Melissa Burham received her MA from the UA Center for Latin American Studies in 2010, and then continued on to enter the Ph.D. program in archaeology through the UA School of Anthropology (Ph.D. completed in 2019). Burham's dissertation research focused on early urbanization and local community formation at the ancient Maya site of Ceibal, Guatemala. She is currently an adjunct instructor at Pima Community College, and will begin a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Arizona in January 2021, to investigate the transition from the preceramic (Archaic) period to the Preclassic (ceramic) period in the Maya lowlands, around 1000 BC. Parts of her research have been published in PNAS, PLoS ONE, Ancient Mesoamerica, and American Anthropologist.
"The Center for Latin American Studies MA program served as bridge between my BA in Latin American Studies/Spanish and my Ph.D. in anthropology. The professional relationships I built and the education I received during my time in CLAS were absolutely central to my academic development and have enabled me to transition into a career in anthropology."