Anthropology Department


Ameeta Singh Tiwana 

Department Chair

Ph.D, Southern Illinois University
M.A., Anthropology, Southern Illinois University
M.S., Anthropology, Delhi University
B.Sc., Zoology (Hons), Delhi University

Has taught at De Anza college since 1991 courses in Physical Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology and World Prehistory.

Research interests: Epidemiology, Population and Human Genetics, Human Evolution, Medical Anthropology

Fieldwork: Hill tribes in Northern India, Genetic and cultural risk factors in premature Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)

F21G Social Science Division
Telephone: (408)-864-8964

Isaiah Nengo

1994 Ph.D., Biological Anthropology, Harvard University
1991 M.A., Biological Anthropology, Harvard University
1985 B.Sc., Zoology and Botany, Nairobi University, Kenya

My main research interest is the study of ape and human evolution. My primary focus is to document origins of the ape lineage, the evolutionary roots of the human lineage, and the adaptive emergence of human bipedalism, in the fossil record of the Miocene, approximately 25 to 5 million years, in Africa. My paleontological field research is at sites in the Lake Victoria and Lake Turkana basins in Kenya.

Telephone: (408)-864-8812


Adjunct Faculty (Alphabetized by Last Name)

Claudia Andrade


Leslie Berry

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.


Robert Cartier

Ph.D, Rice University 1975

Julie Hui


Arian Ishaya

Ph.D. Cultural Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles

Arianne Ishaya was born in Urmia, Iran. This town houses ancient Christian churches dating back to 3rd. Century A.D. As a child she accompanied her parents to these sites without being aware of their historical significance. Soon she left the town never to return. She pursued her higher education first at the American University of Beirut where she double majored in Sociology and Education. After completing her master’s degree in Anthropology at the University of Manitoba, Canada, where she wrote her thesis on the history of the first Assyrian colony in Canada, she entered the PhD program in anthropology at UCLA. In her dissertation she decided to follow the history of the immigration of Assyrians from Canada to California, in the Modesto-Turlock area. Presently she lives in San Jose and teaches anthropology at De Anza Community College. Arianne has two publications: New Lamps for Old, Familiar Faces in Unfamiliar places. Both were published in 2010, and are based on her community studies in Canada and USA respectively.

Telephone: (408)-864-8999 ext.-3699

Nancy Olsen

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

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.

Lorna Pierce


Marin Pilloud

B.A. (Anthropology) University of California, Berkeley
M.A. (Biological Anthropology) The Ohio State University

Currently Ph.D. candidated at The Ohio State University foucssing on
biological anthropology with a minor in human anatomy.

Research Interests: bioarchaeology, forensic anthropology, dental anthropology,
skeletal histology, Near Eastern archaeology, California archaeology, biological
distance, prehistoric health, and human evolution

Areas of archaeological and bioarchaeological fieldwork: California, Spain, Israel, Turkey

Marissa Smith

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

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

Daniel Solomon

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.

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

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


Kathaeryne Soluri


Ph.D. Anthropology, UC Berkeley
M.A. Anthropology, UC Berkeley
B.A. Anthropology, New York University,

I became an anthropologist after taking a breadth requirement in college that happened to be taught by an anthropology instructor. I discovered that anthropology is a discipline that helps us to think critically about our lives and the world around us. I loved this perspective, and I quickly changed my major to anthropology! After completing a B.A. in anthropology at New York University, I then completed a M.A. and a Ph.D. in anthropology at UC Berkeley. Today, I love sharing anthropological insights with students, and I am committed to helping every student succeed in my anthropology courses. My original interest in anthropology focused on archaeology, and I have conducted archaeological field research across the United States. My more recent interests have focused on biological anthropology and teaching methods in anthropology classrooms. I have been teaching anthropology in community colleges in the San Francisco Bay area for almost 10 years, and I continue to research effective teaching techniques in anthropology instruction. If you are curious about what it means to be a human and how we fit into a broader biological and cultural world, come take anthropology courses!

Kyejung R. Yang

Ph.D. in Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
B.A. in Anthropology, Seoul National University

Part-time Instructor, De Anza College (since Fall, 2007)
Adjunct Professor, Santa Clara University (Spring, 2007)
Full-time Instructor, Wright State University (2004- 2006)
Adjunct Professor, Wright State University (2003-2004), University of Dayton (2003-2004)
Sinclair Community College (2001-2003), George Washington University (Spring 1997)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1995-1996).

Research Interest: Religion and Ethnicity in Latin America, Religion and Resistance, Asian American Women and Religion, Symbolic Anthropology and Discourse Analysis, Medical Anthropology and Illness Narrative.

Amanda Feldman

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

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.

Telephone: 408.529.6505

Ashidhara Das

Ph.D. University of California, San Diego
M.A. University of California, San Diego
M.A. Sociology, Delhi University
B.Sc. Political Science, Delhi University

Teaching Cultural Anthropology at De Anza College.

Research Interests: Immigrant Studies, Women and Work, Cultural Diversity in the Silicon Valley
Fieldwork: Indian American Immigrant Community in the San Francisco Bay Area

Telephone: (650)787-2448

Shankari Patel

PhD Anthropology: University of California, Riverside

M.S. Anthropology, Geography, Religious Studies: California State University, Los Angeles

B.A. Anthropology: California State University, Los Angeles

Research Interests:  Mesoamerican archaeology, paleoanthropology, museum studies, feminist anthropology, and pilgrimage in ancient religions.

Areas of Archaeological Fieldwork: Mexico and California


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


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.


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.


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.


Contact: Ameeta Tiwana
Phone: 408.864.8964

Last Updated: 3/19/18