Anthropology

Faculty Profiles

Michele WilsonMichele Wilson
Michele joined Portland Community College’s Anthropology and Women’s Studies departments in 2007. In 2017, she joined the new Ethnic Studies program and teaches Social Justice. Prior to coming to Portland, she was an Anthropology and Women’s Studies Instructor at Linn-Benton Community College, and Chemeketa Community College. She also taught Ethnic Studies and Anthropology courses at Oregon State University. Michele received her B.S. in Anthropology from Longwood University in Virginia, and her M.A.I.S. from Oregon State University with an emphasis in Applied Anthropology and Public Health.
Michele’s areas of expertise are diverse and include archaeology (participating and managing projects - both research and contract – located in Polynesia, the Pacific Northwest, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Southwest, and Prairie-Plains regions of the United States), women’s self-determination, and human rights. Her research interests center around the intersections of identity formation and expression, social location, and systems and institutions of power. In addition, she works to center the voices of the most vulnerable members of the community, pedagogies of critical race theory and social justice, and ways in which anthropologists can blend relativism with humanitarian advocacy.
Instructionally, Michele frames learning as an opportunity to empower students to develop their agency and to nurture critical thinking, creating opportunities for students to practice what they have learned in applied contexts. She believes that knowledge and learning are fundamental human rights, and sees herself as a co-learner in every course. Michele was awarded the first Declare Award for Outstanding Faculty Activism in 2011 for her work in cultural diversity and women’s studies.
In addition to instructional duties, she also sits on the City of Portland's Human Rights Commission, conducts archaeological research for various government agencies, sits on the City's Office of Equity and Human Rights Bureau Advisory Committee, and ghost-writes/vlogs memoirs. Michele lives with her family in Portland, Oregon.
Michael GualtieriDr. Michael Gualtieri
Dr. Michael Gualtieri was born in upstate New York and reared during boyhood near Billings, Montana. Until the age of seven he lived within an hour of the Little Big Horn National Battlefield, a fact which early in life stimulated his interest in the Native cultures of North America.
In his early twenties Dr. Gualtieri completed the A.B. degree in Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley (1975); later that year he served as Research Assistant to Professor Laura Nader of the U.C. Berkeley Department of Anthropology. Professor Nader’s research interests encompassed the topics of law, conflict, and conflict resolution, and to this day Dr. Gualtieri attributes his own interest in the Anthropology of War to Dr. Nader’s mentorship. He subsequently received the Ph.D. degree in Anthropology at the University of Oregon (2006) under the tutelage of Lawrence Sugiyama and C. Melvin Aikens. Dr. Gualtieri’s doctoral research focused on the advent of organized violence (i.e., warfare) amongst the traditional Northern Paiute populations of the North American Great Basin between the years 1860-1878. The resulting dissertation was entitled: The Role of Moral Outrage in the Northern Paiute Wars of the Mid-19 th Century. In that work Dr. Gualtieri stressed the generative role of Paiute ethical and sacred interpretations in the onset of the anti-White hostilities of the war. In the decade of his doctoral studies at Oregon, Dr. Gualtieri also developed and taught several courses in the Department of Anthropology, including the Anthropology of War; the Biological Theory of War and Peace (co-developed with Dr. D. Guatelli-Steinberg); and the Anthropology of Politics and Power. During his subsequent tenure at Portland Community College he has adapted the Anthropology of War course to a 200-level format, offering that course on several occasions; he has also developed and taught a 200- level Anthropology of Religion class. Recently he co-developed and taught (along with Dr. Mary Courtis) an online version of the Introduction to Shamanism class.
Finally, Dr. Gualtieri has graduate training in all four sub-fields of anthropology; he teaches introductory coursework in several of these areas throughout the year. His continuing research interests include the ethnography and ethnohistory of the Great Basin Native American populations; the role of metaphor in perception and as a driver of social conflict; the role of sacrifice in forging connections to perceived sacred realms; the place of the religious practitioner in the realm of political power.
K.J. PatakiK.J. Pataki
K. J. Pataki began his life in the New York City area, his formal quest for knowledge at Cornell in physics and then at the University of Chicago where a pre-med interest turned to the environment and behavior and an SB. This led to graduate study at the University of Washington (and mountain climbing), yielding an MA in statistical geography and a PhD in culture and ecology, based on research in highland New Guinea, and a continuing interest in health.
He has done fieldwork in Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Southeast Asia, the coastal Pacific Northwest, and the Yakima Valley in Washington with agricultural migrants. He has taught at Reed College, the University of Colorado, the University of California (San Francisco and Berkeley) and the University of Papua New Guinea, where he was chair of the Department of Community Medicine. He has also done consulting work in developing countries with the World Health Organization, the World Bank and USAID.
His interests includes anthropology, ecology, geography, teaching, research design and consulting; particular interests include countries undergoing major cultural change including the USA, the interaction of environment and culture, culture and perception, and cultural perspectives on death. His philosophy of teaching is that he is both a facilitator and a commentator. The world includes a great range of cultural systems, environments, technologies and lifestyles impacted by colonialism, neocolonialism, globalization and modernization, and he finds that PCC continues to provide engagement in these at an immediate and satisfying scale of reality.
David EllisDavid Ellis
David Ellis was raised in Michigan and Indiana. He completed his B.A. in anthropology at Ball State University and undertook a year of graduate work at SUNY Binghamton. After taking a couple of years off—during which he worked in a factory in the Detroit area and as an archaeologist in Arkansas—he returned to graduate school at Portland State University. David’s interests were initially in West African prehistory, especially the transition from foraging to farming. An opportunity to work for two years at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducting archaeological surveys along the Columbia River sparked his interest in the precontact history of the Columbia River drainage. He has maintained a personal and professional interest in this region ever since.
David taught at Rock Creek for a few years in the mid-1980s. His responsibilities included directing a joint PCC-PSU archaeological field school in 1984 and 1986. Beginning in 1990, he began a career as a project archaeologist with a private consulting firm in Portland. Since 2007 he has been president and principal archaeologist at a Portland-based consulting firm. He returned to PCC in 2001, teaching primarily at Rock Creek but fairly regularly at Cascade as well.
David has regularly presented papers at regional and national conferences. He has published articles in three edited volumes, most recently a chapter on cultural geography in Chinookan Peoples of the Lower Columbia (University of Washington Press, 2013). David was appointed by the governor to three terms on the Oregon Heritage Commission and served as the commission chair from 2001 to 2006. From 2006 to 2009 he was president of the Association of Oregon Archaeologists, the state’s organization for professional archaeologists. While the focus of his work has been in archaeology, he also works closely with Tribes throughout the Pacific Northwest in addressing their concerns on the effects of proposed development on places of traditional importance.