The Fiske Center Blog

Weblog for the Fiske Center for Archaeological Research at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Alum Profile: Mike Way


Mike Way, graduated from UMB in 2010
Senior regulatory compliance manager at Caldwell Compliance

Mike’s desk is regularly covered with modern-day artifacts at Caldwell’s Pleasanton, CA office.

1. What is your position now; what do you do on a day-to-day basis?

I am a senior regulatory compliance manager at Caldwell Compliance. I manage environmental and regulatory compliance as a contractor for a nationwide wireless carrier. My job is to ensure all telecom sites deployed by the carrier meet National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) requirements. After obtaining my M.A. in Historical Archaeology from UMB, I conducted archaeological field surveys for three years for telecom projects with an environmental consulting firm. I was then promoted to head of the archaeology department nationwide, a position I held for a year before moving to Rochester, New York to try my hand at real estate and site acquisition for telecom sites. After a year, I came back to California and took up my current position, which requires both my archaeological and site acquisition background.

2. What is the most interesting project (field, lab, academic, or community) that you have worked on recently?

I recently worked on a project on California’s Central Coast in an area sensitive to a California Coastal Native American Tribe. I was able to facilitate discussion between the tribe and the wireless career and consulted on a redesigned site plan to resolve the Tribe’s concerns, allowing the project to move forward in a manner agreeable to all parties.

3. What is one thing that you remember specifically about your time at UMass?

I remember exciting opportunities to work with top-tier archaeologists in the field on sites deeply important to American history, from Nantucket to Lexington and Grafton, MA.

4. What is the best advice you got (or wish you had gotten) in graduate school?

The advice I wish I had received is to dive in and own your thesis. Dig into the archaeological and historical data, clearly define the questions you want to answer and be sure the data you will collect will provide an answer to your question, one way or another. I spent a lot of time concerned about all of the issues and complexities I couldn’t cover, and in hindsight I should have focused more on my specific question and trusted my own ability to be an expert and come to a reasonable and logical conclusion.

5. Anything else you would like to add?

My training in the Historical Archaeology M.A. program has served me well. Career paths are not always linear, so be open to learning new things. Chances are your previous training, experiences, and success will take you down a rewarding and fulfilling career path.

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