McNair Scholar Travels to Belize Archaeology Symposium

NEWS | AUGUST 2019 | by Thomas Wilde, Program Assistant for Administration

TRIO McNair Scholar and UNLV archaeology undergraduate student, Mayra Arzate received a stipend from the McNair Summer Research Institute (SRI) to travel to Belize this summer to attend the 2019 Belize Archaeology Symposium. This experience presented Mayra with the opportunity to meet with several renowned archaeologists and professionals in the field, as well as attend a variety of sessions throughout the symposium. During this time, Mayra and her mentor and co-author, Dr. Arlen F. Chase presented their research on the ancient Mayan civilizations. Mayra discussed the value of attending this symposium with stressing the importance of furthering her education with a Master’s program, along with making valuable connections to others in her field.

In addition to attending the symposium, Mayra toured two archaeological sites, El Pilar Archaeological Reserve and Cahal Pech, which helped broaden her knowledge on the ancient Maya. She toured the site of Altun Ha, which she described as an important community location for the Mayans. Mayra also had the chance to visit a local iguana sanctuary. Mayra gained a wealth of knowledge during this trip which will complement her summer research. She also made several valuable connections with people involved in archaeology. Mayra wrote a detailed letter to show her gratitude to the McNair SRI program and staff for their support in her pursuit of a bachelor’s degree.