Meet the Crew

The 2014 Field Crew for the Johnson’s Island Civil War Prison Archaeological Field School, Heidelberg University, Ohio

From Left to Right:  Dr. David Bush-Site Director, Brandon Herrmann-Student Assistant, Grayden Carroll, Leeora Mohler, Aaron Whitaker, James Simms, Les Jacob, and Renee Hennenman

From Left to Right: Dr. David Bush-Site Director, Brandon Herrmann-Student Assistant, Grayden Carroll, Leeora Mohler, Aaron Whitaker, James Simms, Les Jacob, and Renee Hennenman

As Site Director, it is my pleasure to have the 2014 Archaeological Field School for Heidelberg University introducing themselves. This is my 26th year working at the Johnson’s Island Civil War Prison site, and I am as excited as ever. We will be providing updates on our work this summer as well as featuring the artifacts encountered, experiences in the field, updates on the overall work, and even video on our latest discoveries. I have asked each of the participants to introduce themselves below. Be sure to ask questions of us all or specific individuals. We will be more than happy to respond. We are working the entire month of July at the site.

Brandon Herrmann

Hi, my name is Brandon Herrmann and I am a 2014 undergraduate from Heidelberg University. My degree is in Anthropology and I am in pursuit of a future career in the field of Marine Anthropology. A big passion of mine is history, so I have decided to combine that with my knowledge of aquatics and aim for attending graduate school this coming fall. Recently, I have acquired certification in scuba diving and am this year’s teacher’s assistant for the Johnson’s Island Field School led by Dr. Bush. Overall, I am hoping to learn many new techniques on teaching peers in the field this year and for just an all-around good dig this summer.

Grayden Carroll

My name is Grayden Carroll. I am studying Anthropology at the University of North Texas in Denton. I spent a good deal of my childhood at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History taking classes. Through those classes my interest in science grew. When I got into high school my involvement in science related courses diminished as I started playing the trombone. It was not until I started taking Anthropology courses in College that I started becoming more interested in the subject again. I am here to fulfill a portion of my degree plan and to get a hands on example of one path I might choose to take.

Leeora Mohler

Field school is not an entirely new experience, but I am looking forward to the opportunity and expanding my knowledge of archaeology. Working under Dr. Bush many students are given multiple opportunities to visit the island. My name is Leeora Mohler, and I am from a small town around Columbus called Marysville. Throughout my College experience at Heidelberg I have been involved in many leadership groups and participate on the women’s soccer team. I have one year left until I complete my Anthropology degree with a minor in gender studies. For the future I hope to continue school and specialize in a specific field for my Master’s. I am very interested in working in museums or in some form of Cultural Anthropology. Keeping all of this in mind I am looking forward to the experiences involving Johnson’s Island.

Aaron Whitaker

My name is Aaron Whitaker. I am a student attending Heidelberg University. Currently I am working towards a bachelor’s degree majoring in Anthropology and History. I have been out to the site of Johnson’s Island numerous times prior to this field school. When I graduate, I plan on taking a year or two break before I go back to school for my masters in Anthropology. In that time in between, my best plan is to try and do some CRM Historic Preservation work, or any other job that might be open in the Anthropology / Archaeology field.

James Sims

Although I live in Brooklyn, NY, I think of Western Massachusetts as home. My interest in Archaeology stems from College, in particular a 16 week Field Class in which I took part in excavations at Peñzsquitos Ranch in San Diego County, CA, where I helped to uncover a Spanish-period Zanja site and associated features. At this site, Spanish workers had employed Native American labor to build an irrigation ditch for citrus orchards. From there I went on to work in the fields of environmental conservation and building trails that protect our natural resources. I am excited to take part in the field school on Johnson’s Island this summer. I find intersections of history, culture, and nature endlessly fascinating to explore. From here I hope to go to work in Cultural Resource Management and to continue my academic studies in Archaeology.

Les Jacob

I was born in Minnesota, raised in New York, and attended College in Vermont. For the first couple of years of College I was at a loss of what to do. I was an Art major, but had no passion for the subject. Then I took an anthropology course. Within weeks I had a new major. There was something about the anthropological philosophy that seemed right to me. When I took my first archaeology course I became increasingly interested. I had found a subject that was exciting, and spoke to me in a way no other topic had previously done.

Renee Hennemann

My name is Renee Hennemann. I am from Akron, Ohio. I graduated from the College of Wooster in 2012 where I double majored in Archaeology and Art History and minored in History. This is my first archaeological field school and I am looking forward to learning more about Johnson’s Island and Historical Archaeology in general.

Click here to meet the crew from past field seasons!