From the secrets of ancient magic to the discovery of sacred animal cults in Egypt, Expedition, Penn Museum’s exclusive members’ magazine, has covered the latest findings in the field of archaeology and anthropology for the past 60 years. Last fall, the magazine welcomed Communication major Christina Griffith (C’20) who was hired as the assistant editor and recently promoted to associate editor.
Prior to enrolling at Penn, Griffith received her associates degree from SUNY Ulster, majoring in independent studies. Writing has played a large role in her academic and professional interests. At Annenberg, she is concentrating in journalism with a specific interest in science reporting. When she learned that Expedition was in need of a work study student, she jumped at the chance to put her interests to work.
“I've done a little bit of editing in various classes, but never in a professional capacity before, so it’s been really neat to get this experience and to be able to put it on my resume,” Griffith says.
In her editorial role, Griffith is responsible for revising first drafts, collecting photos, and scouting out interesting subjects in recently published academic work to be featured in the magazine. Since joining Expedition, Griffith has contributed to the editing process for the Winter 2018 issue in which she also published an article of her own.
The piece, titled “Dogs and Cats and Birds, Oh My!” explores the mummified animals in the Penn Museum Egyptian collection and what the artifacts reveal about human practices and rituals. Griffith notes that while mummified animals are often assumed to be pets for humans in the afterlife, mummified animals were also used as food and religious offerings. As both an editor and writer for Expedition, Griffith has been exposed to all the elements that make the magazine possible.
“One of the most rewarding things is watching the process from a bunch of stacks of paper and a submission schedule to a finished magazine wrapped in plastic,” Griffith says. “The way it is all pulled together is really fascinating.”
Throughout this experience, Griffith has drawn many connections between her academic endeavors and the work that she does with Expedition. Classes with Professor Kathleen Hall Jamieson and lecturers Al Hunt and Carlin Romano have been some of the most valuable experiences for Griffith, who hopes to pursue a career in investigative journalism within the public radio industry.
“Being able to meet people who are at the forefront of what's going on right now, especially in journalism and politics, has been one of the best parts of being here,” she says.