Christine Sheikh

Christine Sheikh, Ph.D., is an adjunct faculty in the Department of Sociology and the Gender Institute for Teaching and Advocacy at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Her expertise spans various subjects, including gender in religion, race in the U.S., economic and racial inequalities in the U.S., death and dying, mental health in the U.S., student voting engagement and Roe v. Wade. Her primary research focus is American Islam.

Currently, she is working on a special project for the Gender Institute for Teaching and Advocacy focusing on the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. She is the author of “The American Ummah: Identity and Adaptation Among Second-Generation Muslim Americans.” Sheikh also co-produced two short documentaries on American Islam, titled “Being Muslim in America: Acts of Courage and Hope”, and “Being Muslim in America: An Afghan American Family Story.”

She holds affiliations with several professional organizations such as the Religious Research Association, American Sociological Association and Sociologists for Women in Society.

Before joining MSU Denver, she was a sociology instructor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at the Community College of Aurora and an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Denver.

Sheikh earned her doctorate and master’s degrees in Sociology from the University of Arizona and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Bachelor of Science in Sociology/Anthropology from Truman State University.

Todd Yokley

Todd Yokley, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He is a biological anthropologist with a primary research focus on analyzing how climate and other selective pressures have shaped evolution of the human nose and face.

Yokley has over a decade of experience in academia and anthropology. He started teaching at MSU Denver in 2012 as an instructor. In addition to teaching, Yokley is the chair for several committees at MSU Denver including the Anthropology Curriculum Committee and Anthropology Assessment Committee. He has taught at Touro University of Nevada, Duke University, Durham Technical Community College and Northern Illinois University. Yokley has also been a part of several archeological and paleontological field excursions in Wyoming, South Africa and Croatia. His professional affiliations include American Association of Physical Anthropologists, Paleoanthropology Society and Sigma Xi.

Yokley has published over 10 peer-reviewed articles on his research as author/co-author. The most recent articles include “Integration of the nasal complex: Implications for developmental and evolutionary change in modern humans” in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology and “Computer simulations show that Neanderthal facial morphology represents adaptation to cold and high energy demands, but not heavy biting” in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B journal. He has also presented many papers and presentations on biological anthropology.

Yokley received his doctorate in biological anthropology and anatomy from Duke University in 2006, a master’s in anthropology from Northern Illinois University in 1999 and a bachelor’s in zoology with anthropology minor from University of Tennessee in 1996.

Devon Wright

Devon Wright, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Africana Studies and the Department of Sociology at Metropolitan State University of Denver. His areas of expertise include Black social movements, conservative right-wing social movements, white-supremacist ideology and racist rhetoric in conservative right-wing media organizations and the politics of hip-hop culture. Wright currently teaches Politics and Black People, Social Movements and the Black Experience, and Black Lives Matter and COVID-19.

Prior to joining MSU Denver, Wright taught as a social-sciences instructor at Fort Lauderdale High School. Wright has been asked to speak on various topics, including the history of black social-protest movements, the Black Lives Matter Movement, white-supremacist hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and the segregationist Citizen’s Councils of America and hip-hop culture.

He received his doctorate in Sociology and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in History, all from Florida International University.

Sheldon Steinhauser

Jill Scott

Jill Scott is a biological anthropologist and the Laboratory Coordinator for the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Metropolitan State University of Denver. She is currently finishing her doctoral work on the craniofacial evolution of Middle and Late Pleistocene Homo through the University of Iowa. Jill is also part of the team analyzing and describing Homo naledi, the recently announced hominin species from South Africa. To date, she has coauthored four scholarly publications detailing the skeletal anatomy of Homo naledi, and she is currently conducting research on the hand of Homo naledi with colleagues at the University of Colorado Denver and its School of Medicine.

Nick Recker

Nick Recker teaches Introduction to Sociology, Research in Social Sciences and Advanced Research in Social Sciences.

He has taught at Metropolitan State University of Denver since 2010.

Recker has co-authored several papers, including “The Impact of Recruiting Employers, Growing Local Businesses, and Developing Amenities on the Social and Economic Welfare of Small Towns” and “The Impact of Economic Shocks on Quality of Life and Social Capital in Small Towns.”

David Piacenti

David Piacenti teaches Prejudice & Discrimination, Contemporary Sociology, Art & Craft of Sociology Writing, and Sociological Theory: Past and Present.

He has taught at Metropolitan State University of Denver since 2010.

Piacenti has published “Yucatec-Mayan Immigration to the Mission and Edison Neighborhoods: A Comparison of Social Conditions and Immigrant Satisfaction” in the Journal of Méxican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos, “The Tangle of Anthropological Tourism: How the Consumption of Fantasy and Academia Share Common Spaces” in Applied Anthropologist and “For Love of Family and Family Values: How Immigrant Motivations Can Inform Immigration Policy” in the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy.

Jonathan Kent

Jonathan Kent, Ph.D., is retired professor of Anthropology at Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he has taught since 1986. He has an ongoing archaeological field project in Colorado and is analyzing data obtained while conducting field research in Peru. He curates the MSU Denver Seed Collection, the Comparative Osteology Collection, and the Ashton Ethnographic Collection.

He is the Founder and Co-Director of the Laboratory of Anthropology. He was the Founder and first faculty advisor of the student anthropology club, ALPACA. He is a three-time awardee of Fulbright-Hays Fellowships. He has been named Outstanding Faculty Researcher by Golden Key Honor Society, has been named as the President’s Outstanding Teacher, and has won the college’s Distinguished Service Award. In addition to archaeological field schools, he teaches classroom courses in Archaeology, Introductory Physical Anthropology and Prehistory, World Prehistory, Human-Animal Relationships, Ancient American Civilizations and South American Archaeology.

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