L.W. Lucas Hasten
Lucas Hasten has overseen the Anthropology Program since Spring 2004, when he joined the faculty as a full-time instructor. He earned his graduate degree from Columbia University in the City of New York, where his studies were centered on cultural anthropology. He has since grown fond of the biological side of the discipline, having taught the introductory course from the beginning. He is happy to be teaching community college, where he feels he can have the greatest impact on the lives of his students. He is an empathetic and supportive instructor whose primary goal is the success of his students.
Lucas's areas of interest include gender studies, comparative mythology, historical linguistics, evolutionary psychology, and hominin evolution. He considers himself a teacher first, and an anthropologist second; under his guidance, the Anthropology Program has more than tripled in size.
With a past as a musician and recording engineer, Lucas's educational videos have garnered over 100K views. Aside from teaching, he loves to travel, shoot landscape photos, write, and eat spicy food. He also enjoys a good laugh and any opportunity to wear a sweater.
Daniel Cearley joined Las Positas College as a full-time instructor in 2017, with the intention of further expanding the archaeology and forensic anthropology programs. His training and professional experience have been unique, overlapping many of the anthropological subdisciplines. As an undergraduate at San Jose State University, Dan had the rare opportunity to work closely with the Ohlone Muwekma tribe in San Jose as an archaeologist. This experience introduced him to how archaeology can mitigate the impact of development on our cultural heritage. After finishing his graduate training at San Francisco State University, he began working for human rights organizations in Guatemala, exhuming the remains of people who perished during their civil war. This experience further showed him how his training as an archaeologist could contribute to societal reconciliation, and the eventual prosecution for genocide perpetrated by former dictators. As an anthropologist, Dan has consistently sought to position himself in ways to contribute to positive social change.
Dan's research interests include California pre-history, colonialism, state violence, post-war reconciliation, and human rights. He continues to learn, and after completing a GIS certificate at Foothill College, he expanded his expertise to GIS, conducting laser surveys, landscape analysis, and geophysical surveys. He is actively involved in various anthropological projects in the wider San Francisco Bay Area, and internationally. He is currently an active member of the San Francisco Bay Area Cultural Landscape Research Group, partnering with Mid-Peninsula Open Space and Stanford University. Most recently, he became a project director of the summer anthropological field program in Ireland, and a contributing researcher to the Milot Archaeological Project in Haiti, sponsored by UC Santa Cruz.
David Leitner (he/him) got his AA in anthropology as a re-entry student at Modesto Junior College, then transferred to complete his BA in Anthropology at UC Berkeley in 2002 and an MPhil degree in Social Anthropology at Churchill College, University of Cambridge in 2004. He never would have considered applying to those world class institutions if it hadn't been for good instructors at MJC who believed in him more than he believed in himself. As such he feels that community college is the best way for you to prepare for the path ahead of you and hopes to pay it forward by helping you succeed on your journey through college.
He has previously been the Archives Project Director for the National Center for Science Education and has worked as an ethnographic consultant for the UK Arts Council East and the Manchester Digital Development Agency. He currently teaches anthropology as an adjunct professor at several community colleges in the Bay Area and the Central Valley and is active in championing online distance education. His research interests have included creation/evolution debates in science education, social networking, the ethnography of online worlds, and neurodiversity. He is currently exploring the practical applications of anthropological theory and methods in design and innovation and is collaborating with Hyla Lacefield of Cañada College to develop teaching methods for an anthropologically informed UX/UI Design course.
He occasionally shares his thoughts on anthropology, culture, technology, and education on his website: www.AnthroposInsight.com
Karen Oeh is a highly creative and supportive instructor who assists community college students through their educational process, specifically online students. Karen began teaching for Las Positas College in Fall 2007 and has continued to teach part-time in Archaeology, Cultural Anthropology, and Physical Anthropology. Karen challenges students in social justice and community engagement activities, such as the Garbage Project and a Mini-Ethnography on Eating Habits, to reinforce the material and concepts. Outside of the classroom, students learn how to communicate, reflect, and provide solutions to become investigative researchers.
Associate of Arts Degree, Anthropology, De Anza College
Bachelor's of Art Degree, Anthropology with Honors, San Jose State University
Masters of Art Degree, Anthropology, CSU, Chico
Karen’s Field Research
Sheila Thomas joined Las Positas College as an adjunct faculty member in Spring 2020. After having established a career in public relations and broadcasting, she made a bold decision to reinvent herself. Her lifelong passion for ancient civilizations prompted her to embarked on becoming an anthropologist. In 2012, Sheila graduated with honors from Mills College with B.A. in Anthropology/Sociology and went on to obtain her masters in Archaeology of the Middle East at University College London in 2015 with honors. Teaching has been the most satisfying and amazing part of her life, helping others realize their academic goals in preparation for a rewarding career. Moreover, through anthropology, an appreciation of our cultural diversity and realization that humanity’s similarities far outweigh the differences our society focuses.
Sheila’s research interests are identity, material culture, ancient branding, nationalism, modern slavery, and of course everything having to do with archaeology of the ancient Middle East. Outside of teaching, her goal is to get back to martial arts training, the violin, and digging up the past somewhere in the Middle East!