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UWF Anthropology Alumni

A few of the success stories of our graduates are presented below. Feel free to contact these professionals and ask them how a degree in Anthropology or Historical Archaeology from the University of West Florida helped put them on the road to success.

Alumni Spotlights

Sarah Battaglia

Sarah graduated in 2008 with a Master's degree in Anthropology from UWF, specialization in Archaeology. She is currently involved in environmental consulting work with Cameron-Cole, LLC, an Environmental Engineering and Consulting firm based out of Boulder, CO.  She manages numerous projects that deal with groundwater and soil remediation, spill prevention control, and storm water pollution.  In addition, she conducts archaeological survey work for environmental Phase I's and helps to document data and maintain remediation systems, groundwater sample, and conduct soil investigations. She also travels for the company extensively in the southeast and southwest to conduct site investigations.  In 2009, she hopes to be able to utilize her archaeological experience with the company by conducting Phase I and Phase II investigations. She can be reached using the following contact

Scott Alan Ceier

Scott graduated in 1990 from UWF with a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology having pursued studies in both Archaeology and Semiotics. He has served as a Counterintelligence Agent in the U.S. Army and an analyst with the Defense Intelligence Agency. He recently completed over a year at the National Counterterrorism Center writing articles on terrorism for the President and other administration officials. He is now assigned as an advisor in Belgium to the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. He has visited, on official business, Korea, Japan, the U.K., Germany, Mali (the real Timbuktu), South Africa, Tanzania, Djibouti, Yemen, Kuwait and Bahrain. Scott is completing, through part time study, a Master of Science degree in Strategic Intelligence through the Joint Military Intelligence College. He can be reached by email at

Krista Eschbach

Krista graduated from UWF in 2007 with a Master's degree in Historical Archaeology. The following year she spent seven months in Veracruz, Mexico, directing archaeological investigations of two colonial neighborhoods within the port for the Archaeology Institute at UWF. Krista is now a Ph.D. candidate at the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University.  For her dissertation, Krista is using data from Veracruz as a baseline to assess social transformation of colonists in Pensacola. Her research strategy incorporates material science techniques for ceramic analysis and archival research from the Archivo General de la Nación in Mexico City and the Archivo Municipal de Veracruz. Krista's research is fully funded by a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant (BSC-1240412), Foster Latin American Research Fellowship, and Sigma Xi Research Grant.  In Arizona, Krista has taught courses in New World and Old World archaeology at Mesa Community College for which she has received a student nominated mentor award from the Omicron Beta Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She also has been active in public service through the Center for Archaeology and Society Repository (formerly the Archaeological Research Institute) and the Graduate & Professional Service Association at ASU. She can be reached by email at

Mary Furlong

Mary graduated in 2008 with a Master's degree in Historical Archaeology from UWF and received her PhD from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Maryland. She now works at Montpelier as Curator of Archaeological collections.  You can find out more about her on her Montpelier staff page.

Larry James

Graduated in 2008 and has worked in a variety of cultural resource management positions throughout the Southeast. Larry’s primary background experience has been with Eighteenth-Century British colonial sites located in the coastal regions of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. Larry has also worked extensively with the public and, prior to joining Brockington, was employed with the South Carolina State Park Service. His role as Park Ranger/Archaeologist at Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site provided him the opportunity of developing a recognized outreach public archaeology program as well as conducting archaeological research within the park. Larry currently serves as a project manager in the Charleston office.

Nicolas Laracuente

Director, Jack Jouett Archaeology Project - -
Nick graduated from UWF in 2008 with a Master's degree in Historic Archaeology. Moving back to his home state of Kentucky he became active in several public archaeology projects including Living Archaeology Weekend and worked for the Kentucky Archaeology Survey. He joined the Kentucky Heritage Council (KYSHPO) in 2011 and currently serves as their Archaeology Review Coordinator. In 2010, Nick began researching Kentucky's distilling industry and conducted excavations at active distilleries including Buffalo Trace and Woodford Reserve. Partnering with the Jack Jouett Historic House Site in 2014 he founded a community archaeology project focused on the study of farm distilleries which have been overshadowed by the distilleries that survived Prohibition and still operate today. The Jack Jouett Archaeology Project is currently in its third year with over a hundred participants and has been recognized several awards including the 2015 Kentucky Historical Society Award for Education. In 2016 the project was recognized by Michelle Obama and the Advisory Council for Historic Preservation as a Preservation Steward, the first program to be recognized as such in Kentucky. Given the moniker "The Bourbon Archaeologist" by folks within the distilling industry, Nick presents regularly on his research and it has been featured in several industry publications. Follow his research blog or find him on Twitter @archaeologist. 

 Robert Philen

Robert graduated in 1993 with a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology from UWF. He went directly to graduate school in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Georgia, where he received his Masters degree in 1996 in Cultural Anthropology. He was immediately accepted at Cornell University, and received his Ph.D. in 2001. 

Gabrielle Purcell

After receiving her B.A. from UWF in 2008, Gabby has continued to work on archaeology in the Southeastern U.S. In 2013 she graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a Master’s Degree in Anthropology, specializing in paleoethnobotany. She is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, studying Cherokee foodways during European Contact. Presently she is working on archaeological research projects in North Carolina, Georgia, and Crete, Greece. 

Amanda Roberts Thompson

Amanda graduated in 2009 with a Master’s degree in Historical Archaeology from UWF.  She is currently the Manager of the Laboratory of Archaeology and the Georgia Archaeological Site File at the University of Georgia. Amanda has been involved in projects throughout the Caribbean, Fiji, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Mexico, and South Carolina. She specializes in historical archaeology and ethnohistory, as well as collections and curation management. Her current research includes projects in southwest Florida and along the Georgia Coast that focus on the dynamic economies that emerged as a result of colonialism and the establishment of the plantation system in the Southeast. She is the author and co-author of numerous reports and manuscripts. Her work appears in several scholarly journals, including Historical Archaeology, Southeastern Archaeology, as well Florida Anthropologist.  You can contact Amanda at

Della Scott-Ireton

Della received her Bachelor's degree in Anthropology from UWF in 1994 and her Master's degree in Historical Archaeology in 1997. While originally trained in terrestrial archaeology as an undergraduate, Della discovered a passion for maritime archaeology. She wrote her thesis on the 1559 Luna shipwreck that she helped excavate in our underwater field school on the site. Della went on to receive a Master's in International Relations from Troy University, and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Florida State University. She worked with the Pensacola Shipwreck Survey, West Florida Historic Preservation, Inc., Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research and the government of the Cayman Islands before joining the Florida Public Archaeology Network. She is now the associate director and Northwest Region director of FPAN. For more information, contact Dr. Scott-Ireton at or check out the faculty and staff web page.

Brenda Swann

Brenda received her Master's degree in Historical Archaeology in 2000 from UWF. Brenda was hired by the Florida Division of Historical Resources even before she completed her thesis and received a promotion in less than a year. Today, Ms. Swann works as a professional archaeologist for SEARCH (Southeastern Archaeological Research, Inc.), a cultural resource management firm with offices in Gainesville, Orlando and Tampa. You can contact Ms. Swann at