Wilkes Honors College Alumni Awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Kia Taylor Riccio

by Lynda F. Rysavy | Monday, Apr 19, 2021

Congratulations to Kia Taylor Riccio, a doctoral student, and Wilkes Honors College Alumni, for winning a 2021 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF). This prestigious STEM GRF grant is a highly competitive graduate grant that provides financial support for three years of graduate studies within a five-year fellowship period.


Kia was awarded this fellowship for her planned research at the archaeological site of La Soye, Dominica, where she will be conducting ceramic resin analysis to rediscover lost elements of Caribbean food traditions. The research is in collaboration with Syracuse University's Anthropology and Earth Science departments and SUNY ESF's Chemistry department.


Kia was a student at the Honors College from 2014-2018. During that time, she developed her skills in archaeological research through classwork and a hands-on internship with the Palm Beach County Archaeology Department.


Her senior honors thesis, conducted under the mentorship of Honors College faculty member Jacqueline Fewkes, Ph.D., was titled "Dead Clams Tell Tales: A Seasonal Analysis of Jeaga Shell Mounds in Jupiter Inlet 1". In this study of shell deposits from Dubois Park (Jupiter, FL) during the Jeaga occupation, Kia used sclerochronolic growth band data to determine past Jeaga harvesting patterns; this thesis received a college "Outstanding Thesis Award" in 2018.


"The Honors College was, and continues to be, an instrumental part of my academic success. The Honors College interdisciplinary program enabled me to pursue my interests in archaeology while exploring intersectional topics that continue to inspire my research," said Kia.


"The faculty and staff are compassionate about each student's success and offer unmatched insight in their fields. Their internship program, thesis writing, and independent study courses prepared me for doctoral studies at Syracuse University. The HC environment is designed to let students thrive. I couldn't imagine attending anywhere else. "

Tags: honors