My name is Clàudia with an accent on the “a”

Hello! my name is Clàudia Esplugas Masvidal, and I am an (intending) anthropology senior here at the University of Washington, all along with a minor in DXARTS, as well as  GWSS. If I were to clarify a couple of things to better explain the so necessary context that surrounds my persona, I would say that:

1) My name is Clàudia with an open accent on the “a” as my parent’s little form of Catalan resilience: I was born in Barcelona, Catalonia, where for a long time we were not allowed to speak our fist language (Catalan). As language was re-incorporated in the academic curriculum when my parents were young, they found it very important to give me that accent as a variation of the Spanish/Latin version (which has no accent.) As a child I wouldn’t really understand such need, but nowadays with our Catalan parliament shut down by a coup from the Spanish government because of our independence referendum, I find it more important than ever.


2)  I say “intending” because I have traveled a long road cruising this unexpected world of the undergraduate, with “ups and downs” if we look at my strictly academic record, but ultimately happy to say that I have explored the multiple intersections of those areas of study that I was always passionate about, and that altogether with my finished and in-progress projects and research, by the time I graduate this June I will definitely, most surely know where my passion, skills and values meet, and what activities I should keep on doing so I lead a fulfilling and happy live in this midst of capitalistic-induced climate change-era we have been born to.

Those activities and skills are: Writing poetry, short fiction, investigative journalism, documentary, photo journalism,  reading anthropology, contemporary ethnography, social activism, de-colonization, researching what sovereignty means in all its faces, non-violence, civil-disobedience, singing and performing contemporary arts, experimental art film.

On 2016 I transferred to this university thanks to the student disability resources at Bellevue College , The Daily and started following Standing Rock and interviewing AIS faculty and students to understand Settler Colonialism resilience locally as well: Catalonia was about to hold a referendum and I needed to see different forms of resilience to take with me. My favorite anthropology classes were with professor  Radhika Govindrajan, never had I seen what contemporary ethnography and anthropology of decolonization look like, and how I can apply them to myself as an individual.

In 2017 I started experiencing what it means to work and study full-time while having a learning  disability in this country. I worked as a legal assistant and Spanish interpreter for an

Immigration Law office downtown Seattle, and I saw with my own eyes the devastating affects of the Trump administration on refugee families being detained at the Tacoma center: I saw how justice is a bureaucratic system invented by the same ones who incarcerate you and who release you by finding loops and wholes, which you can fill with money and your own blood. I feel very identified with Valeria Luiselli’s book Tell Me How it Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions, and would like to write down my experiences as well before I forget them.


I tried to keep up with the research project lead by professor Walter Andrews, the Svoboda Diaries Project where historical transcription and technology meet, and I started a small documentary mentored by Holly Barker, where I followed Pacific Islander students and their events as The Burke museum explores what it means to decolonize its structure and give back materials to their communities so they can use them for their events. It’s still on editing process.


Over the course of this summer, while also working, I have explored my voice, contemporary dance and visual poetry through a video collaboration with several artists, which we showed on our first art show on Capitol Hill early this month, and which I will keep on developing as I present it in future festivals if possible. It has been liberating to find creativity to be the most healing way of living, and as I focus on graduate school and other life adventures, it must keep on being explored.


This year, thanks to family friends and great professors who have supported my journey all these years, I am the director of the Womxn’s Action Commission (ASUW) and I will be incorporating aspects of decolonization, resilience, and will seek to partner with all the other diversity student commissions to put on programs and events that represent all of us and our struggles as womxn on the 21st century. I am partnering with the Intellectual House and with Dr. Luana Ross to put on an Indigenous Feminisms event on Spring, and I cannot wait to see what wonderful fruits come out of our new team, as I seek the intersectionality of my fields of interest, my creativity and our team’s passion.

I have been in love with several archaeological projects all my live, and I’ve been following Professor Gonzalez’s work for some time since I transferred in this university: I can’t wait to see how my view on community based archaeology shape my understanding of the discipline!

About Paloma

My faithful companion Duke.

Hello! My name is Paloma Sanchez and I am a senior at the University of Washington majoring in Archaeological Sciences. I am a proud member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska and the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin. I have a deep interest in Indigenous archaeology as well as Zooarchaeology. Growing up in a community that shared oral histories and traditions helped develop my interest in archaeology. I am currently working in the Field Methods in Indigenous Archaeology lab at the University of Washington. Developing a digital catalogue of unidentified seeds from a late nineteenth and early twentieth century settlement site on the Grande Ronde Reservation. When I am not at school you can typically find me studying for the GRE, learning the language of my people, and drinking beer at various breweries in Seattle.

About Aloura

Hey! My name is Aloura and I’m a first-year transfer student studying Archaeology here at the University of Washington. I’m a Seattle native and I’m very excited to welcome back the rain in the coming months! I’ve always been in love with archaeology and during the course of my studies I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to participate in a number of archaeological surveys as well as several digs in the area. One of these digs gave me the incredible opportunity to present my findings at the Northwest Anthropological Conference. My archaeological interests are focused in mythology and linguistics and I look forward to adding to my knowledge base in those areas as I pursue my degree. I also enjoy my nerdy comic book pursuits and frequently attend the many nerd-related conventions we host here in Seattle!

Hope’s Bio

Holding a whale vertebra while my advisor, Ben Fitzhugh, casually leans on another bone in the background. PC: Hollis Miller

Hi! My name is Hope and I’m a first year graduate student in the archaeology program here at UW. I recently graduated from the University of Maryland where I received a B.S. in Anthropology. While an undergraduate, I interned at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History for a year and a half. As an intern I helped analyze the dolphin and porpoise remains from an archaeological site in Oregon. I also learned about ancient DNA and assisted with different projects studying human interactions with maize, cassava, and crabapple.  I’ve done field work on Vancouver Island, British Columbia and Kodiak Island, Alaska. At UW I hope to study how people interacted with marine ecosystems in the past, using ancient DNA to investigate past population structures of marine species that people relied on for sustenance and economic purposes. Regionally I’m interested in the North Pacific Rim, but particularly the Pacific Northwest and Gulf of Alaska. Thus far I’m loving living in Seattle and have taken every chance possible to get out and explore Mt. Rainier, North Cascades, and Olympic National Parks along with all the gorgeous forests and beaches between. I’m obsessed with whales. 

About Me – Sophia P.

Hello! My name is Sophia and I am a transfer student, majoring in Political Science and Archaeological Sciences. I have always loved history, which led me to archaeology. Some of my favorite eras to study in archaeology are pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, and the Neolithic Period to the Iron Age. I first became interested in archaeology when I would visit Mexico and see the ancient sites there as a child. This was an interest I did not take very seriously in terms of school until I visited Britain a few years ago, and was blown away by how much was discovered and learned from archaeological processes. From there I decided to major in Archaeology!  In my spare time I enjoy hiking and backpacking any chance I get.

About Me

Hi there! My name is Gabbie Mangaser, and I am currently a third year undergraduate student at the University of Washington. I’m currently majoring in history and archaeology, and minoring in architecture. My interest in history and archaeology stems from one of my aspirations to be a museum curator, and I gush over the history of the French Revolution and the Renaissance.

I enjoy spending most of my spare time with my majestic golden doggo, Nymeria (first of her name [Game of Thrones reference]), and my second favorite thing is showing people how cute she is because I have a thousand-something pictures and videos of her on my phone. My other hobbies include photography, watching food videos, and looking at memes to procrastinate.

Waqaa!!! Winga atqa Justin McCarthy

Nunalleq 2015 – photo by Sven Haakanson

Hello, my name is Justin McCarthy.  I am of Yup’ik and Sámi with roots going back to Bethel and Crooked Creek, Alaska.  I am a second year PhD student in ethnoarchaeology here at UW.  I have spent the last 8 years working with over 120 Indigenous communities at the Burke Museum.

I maintain close ties with communities in Alaska and with Plateau people in Eastern Washington.  I have spent a couple summers working at the Nunalleq site in Quinhagak, Alaska.  I have traveled to many museums across the United States and Canada to research Yup’ik objects.  In my spare time I like to carve and do beadwork.


About Me – Sophia C.

Hello! My name is Sophia and I am a junior at the university of Washington. I have just begun my first year here after transferring from Edmonds Community College and am currently focusing on Archaeological studies. My love of history and archaeology started back in elementary school, learning about the start of this country. From there it blossomed, and I took countless history classes since, finally leading me to archaeology, in which I plan on majoring. I am very excited to one day call myself an employed treasure hunter.

James’ Bio

Hello all! My name is James and I’m a sophomore at the UW currently double majoring in Marine Biology and Archaeological Sciences. I grew up across the Pacific in the city of Hong Kong, which is an amazing super dense place filled with temples and r historic buildings nestled in between dazzling skyscrapers. The whole place exudes a mishmash of culture which is just intoxicating. This is what really led me down the path of wanting to study the past and study culture which ultimately landed me here at the UW. Moving across the ocean to Seattle has been incredible and provided me with the opportunity to experience and immerse myself in a new cultural environment. Since I have only been here a little over a year my experience is limited to the few classes I’ve taken and an excavation up in Northern Alberta, but I am eager to learn as much as I can in the discipline. While I don’t have any specific interests in archaeology yet I am gravitating towards marine archaeology in South East Asia, but nothing is set in stone yet. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, reading, rock climbing and being by the water.

About Me, Vergil “Alex H” Nguyen

Picture of a Bird I took in Hawaii. I don’t know what kind. I was at a biogarden or something on Oahu.

Hello, I am an Archaeological Science major at University of Washington. I first discovered my love of archaeology through my love of treasure and that I aced the introductory class in community college. Regions and histories I’m particularly interested in are ancient Greece and Rome. I’m particularly fascinated by military histories and Empires. Possibly as a romance of my youth, imagining myself traveling the world in some sweet armor. I could just get lost in the slightly sandy and yellow aesthetic with the white architecture and red accents of what I imagine Rome to be. I was deeply horrified when it came to light the Greek statues were actually painted bright colors. With that in mind I probably should’ve majored in Classics instead but too late now, graduating by Spring is more important.

Besides Archaeology and countless years of my life on playing video games, I like to spend my time watching cinema and art films. I’m trying to work on my film snobbery. So far most of what I’ve watched are the works of Akira Kurosawa such as Ran and Kagemusha. Currently, I’m conditioning myself to express distaste for superhero movies. This interest in film stems from my love of anime movies like Akira and Princess Mononoke.

Vergil Nguyen sounds like a person I would know but I don’t actually know any.