My name is Je’Miah Cannon and I’m a full-time supervisor with Education at Work. This past spring, I had the pleasure of interning with the Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) in its archeology lab at the Geier Research Facility. In the archeology lab, I was responsible for cleaning, sorting, and cataloging artifacts that were excavated from the Hahn Native American site. In fifteen weeks, I was able to build a digital database with Microsoft Access for cataloging rare artifacts from the collections department. I organized the database and assigned a catalog number to over 2,000 artifacts. Through my experience with Education at Work (EAW), where I have worked since October of 2013 as a student-employee and as a supervisor, I have learned technical skills while working with many computer programs and applications. These skills gave me an advantage over the other interns at the CMC who did not have the same experience with similar software. Building the database made a major contribution to the research in the lab because the team of archeologists could now search for artifacts digitally in a matter of seconds, instead of spending time searching through countless handwritten or printed records.
My success with the database led to an invitation to help with a live excavation in Over-the-Rhine from the head curator of archeology for the CMC, Bob Genheimer. This opportunity gave me a huge advantage for the core major classes, which I will take this fall, because most students do not get the opportunity to actually work in the field of archeology before taking their first anthropology course. This internship experience has allowed me to grow both academically and professionally, and played a significant role in my decision to continue in this field of study. Working in a student-friendly environment like EAW has also instilled in me the importance of efficiently managing my time and prioritizing my schedule. I have grown as an employee by learning to successfully balance a full-time job, an internship, and college classes. Upon completion of my internship with the CMC, I graduated with honors from Cincinnati State Technical and Community College with an Associate of Arts degree.
I will continue my education at the University of Cincinnati in the fall to pursue bachelor’s degrees in both cultural and biological anthropology with a focus in genetics and African Studies. My research will include the diaspora of Africans into America during slavery, and the biological, psychological, and social effects present in the African American community today as a result of structural economic and political constraints at the local, national, and global levels. My long-term goal is to start my own non-profit organization that promotes education as a solution to many of the issues plaguing the inner city neighborhoods of Cincinnati.
Being a part of EAW as it grows into a powerful advocate of affordable higher education is inspiring for me as I strive for my personal future goals. It has provided insights into the day-to-day operations and behind the scenes aspects to running a company. Additionally, working in a professional environment while completing my degree has helped me develop communication and networking skills, and I feel very comfortable navigating through the professional world. EAW creates a ripple effect for emerging leaders who want to go out to tackle tough problems and make the world a better place, and it is an honor to be a part of this team.