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Anthropology major researches local Indigenous history

UNF student Victoria (Vic) Hayes sitting on a bench on the UNF campusSenior anthropology major Victoria (Vic) Hayes unearthed her passion for discovery during the summer of 2022 while attending UNF's Archaeological Field School led by Dr. Keith Ashley, associate professor of anthropology. The Jacksonville native, who is also minoring in sociology, recently presented her research about local Indigenous history at the 2024 Timucuan Science and History Symposium. Hayes is currently interning as a lab assistant and serves as president of the UNF Anthropology Club.
Why did you choose anthropology as your major and what are your career plans?
I first became interested in anthropology (specifically archaeology) when I took the UNF summer 2022 archaeological field school and developed a deep interest and respect for the local Indigenous history of northeastern Florida. In the future, I plan to continue my undergraduate research at the graduate level and pursue a career in academic archaeology.
What brought you to UNF?
While I began attending UNF at the height of COVID and most of my classes were initially online, I was most drawn to how the smaller class sizes tended to foster a community and provide opportunities to work more closely with both students and professors.
Have you participated in any memorable community service/campus projects, internships, presentations, etc. that you care to share?
I recently gave a paper presentation on an ongoing joint-research project Dr. Keith Ashley and I are working on at the 2024 Timucuan Science and History Symposium. This experience was incredibly memorable to me because it marked the first time I have presented my research outside of the University to a broader audience.
What have you enjoyed most about your experience at the University of North Florida?
I have most enjoyed my experience in the field and the lab. Last summer I was the undergraduate assistant for the UNF Archaeological Field School; learning more about field methodology and helping other students further ignited my passion for the discipline and provided me with valuable experience I will carry with me throughout graduate school.
Who is your favorite music artist/favorite music genre to listen to?
My favorite band of all time is Talking Heads and I mostly enjoy music from the 1960s to 1980s, although I am always looking for new artists to listen to.
Who or what inspires you?
My mom is my greatest inspiration. She has always been my number one support system and is one of the strongest women I've ever met; I know I can always rely on her for anything.
What is a fun fact about you many people may not know?
I collect keychains and vinyl records.