her calling. 

One course in archaeology revealed something for Jones: She had fallen in love with the field. Yet, she still had doubts that she would be able to turn her passion into a viable career. She didn’t know many people in the field, let alone African Americans, and had not known much about it before her time at Howard.

Today, Jones is an archaeologist and founder and CEO of Archaeology in the Community, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that aims to increase awareness of archaeology and history.

“I am passionate about empowering future generations through the knowl- edge and perspectives only archaeology can provide,” Jones said.

She established Archaeology in the Community in 2009 and now works with community centers, churches and schools in the Washington, D.C. and Maryland areas conducting a variety of programs, including archaeology clubs, classroom visits and after-school and in-school programs. The organization also offers seminars for undergraduate students studying anthropology that teaches them about the job market in their field.

In 2013, she worked as the archaeology field school director for PBS’s Time Team America, a television program that showcases archaeology research at a variety of sites around the country. Jones worked with middle and high school students on the show and was able to expose them to different elements of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning that is not typically offered in schools.

“I told my students every day they could be anything they dreamed; the only thing stopping them was themselves,” Jones said. “But how could I be a role model without leading by example?”

Jones went on to earn both a master’s degree and doctorate in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in history from Howard so that she could utilize her talents through teaching children.

“My advice to future archaeologists is to follow your dreams,” Jones said. “Do what you love and what you are passion- ate about. And most importantly, be patient.”

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