Harris, who is originally from a small town in South Africa where she also began her studies of archaeology and anthropology, came to the United States to get her master's degree in underwater archaeology at East Carolina University in North Carolina and her Ph.D. in history and anthropology at the University of South Carolina.
With the many opportunities for exploration and excavation Charleston and the Old South have to offer, it is easy to see why Harris next moved to Charleston to expand her horizons in the Lowcountry's thriving archeological and anthropological environment.
Many professors juggle different courses, committees and other responsibilities. Harris juggles different campuses. Currently, Harris teaches not just at our school but also at The Citadel and Trident Technical College. Harris does all of this teaching along with a busy load of research field work.
"I guess teaching at three different schools sets me apart somewhat," she understates.
Her diverse interdisciplinary studies in the fields of anthropology, history, and archaeology also set her apart. Not only is Harris well-versed in these social science fields, she also has skills and experience in resource management, public education, teaching, historic preservation, fundraising, multiple languages, computers and various equipment.
One of the reasons people here at the college and in the Lowcountry area should stay up-to-date with her research is because her trips around the globe will help secure funding for current and future students to find fieldwork opportunities.
As for her teaching style, Harris says that she uses power points, video clips, and movies to elaborate on the information in the textbook. She also invites student discussions which give opportunities for group interaction. Over the years she has also gotten down and dirty with students leading local digs, and wet with students during underwater archeology excursions.
So, find anything interesting in local waters? "Oh yes," Harris says, "everything from 4,000 year old native American canoes, to steamboats and shipwrecks."
Not only is Professor Harris an interesting person in every respect, but also she, and her classes, are extremely well liked.
A student in Harris's Anthropology 101 class says, "Her class is interesting. I would recommend her to any student that wants to take anthropology."
Even with all she seems to be doing for the College, Harris does not limit herself to activities traditionally offered to students and faculty. She makes it known to students and anyone that has the pleasure of coming into contact with her that she is part of Charleston's underwater hockey league and urges anyone that may be interested to come out and see what can only be described as a very unique sport.
She also fences and encourages students to try that, or other distinctive and non-traditional sports as well.
Harris is also active in numerous professional and other organizations, such as: the Archaeology Society of South Carolina, the Council of South Carolina Professional Archaeologists, the Society for Historical Archaeology, the Southern Historical Association, the Society of Africanist Archaeologists, the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, the North American Society for Oceanic History, the Underwater Society of America, and the United States Fencing Association.