Topic: Sociology and Anthropology
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.
Rebecca Trammell, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Criminal Justice and Criminology Department. She currenlty serves as Interim Dean of the College of Health and Applied Sciences.
Trammell studied sociology at San Diego State University, where she received her bachelor’s in sociology. She then received her master’s in sociology from the University of California, Irvine in 2002 and her doctorate from the same university in 2007. She specializes in inmate violence, incarceration, prison culture and gender. She has published articles on relational violence, the inmate code, violence against child molesters in prison, and legal practices in Islamic countries.
Her book “Enforcing the Convict Code: Violence and Prison Culture” focuses on how culture is transmitted in prison and how male and female inmates differ with regard to how violence is socially constructed. She was a principal investigator for a comprehensive study of male and female inmates in Nebraska where she researched conflict between inmates and staff and the connection between respect and violence in prison. She has taught courses in Criminological Theories, Research Methods, Victimology, Juvenile Justice, Female Offenders, and Punishment and Society.
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 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 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.
Dr. LiYing Li is a professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology. She has a Ph.D. in Sociology and M.S. in Demography. Her primary teaching interests are criminal behaviors. Currently, she teaches serial killers, sex offenders, introduction to criminal justice systems and corrections. She has also taught in the past classes such as statistics, research methods, crime mapping and criminological theories. From the ground up, Dr. Li has played an essential role in creating the B.S. in Cybersecurity program and developing the Cybersecurity curriculum.
Chalane E. Lechuga, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Chicana/o Studies at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Her concentrations are in race/ethnicity and education, with an emphasis in Latina/o sociology.
Lechuga’s research examines the racial identities of Latina/o high school students and the relationship between racial identity and academic achievement. Currently, she is working with a local public-school district to examine school discipline and racial disparities in exclusionary practices. Further up the educational pipeline, she researches the recruitment and retention of underrepresented faculty in higher education. Lechuga has over 19 years of experience conducting program evaluation and assessment and leads the comprehensive assessment of departmental student learning outcomes.
Lechuga received her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of New Mexico, a master’s of science in sociology from the University of Denver and a bachelor’s in English and ethnic studies (Chicana/o studies and black studies) from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
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.