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In This Section

2018 AAA/Oxford University Press Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching of Anthropology Recipient

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In This Section

November 12, 2018

Laura Tubelle de González has been teaching anthropology for 19 years in San Diego, California, mostly at San Diego Miramar College. Through her cultural and biological anthropology courses, she’s learned that talking less and doing more in the classroom engages students in ways that makes anthropology relevant to their lived experience. Her emphasis is on inclusion, authenticity, and transformative learning. She loves a classroom filled with talking and laughter

González has an expansive whole-student focus, which compels her to advocate for students in other areas that support their retention and success. This has included building an organic garden (2010), helping create a campus food pantry (2012), initiating and running Safe Zones training workshops (2015), and starting the first campus LGBTQ+ cross-campus alliance (2017).

González seeks out fieldwork and travel opportunities when she can, especially for the enrichment of her classroom. In 2013, she took a sabbatical in Mumbai, India to study modern, urban, arranged marriage, which translated into educational materials and an ethnographic-based card game for the classroom. In 2017, she spent three days trekking with the chimpanzees of Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania, and uses her images and videos in class to illustrate primate behaviors.

Knowing that engagement in the field makes a more informed teacher, González served as president of the Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges from 2011 to 2012 and counts many members among her mentors. She is co-author, with Bob Muckle, of the four-field textbook, Through The Lens of Anthropology (2016) , and serves on the editorial board of Perspectives: An Open Invitation to Cultural Anthropology, the first peer-reviewed, open access cultural anthropology textbook.

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