Ameeta Tiwana Department Chair

Ameeta Tiwana photo


I am a Physical Anthropologist and have taught at De Anza for over 25 years, including courses in Physical and Biological Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, Biological Anthropology Lab and World Prehistory. Both teaching and anthropology are my passion. I am committed to student success and student equity. I strive to equip students with an anthropological tool kit and inspire them to be lifelong learners and active citizens.

Research interests: Human variation, population and human genetics, human evolution, medical anthropology, epidemiology, Sikh-Americans

Fieldwork: Hill tribes in Northern India, genetic and cultural risk factors in premature coronary artery disease, Barbados slave population

Contact Information



F 21G


  • Ph.D., Southern Illinois University
    M.A., Anthropology, Southern Illinois University
    M.S., Anthropology, Delhi University
    B.Sc., Zoology, Delhi University

Mayra Cerda Aguilar


Mayra Aguilar comes from the social and micro-finance service sectors, where she has focused her career journey on economic justice and education. She started her journey as an AmeriCorps member where she developed workshops about household financial management, the US educational system and wellness. She received her master’s degree from San José State University’s Applied Anthropology program, where she focused her project on entrepreneurship and micro-financing.


After graduating, she worked as a researcher for the Financial Health Network, NYU, and Bankable Frontier on a national and two-year study called "U.S. Financial Diaries." Mayra also conducted research for the University of Washington to understand the financial practices and customers of Opportun (formerly known as Progreso Financiero). Because of the knowledge she gained through her participation in financial research, she joined a US micro-finance organization to manage two asset-building programs for low-income college students and single mothers.


Currently, Mayra manages a program at a nonprofit that is focused on economic empowerment and also teaches at San José State University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in International Business with a minor in Asian Studies from SJSU.

Contact Information



  • M.A., Applied Anthropology, San José State University
    B.A., International Business, San José State University

Leslie Berry Part-Time Faculty Instructor


With degrees in Anthropology and Education, my emphasis includes Instructional Technology and Cross-Cultural Language and Development. Over the years I've taught classes in: Anthropology, Humanities, American Indian Studies, and Intercultural Studies. My anthropology focus includes work in cultural and archaeological contexts, NAGPRA legislation, cultural conservancy, prehistoric art, osteological labwork, and faunal analysis. I divide my time between academic interests and professional research. In recent years I've been involved in two research studies: an ongoing survey of 19th century mines in the western U.S. and a focus on oral tradition and kinship structures in multi-generational Pacific Northwest families.

Contact Information



View Leslie Berry's Website

Ashidhara Das Part-Time Faculty Instructor


Having completed a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, San Diego, I have continued my research in the field of immigrant studies, and I have also taught general courses in Anthropology for many years now.


My initial interest was in the interpretation of indigenous testimonies by British colonizers such as Lord Cornwallis in the aftermath of the Santhal Rebellion of 1855 in Eastern India. Later, my ethnographic research focused on bi-cultural negotiations, and the construction of self and identity by Indian-American white-collar professional working women in the San Francisco Bay Area. I examined the manner in which economic mobility and professional achievement reconstituted gender, race, and class relations, investigating how my informants responded to social misrecognition, ethnic essentialization, and wistful nostalgia for the country of origin, by adopting intentional cultural strategies such as selective recomposition of ethnic culture in the immigrant home, adroit code-switching between private and public personas, and habitual but incomplete cultural assimilation in the country of settlement.


I have also researched the music of immigrant communities: Being interested in literature in translation, I have researched the ways and means adopted by Indian-American vocal artists to cross linguistic barriers and present lyrics in a language foreign to their Western audiences. I have published a book based on my research: Desi Dreams: Indian Immigrant Women Build Lives Across Two Worlds.


I teach Cultural Anthropology and Linguistic Anthropology at De Anza College, and I try to introduce my students to the anthropological lens. The anthropological lens is the ability to focus on diverse cultural beliefs and practices, while also looking for broad similarities at the global level, as seen from a holistic perspective.

Research Interests: Immigrant Studies, Women and Work, Cultural Diversity in the Silicon Valley, Immigrant Music, Literature in Translation, Indigenous Languages, Language Loss



Contact Information




  • Ph.D., Cultural Anthropology, University of California, San Diego

    M.A., Cultural Anthropology, University of California, San Diego

    B.A., Political Science, Lady Shri Ram College

Amanda Feldman Part-Time Faculty Instructor


Research Interests: Osteology, pathology, forensic anthropology, disease pathophysiology, human evolution, human ecology, health and wellness.

I am a Biological Anthropologist and research analyst specializing in forensics, osteological trauma, pathology, and modern biocultural health contexts. I have worked in a number of archaeological and laboratory settings, including ancient Mayan archaeological sites in the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project and Roman funerary graves in Sanisera, Spain. In past research, I have investigated the role of sociocultural status on biological health. My recent research interests focus on validation studies in modern forensic contexts and sharp force trauma identification in victims of domestic violence. As an educator, my goal is to to harness the relationships students already have with "the human experience" and foster an environment of collaboration and reflection. My courses challenge students to deconstruct what we know about humans as a biological and social organism and reflect on the processes that have shaped our evolution.

Contact Information



  • M.A. Anthropology (Biological Anthropology emphasis), San Jose State University
  • B.A. Anthropology (Biological Anthropology emphasis), U.C. Santa Cruz


  • Adjunct Professor (Anthropology), De Anza College
  • Adjunct Professor (Anthropology), San Jose State University
  • Adjunct Professor (Anatomy and Physiology), Cogswell College

Alicia Hedges Part-Time Faculty Instructor

Alicia Hedges photo


Alicia Hedges is an Applied Archaeologist who has worked on numerous projects in the Bay Area and internationally on the island of Nevis in the West Indies. Some of her experience includes an ethnoarchaeological examination of artifact distributions in relation to California tribal groups, considering impacts of colonialism on indigenous populations in the Caribbean, prehistoric osteological excavation and laboratory analysis, archaeological and ethnographic work in San Jose's Japantown, public outreach and research dissemination, among others. In addition to teaching at De Anza, she also teaches courses at San Jose State University and works as a professional archaeologist in cultural resource management.

Contact Information



  • MA, Applied Anthropology, San Jose State University
    BA, Anthropology (minor in Ancient and Medieval History), San Jose State University
    AA, Social & Behavioral Sciences, De Anza College 

Julie Hui Part-Time Faculty Instructor

Contact Information


Nancy Olsen Instructor, Intercultural Studies


Interests: American Southwestern archaeology - Ancestral Pueblo Indian rock art as mnemonic devices, Contemporary Pueblo Indian pottery, EthnoAesthetics, California East Bay Native American Ethnohistory.

Present projects: Family history of Missionized Ohlone descendents in the East Bay, consolidating archaeological and rock art records at Chaco Canyon for the National Park Service.

Contact Information




  • Ph.D. from University of New Mexico 2002
  • MA from San Jose State University
  • MA from Columbia University, NYC
  • BA from Carleton College, Minnesota

Shankari Patel Part-Time Faculty Instruct

Contact Information


Angel Roque Part-Time Faculty Instructor

Angel Roque photo


My primary scholarly interests focus on the intersections between race, social stratification, globalization and urban life. As an instructor I enjoy working with diverse groups of students throughout the Bay Area and helping "non-traditional" students (first generation college attendees, returning and older learners, transfer students, veterans, etc.) navigate the challenges of a college education. My Anthropology 2: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology courses at De Anza College are designed to introduce majors and non-majors to the discipline of cultural anthropology and the study of human culture in ways students find relatable.

Contact Information



View Angel Roque's Website


  • MA, Anthropology, Stanford University
    BA, Socio-Cultural Anthropology, UC Irvine

Marissa Smith

Marissa Smith photo


Areas of Focus: Political and Economic Anthropology, Anthropology of Science and Technology, Anthropology of Work, Nationalism and Internationalism, Post-Soviet Borders

As a cultural anthropologist, my goal in teaching is to equip students with tools to understand and navigate the diverse values and assumptions that structure our social worlds. My research is based in Mongolia, on the integration of rural pastoral, industrial, and STEM work through national and international identities and relationships. Since completing my PhD, I have also started working with archaeologists from Australia, Europe, and Mongolia as well as the United States, asking how we might more explicitly integrate and differentiate our methodologies to meet our common goals of understanding humanity

Contact Information



View Marissa Smith's Website


  • PhD Anthropology, Princeton University, 2015
  • MA Anthropology, Princeton University, 2010
  • BA Anthropology and Russian, Beloit College, 2008

Daniel Solomon Part-Time Faculty Instructor


I completed my PhD in cultural anthropology in 2013 at the University of California - Santa Cruz. My dissertation research examined how social and ecological relations between humans, nonhuman animals, and the shared landscape inflect upon how humans exercise power over one another and other living things. Specifically, I studied the exchange of food, affection, and violence between people and rhesus macaques in urban and temple settings in two Indian cities, Delhi and Shimla. I paid attention to how both the social construct of the "sacred monkey" and people's experiences of living with actual monkeys impelled and complicated wildlife authorities' attempts to manage human-monkey relations.

Research interests: relationship of peoples of African with their domesticated plants and animals.

Contact Information




  • PhD Anthropology, UC Santa Cruz 2013
  • MA Anthropology, UC Santa Cruz 2008
  • MA Anthropology, UC Santa Cruz 2008
  • BA Philosophy/ Religious Studies, George Mason University, 2000


  • Adjunct Faculty in Anthropology, De Anza College, Fall 2013-present
  • Adjunct Faculty in Anthropology, Cabrillo College, Spring 2013-present
  • Anthropology Lecturer, University of California Santa Cruz, Summer 2011-Summer 2012
  • Teaching Assistant, University of California Santa Cruz, Spring 2004-Fall 2012
  • Substitute Teacher, Prince William County Public School Systems, Virginia, 1998-2003

Emeritus Faculty

Tisa Abshire Walker

B.A., M.A., Anthropology, Stanford University|
Foothill College: 1966-1987
DeAnza College: 1988-present
Research areas: Pueblo peoples of American Southwest; Maori of New Zealand
Theoretical specialities: ethno-philosophy, culture change, indigenous rights
Other regions of the world lived/travelled in: Pakistan, Hong Kong,
Taiwan, Singapore, Tahiti, New Zealand, France
e-mail: walkertisa@deanza.edu

Iqbal Coddington

Ph.D. Cultural Anthropology, Indiana University
M.A. Cultural Anthropology, Indiana University
M.S. School Administration, Indiana University
B.A. English Literature, Baghdad University

Diploma, Philosophy of English Education, University of London, England

Associateship Award, Comparative Study of Women's education: University of London, England.

Experience: Adjunct assistant professor, cultural anthropology, Oklahoma University.

Head of Cultural Studies Department, Folklore center, Doha, Qatar.
Director of Research, Folklore Center, Doha , Qatar.
Research Associate, Berkeley University, CA

Adjunct professor, Cogswell College since 1988, teach cultural anthropology, sociology, society and culture, world cultures.
Adjunct professor, cultural anthropology, temporary assignment, Santa Clara University, CA.
Adjunct professor, cultural anthropology, De Anza College since 1988
Did extensive research on the traditional markets of Doha, Qatar,and fishing villages in the Arab Emirates,
published a book and many articles on the subjects.

e-mail: jwaico@pacbell.net

Michael Sullivan

Ph.D University of Pittsburg
B.A., M.A. University of Califonia, Santa Barbara

De Anza college: 1970-present
Instructor: Anthropology/Geography: 1970-1983; 1999-present
Division Dean, Social Science and Humanities: 1984-1989
Provost: 1990-1998

Anthropology Field Research:
Central Asia/Afghanistan: 1969-1979
East-West Center, University of Hawaii: 1978-1979
Visiting Professor, University College Cork; Cork, Ireland 1998-1999

Regions of the world Taught and Lived in:
South America, Europe, Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Africa.
e-mail: micksullivan@hotmail.com

Ann Stemler

B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
At De Anza College 1977-2015
Instructor of Biology 1977-2004

Research interests:
relationship of peoples of African with their domesticated plants and animals.

email: deanzasann@aol.com

Back to Top