Samantha Ascoli
Samantha Ascoli after a long day of work in base camp near Lake Turkana, Kenya.
Credit: Courtey of Joel Torgeson

Samantha Ascoli, a student at The University of New Mexico, has been awarded the SAA Cheryl L. Wase Memorial Scholarship for the Study of Archaeology.

The scholarship is awarded to undergraduate women who are receiving an education in archaeology. It’s awarded to women who are residents of New Mexico.

Ascoli, a junior with a double major in Earth and Planetary Science and Archaeology, was chosen to receive the scholarship covering tuition, course fees and books. Ascoli is active in the UNM and archeology community, all while maintaining a high GPA.

She works at the Office of Contract Archaeology, a Cultural Resources Management firm on campus and volunteers with Dr. Emily Jones in her Zooarchaeological Laboratory. Last summer Ascoli was the recipient of the National Science Foundation International Research Experience for Students, a grant that fully funded her 6-week trip to Kenya to attend a field school.

Samantha Ascoli standing in geological trench in study area in Illeret, Kenya.
Samantha Ascoli standing in geological trench in study area in Illeret, Kenya.

Ascoli said that she is grateful to have been selected to receive this scholarship, “This scholarship has provided me with full funding for the next academic school year, which will allow me to finish my degree without the worries of accumulating a mountain of debt in the process.”

The scholarship is named after Archaeologist Cheryl Wase who spent most of her career working in the high deserts of New Mexico. She died at the age of 53 in 2004. Her mother Jane Francy Wase passed away in 2013 and left a bequest to the Society for American Archaeology to endow a memorial scholarship in her daughter’s name.

The SAA announces the first scholarships in April, given to Ascoli and three students at New Mexico State University.

The scholarship is intended to cover the cost of tuition, course fees and books for classroom and field-based courses to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with a focus in Archaeology at a New Mexico university. It is renewable for up to five years, as long as the recipient remains enrolled, maintains the required GPA and continues to pursue a degree in Anthropology.