Anthropology and Sociology Faculty

 faculty group picture

Committed to the success of their students, our faculty members are quality educators and leaders in their disciplines. They are widely respected for their research and commitment to their fields.

Between them, they bring a wealth of academic experience and real-world knowledge to our students to help them prepare for careers in today’s global society.


Kathleen M. Brennan, Ph.D.  

  • Department Head and Associate Professor of Sociology
  • Courses Taught Regularly: Analysis of Social Data, Individual in Society, Sociology of    Work, Sociology of Emotions
  • Research Interests: Stress and Mental Health
  • Phone: 828-227-3835
  • Email:
  • Office Address: 101B McKee
  • Curriculum Vitae

Marilyn Chamberlin, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor of Sociology
  • Courses Taught Regularly: Marriage and Family, Gender Roles in Society, Criminology, Sociology of Institutions, Family Violence, Individual in Society
  • Research Interests: Domestic Violence, Child Maltreatment, Gender Stereotypes
  • Phone: 828-227-3839
  • Email:
  • Office Address: 108B McKee
  • Curriculum Vitae

 Philip (Ted) Coyle, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Ethnography Laboratory
  • Courses Taught Regularly: Comparative Cultural Systems, Social and Cultural Anthropology, History of Anthropological Theory, Folklore, Comparative Family, Religion, Magic and Myth,  Linguistic Anthropology, Cultures of Latin America
  • Research Interests: Mesoamerican Ethnography, particularly the Gran Nayar Region;
    National Park Service Ethnography; Folklore 
  • Phone: 828-227-3900
  • Email:
  • Office Address: 106B McKee
  • Curriculum Vitae

 Jane Eastman, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Cherokee Studies Program
  • Courses Taught Regularly: Archaeological courses
  • Research Interests: SE US Archaeology, Cherokee Studies, World Prehistory
  • Phone: 828-227-3841
  • Email


  • Office Address

    : G3C McKee 

  • Curriculum Vitae



Hartwell Francis, Ph.D.

  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Director of the Cherokee Language Program
  • Courses Taught Regularly: Cherokee Language courses, Language Death
  • Research Interests: Cherokee Language, Language Education, Digital Anthropology
  • Phone: 828-227-2303
  • Email :
  • Office Adress: 105C McKee
  • Curriculum Vitae


Anthony Hickey, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Sociology
  • Courses Taught Regularly: Research Methods, Environment, Community, Demography, International Development
  • Research Interests: Community, Rural Development
  • Phone: 828-227-3832
  • Email:
  • Office Address: 107B McKee
  • Curriculum Vitae
 johnston  Cheryl Johnston, Ph.D.
  • Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the FOReST
  • Courses Taught Regularly: Human Osteology, Field Recovery of Human Remains, Skeletal Analyses, Dental Anthropology Practicum 
  • Research Interests: Taphonomic Processes, Human Decomposition and Post Mortem Internal Estimation, Hopewell Physical Anthropology, Prehistoric Mortuary Anthropology
  • Phone: 828-227-2816
  • Email :
  • Office Adress: G3B McKee
  • Curriculum Vitae

 Munene Mwaniki, Ph.D. 

  • Assistant Professor of Sociology
  • Courses Taught Regularly: Social Problems, Social Inequality, Minority Groups, Sociology of Sport
  • Research Interests: race and racism as they apply to a transnational and global context, or what has otherwise been called ‘global white supremacy’
  • Phone: 828-227-3879
  • Office Address: 102A McKee
  • Email: 

  • Curriculum Vitae



 Peter Nieckarz, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor of Sociology
  • Courses Taught Regularly: Sociological Theory, Dynamics of Popular Culture, Social Movements, Social Change, Human Society
  • Research Interests: Media and  Society, Internet Communities, Sociology through Literature
  • Phone: 828-227-3837
  • Email :
  • Office Adress: 102B McKee
  • Curriculum Vitae

nick passalacqua 

Nicholas V. Passalacqua, Ph.D. 

  • Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Forensic Anthropology Program Coordinator
  • Courses Taught Regularly: Introduction to Forensic Anthropology and Origins of Civilization
  • Research Interests: Age at death estimation, Paleodemography, Skeletal trauma and taphonomy, Medieval Spain and western Europe, Statistics, Casting and Reproductions

  • Phone:828-227-2306 
  • Email:
  • Office Address: G8B McKee
  • Curriculum Vitae


brett riggs

Brett Riggs, Ph.D. 

  • Sequoyah Distinguished Professor
  • Phone: 828-227-2443
  • Email:
  • Office Address 105B McKee
  • Curriculum Vitae

ben steer


Benjamin A. Steere, Ph.D. 

Jim Veteto

 Jim Veteto, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor of Anthropology 
  • Courses Taught Regularly: Comparative Cultural Systems, Applied Anthropology, Environmental Anthropology
  • Research Interests: Environmental Anthropology, Ethnoecology, Climate Change, Alternative Political Ecologies, Sustainable Agriculture, Appalachian Studies, Cherokee Studies
  • Phone: 828-227-3777
  • Email:
  • Office Address: 106A McKee
  • Curriculum Vitae

 John Williams, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Anthropology
  • Courses Taught Regularly: Introduction to Forensic Anthropology, Human Osteology, Bone Trauma, Methods and Theory of Human Osteology
  • Research Interests: Trauma Analysis, Dismemberment 
  • Phone: 828-227-2430
  • Email:
  • Office Address: G8A McKee
  • Curriculum Vitae
Katie Zejdlik-Passalacqua

Katie Zejdlik, Ph.D. 


 Danielle Haney, B.S. in Sociology

  • Department Administrative Support Associate
  • Interests include scrapbooking, sewing, photography, and her children.
  • Phone: 828-227-3833
  • Email: 
  • Office Address: 101 McKee

Anne Rogers, Ph.D.



Chris Boan-Lenzo, M.A.

Jamie Patterson, M.A.


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