Stacy Barber

Stacy Barber

Alumni: Archaeology

Stacy received an M.A. degree in 1999 and a Ph.D. in 2005 in archaeology, under the direction of Payson Sheets and co-direction for her Ph.D. from Arthur Joyce.  Stacy is now a tenured Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, where she is teaching, conducting field research, and advising archaeology Master’s degree students.  Two of Stacy’s former UCF M.A. students, Jeff Brzezinski and Rachel Egan, are now working toward their Ph.D.’s at CU.
Since the beginning of her doctoral program at CU, Stacy has been conducting research on the Pacific coast of the Mexican state of Oaxaca. Her research has focused on understanding how early states developed and on how people living outside of major urban centers were involved with, or alienated from, the political process.  Her interest in the problem of ancient state formation has led her to direct excavations at six archaeological sites in the lower Río Verde valley on Oaxaca’s western Pacific coast and an archaeological survey in the Manialtepec Basin on the central coast.  Stacy has also begun research into geospatial modeling, seeking to use technology to answer research questions regarding the role of long-distance exchange in facilitating ancient social change.  Her research has included collaborations with current CU faculty member Arthur Joyce, bioarchaeologist and CU Ph.D. Arion Mayes, geospatial analyst and CU archaeology Ph.D. Devin White, as well as participation by professionals and students from eleven different universities, private companies, and federal agencies.  Stacy’s postdoctoral work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society, the Religion and Innovation in Human Affairs program of the Historical Society, and the University of Central Florida.
Stacy has spent a lot of time in Oaxaca since leaving Boulder to begin her doctoral research ten years ago.  She considers herself incredibly fortunate to have a career that she loves, working in one of the world’s most beautiful places with scholars and students she respects on research questions that continue to fascinate her.

About her experience in the Anthropology Department:

"There is no question that I can attribute my current successes to the top-notch education I received while at the University of Colorado.  I was fortunate to have excellent advising and mentoring among the Anthropology Department’s archaeology faculty.  I was both encouraged and challenged by these faculty, who pushed me to step outside my comfort zone and do things like apply for highly competitive grant funding, develop an ambitious research program, and develop a network of scholarly collaborators.  I have used all of these skills, which I first developed while in graduate school at CU, in my subsequent career.

I also benefited from the interdisciplinary nature of CU’s Anthropology program.  The program encourages students to take classes outside of their specific area of interest, so I was able to learn from biological and cultural anthropology faculty.  I have used what I learned in these classes both in my teaching and in my research.  I feel very strongly that CU provided me with the kind of well-rounded anthropology education that is essential for success as a 21st century anthropologist.  Indeed, I see such value in CU’s program that I have encouraged several of my own Master’s degree students to apply."