About BSA


The Border Studies Archive (BSA) is a repository for the culture and heritage of the borderlands of deep south Texas and houses collections relating to the unique folklore, histories, and lives of people living along the U.S.-Mexican border in South Texas.

As part of the University Library, BSA's mission is to support and strengthen teaching, learning, and emerging research as the heart of UTRGV. BSA endeavors to preserve the cultural heritage of our community, provide online and in-person access to primary source materials and data, promote research through strategic partnerships and community engagement, and encourage scholarly outputs. BSA also seeks to expand its holdings through both retrospective and contemporary collecting activities.

Milena A. Melo - BSA Curator
Dr. Milena A. Melo

Dr. Milena A. Melo is a broadly trained cultural and medical anthropologist whose work focuses on immigration, healthcare inequalities, the U.S-Mexico borderlands, citizenship, and public policy. Motivated by her own experience as a DACA recipient and undocumented immigrant growing up in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands of South Texas, Dr. Melo is committed to conducting research that reduces barriers to healthcare, confronts social inequality, and combats the disenfranchisement faced by marginalized populations in the United States.

Dr. Melo graduated with her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2017. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, School for Advanced Research, American Anthropological Association, and other local and institutional sources. She is currently a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Anthropology and the curator of the Border Studies Archive at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

Email: milena.melotijerina@utrgv.edu

Office: (956) 882-7379 (Brownsville) and (956) 665-5921 (Edinburg)

Shannon Pensa

As Head of Special Collections & Archives, Shannon Pensa provides library support for Border Studies Archive. Shannon oversees preservation and access for the repository, responds to research inquiries, and coordinates research appointments and instructional sessions.

Email: Shannon.pensa@utrgv.edu

Office: (956) 665-5288

Former Curator (2020-2022)
Dr. Guy Duke, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley,
and Co-Director of Proyecto Arqueológico Riós Culebra-Colín (PARCC)

Founder & Former Curator
Dr. Margaret Dorsey, Professor of Anthropology, University of Richmond (VA)

Interim Curator (2014-2015)
Dr. Servando Z. Hinojosa, Professor of Anthropology, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley