BYU faculty member Richard Talbot won the Utah Professionalism in Cultural Resources Consulting Award on Feb. 17, after receiving multiple nominations from other BYU professors and colleagues within the archaeology department.
The award is given out annually by the Utah Public Lands Policy Coordinating Office. They chose to recognize Talbot, director of the Office of Public Archaeology, based on his “exceptional work, his significant contributions to Utah archaeology, and his example of professionalism in cultural resources consulting.”
“As soon as I saw it, I knew it was something we needed to nominate Rich for, because of his time dedicated to not only the preservation of archaeology in Utah, but also because of his integrity, expertise and a focus on student learning,” BYU anthropology professor Mike Searcy said.
Talbot began working at BYU in the department of Archaeology in the early 1980’s. Throughout his career, he has worked on numerous archaeological projects and exhibitions, while also assisting in student learning as they complete experience in various field work, according to the BYU Anthropology Faculty website.
Searcy was one such student, when he was studying archaeology at BYU.
“He was my first mentor,” Searcy said. “Essentially everything I learned about field archaeology, he taught me.”
Anthropology department chair and professor Jim Allison also commented on Talbot’s sense of patience working with students. He said this was a contributing factor in his nomination and a look into his character.
“He is almost supernaturally patient with people,” Allison said. “He combines a very thorough and rigorous approach to the work he does, always being sure to be patient with the people he works with.”
Talbot said the most rewarding parts of his career have been working with students and preserving the past. When asked about his secret to success, he said that it all comes down to sacrifice.
“You have to be willing to go beyond the classroom and dedicate the time to get your hands dirty in the profession, both literally and figuratively,” Talbot said.