Skip to main content
Switch to text-only version
Get accessibility information and assistance

Department of Anthropology




Our Faculty:


Sarah Cunningham, Adjunct Instructor

Isidore Lobnibe, Associate Professor

Joan E. Paluzzi, Visiting Assistant Professor

Kylie Pine, Adjunct Instructor

Robin Smith, Professor and Chair


Anthropologists in Other Departments:


Misty Weitzel, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice



Isidore Lobnibe

Associate Professor of Anthropology

Ph.D., Univerisity of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 2007 (Anthropology)

M.A., University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 2002 (Anthropology)

B.A. Diploma of Education, University of Cape Coast 1995


Office: HSS 210B




Research: I am a Socio-cultural anthropologist trained in the historical tradition, specializing in Ghana/ West Africa. My research interests include the peasant economy; agrarian and environmental systems, labor migration, political economy, social organization, historiography, popular culture and the Black diaspora. I conducted my most recent field research among northern Ghanaian migrant farmers in villages of south-central Ghana, which resulted in my doctoral dissertation. I had earlier also participated in several anthropological projects on Dagara settlement history and earthshine boundaries in northwestern Ghana and southern Burkina Faso under the direction of Professor Carola Lentz. Currently, I am embarking on a major research project on the ethnography of prison farms and labor in Ghana.


Teaching: the courses I teach are Cultural Anthropology, Transnational Migration, Africa, Africa through Film, and Ethnographic Methods. I am also developing a course in Transnational Islam in Europe and the US.


Web site:


[back to top]



Joan E. Paluzzi

Visiting Assistant Professor

Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh 2002 (Anthropology)

BS University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg 1996 (Psychology and Anthropology)


Office: HSS 223


Phone: 503 838 8073


I am a cultural anthropologist with a primary focus in medical anthropology. Prior to my work in anthropology I was a critical care nurse. I have also worked in international health with the NGO, Partners In Health and the United Nations. My research addresses the social epidemiology of infectious diseases (particularly tuberculosis) and related issues of access to health care services for underserved populations in the United States and in low income countries. I received a certificate in Latin American Studies from the University of Pittsburgh and have conducted research in Chile, Venezuela, and Peru. My current research examines the incidence of tuberculosis on the southern US border and the intersections with US immigration policy.


Teaching: Cultural Anthropology; The Social Roots of Health and Disease (listed as ‘Health in Society’); Latin America; Applied Anthropology.


Web site:


[back to top]



Robin Smith


Ph.D., University of Florida 1982 (Anthropology)


Office: HSS 209


Phone: 503-838-8357


Research: I am a North American archaeologist with interests in both prehistoric and historic period cultures. I have worked at sites in the Southeast ranging from the Late Archaic and Contact eras to the Spanish Colonial, Seminole War and Plantation periods. In Oregon I have dug in the Cascades, Willamette Valley and Coast regions at Native American and Euro-American sites. I enjoy initiating students in the methods of scientific discovery and the joys and challenges of teamwork. My courses are primarily related to archaeology but include a number of other interests, including how humans evolved and gender as the fundamental organizing principle in human societies. Currently I am pursuing opportunities to increase my knowledge of past and present cultures of Canada.


Teaching: Physical Anthropology, Archaeology, Cultural Anthropology, World Prehistory, Human Evolution, North American Prehistory, Mothers and Daughters, Research Methods in Archaeology, Laboratory Methods in Archaeology, Women in Cross-Cultural Perspective, Women Anthropologists, Field Methods in Archaeology, Visual Anthropology, History and Theory of Archaeology, Historical Archaeology, Northwest Indian Cultures, and Indian America.




[back to top]



Misty Weitzel

Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice

Ph.D., University of Alberta 2005 (Bioarcheology)

MAIS, OSU 1998 (Archaeology)

B.A., OSU 1992 (Anthropology)


Office: Maaske Hall


Phone: 503-838-8520


Research: My research is in the field of bioarchaeology. I am interested in combining aspects of physical anthropology and archaeology, specifically the excavation and analysis of human remains in both archaeological and forensic contexts. I am primarily concerned with human taphonomy or all of the environmental and cultural process that influence humans from the time of death to the time of recovery. I have studied these processes at an early Bronze Age cemetery in the Lake Baikal region of Siberia. Currently, I am developing replication experiments in taphonomy in which domestic pigs are used as human analogues as well as analyzing bone from a Bronze Age cemetery in Cyprus.


Teaching: I teach Archaeology at WOU. My other teaching interests are: Osteology, Osteoarchaeology, Mortuary Archaeology, Forensic Anthropology, Physical Anthropology, Biological and Cultural Constructions of Race


[back to top]


Department of Anthropology 503-838-8357 | or e-mail:

MissionWestern Oregon University | 345 N. Monmouth Ave. | Monmouth OR 97361 | 503-838-8000(V/TTY) | Admissions 1-877-877-1593 | Text only Remote IP: ((none!))