Paul Thomas

Headshot of Paul Thomas


Major: Classical Antiquities and Anthropology

Research project: I am working on an archeological survey of a turn of the century Chapel near Ottawa, KS. I've been drawing stones, measuring distances, taking pictures, and documenting artifacts that I have discovered.

Research mentor: Philip Stinson

Q: What surprised you about doing research?

A: Due to the nature of my project (which involves meticulously documenting my finds), I was surprised at the amount of artifacts I was able to locate. Despite the degradation of the ruin, I located some interesting remains (like window frames, pulley systems, old bottles, etc) that  allowed me to look into the past and visualize the structure.


Q: What do you like most about your research project or process?

A: A large part of my work is trying to preserve the archeological context of the structure. In this way, I'm trying to basically preserve history. I enjoy this aspect the most; by documenting this site, I'm helping to conserve an important site that will not be here forever.


Q: What advice would you give to a friend wanting to get involved in research?

A: The best way to get involved is to just ask. Everyone that I have spoken to about research has been extremely helpful, eager, and knowledgeable. If anyone is interested, I would direct them to the Center for Undergraduate Research, as they provided invaluable help and support when I first applied for research.


Q: How do you spend your time when you’re not working on your research project?

A: I'm active in the scholarship hall community (I live in Stephenson Hall), and I work part-time at the Toy Store on Mass Street and the Ottawa Public Library, in Ottawa, KS. I'm also involved in a musical group (The 8th Horcrux) that promotes children's literacy.