Elizabeth Arkush

Elizabeth Arkush

Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh

I was lucky enough to be a doctoral student in the Anthropology Department at UCLA. It was the most stimulating place. There was a constant buzz of Pizza talks, Department of Anthropology colloquia, and general goings-on. The Institute of Archaeology was full of smart, curious, delightful people: the faculty, a large group of wonderful fellow grad students (both in anthropology and in the interdisciplinary program in archaeology), and the cheerful volunteers from the Friends of Archaeology. I learned so much from these people during my grad school years, both in and out of the classroom. It was a great foundation for a successful career in archaeology. It was also a lot of fun.

David M. Carballo

David M. Carballo

Associate Professor, Department of Archaeology, Boston University

I had a tremendous graduate experience at UCLA, for which I am very grateful. The four-field focus of the Department of Anthropology has allowed me to frame research broadly, particularly with reference to anthropological concerns. The strong foundation provided by the UCLA-Anthropology program, especially the range of cross-cultural and temporal similarities and differences that we were exposed to, served as the backdrop in my own investigations and the training of students. In addition, the strong relationship between the anthropological archaeology program of the Department of Anthropology and the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology makes it a model for successful archaeology programs.

Elizabeth Baker Brite

Elizabeth Baker Brite

Clinical Assistant Professor, Honors College, Purdue University

The UCLA Anthropological Archaeology Graduate Program prepared me to pursue a career guided by an interdisciplinary framework. I work with students and faculty in fields very different from my own, including engineering, science, and the liberal arts, while communicating the value of anthropology very broadly. The UCLA program has been vital in providing me this breadth. At UCLA, I was continually engaged in four-field education and dialogue, so that I am now able to speak knowledgably not only about ancient history or the science of archaeology, but also about anthropological theory, the ethnographic method, and the general importance of our field to scholarly inquiry.

Katherine Brunson

Katherine Brunson

Postdoctoral Fellow, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown University

I have many fond memories of my time as a graduate student in the Anthropology Department at UCLA, from hiking around Qinghai Lake as part of the Tibet Paleolithic Project with Jeffrey Brantingham, to de-fleshing alpacas, iguanas, and armadillos to add to Tom Wake’s zooarchaeological comparative collections. I am continually grateful for the support and mentorship provided by the Anthropology Department’s faculty and staff, particularly the wonderful archaeologists in the department who advised my dissertation and whose courses taught me new methods and approaches for thinking about the archaeological record. The Anthropology program’s strengths in East Asian archaeology, zooarchaeology, and cross-cultural comparative approaches provided me with a strong methodological and theoretical foundation that has helped me in all of my subsequent fieldwork and research in China. The Department’s close ties to the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology also allowed me to take advantage of additional laboratory resources and to build collaborations and friendships with archaeologists in other departments.

John Dietler

John Dietler

Director, California - Pacific Islands Cultural Resources

My graduate career at UCLA provided me with a solid foundation in archaeological method and theory and a diverse set of research opportunities. I studied the intersections of craft production and the origins of political complexity in Santa Cruz Island, California for my MA thesis, using that as a springboard for an independent PhD study focused on similar phenomena in southwest Florida. Laboratory work with Professor Richard Lesure led to an opportunity to publish on Early Formative period subsistence practices in Soconusco, Mexico. Building on these varied experiences, I have built a successful career in applied archaeology that has included a wonderful array of research projects including studies of historic period cemeteries in urban Los Angeles and Late Holocene exchange networks in the Mojave Desert. I am currently leading a decade-long research project at Mission San Gabriel focused on Native American community formation, along with technological innovation at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Today I am the California and Pacific Islands cultural resources director and a principal investigator for SWCA Environmental Consultants, one of the nation’s leading cultural resources management firms.