fbpx Skip to content
SE’s Kai Jones selected for prestigious Koobi Fora Field School fellowship with George Washington University banner

SE’s Kai Jones selected for prestigious Koobi Fora Field School fellowship with George Washington University

May 14, 2024

Southeastern Oklahoma State University rising senior Kai Jones is the recipient of a competitive fellowship with George Washington University’s Koobi Fora Field School on the eastern shore of Lake Turkana, Kenya, this summer.

Jones is a rising senior from Durant who is a double major in history and biological health science with a minor in chemistry, a participant in the Southeastern Honors Program, and the McNair Scholars. Kai’s program at the Koobi Fora Field School will take place from June 7 through July 21.

Jones is one of eight (8) undergraduate students from across the country who has been selected for the Koobi Fora Field School this summer in an exceptionally competitive selection process. This fellowship is fully funded by GWU.

“It was surprising to find a program that matched so well with my interests for research,” Jones said. “When I got the email that I was accepted I was overjoyed I would be able to participate in such a unique and extraordinary experience. I was not sure that I would get into the program, but I am so glad that I applied. There does not seem to be anything quite like it and I already know there is going to be so much for me to learn from this.”

The Koobi Fora Field School (KFFS) is open to undergraduate and graduate students who wish to learn the basic principles and field methods of paleoanthropology on location. Students receive hands-on introductory training in all the major disciplines within paleoanthropology: paleontology, archaeology, geology, taphonomy and ecology. 

The Koobi Fora area is protected within the Sibiloi National Park in Kenya and is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Its rich Pliocene, Pleistocene and Holocene sedimentary deposits have yielded a treasure trove of fossils and archaeological materials.

“A program like the Koobi Fora Field School accepts students from around the world and is very selective. This is a chance to undertake extensive archaeological and paleoanthropological field work in Kenya, where some of the world’s oldest human fossils have been found,” said Southeastern interim Director of Study Abroad Dr. Kyle Lincoln. “While Southeastern is excited to explore the South Africa side of the Cradle of Humankind region next spring as a Study Abroad Adventure, we are even more excited Kai was one of only eight fellows chosen for their term this summer.

“The McNair Program, the Office of Study Abroad, the Social Sciences Department, and the Biological Sciences Department have to combine all of our collective plaudits and enthusiasm to even approach how proud we are of Kai being selected. We are certain that more will follow in their footsteps as they show the world that Texoma’s University has a global reach.”