Graduate Alumni (Cont.)


Maribel Martínez is Director of Santa Clara County's Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Affairs, the first county-level office of its kind in the US. Maribel received an M.A. in Applied Anthropology from SJSU in 2012. Her graduate projects included ethnographic-based evaluations and infusing arts and social justice curriculum in local community-based organizations serving women and immigrant leaders. Before accepting her current position, Maribel served as founding director of SJSU's César E. Chávez Community Action Center for seven years. There she applied her anthropological skills to cultivate student leaders among communities of color on campus and to build bridges to immigrant and marginalized communities.


Kanhong Lin is Regional Manager for Disaster Preparedness with the American Red Cross of New York City. He received an M.A. in Applied Anthropology from SJSU in 2012. Over the past three years, Kanhong has worked with Red Cross teams to provide relief for people affected by gas line explosions, train derailments, and snowstorms. Recently he worked with a group that developed New York's landmark Home Fire Safety Program, implemented jointly with the Mayor's Office and the Fire Department of New York. Apart from helping him manage projects, his anthropological training has allowed him to help immigrants from Haiti, Nepal, Tibet, Jamaica, Russia, Haiti and many other countries.

Ida Wilson

Ida Wilson is a Research Assistant at the Institute for Scientific Analysis, in partnership with the Center for Critical Public Health, an Oakland-based research center focused on improving health outcomes in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is part of a team that conducts qualitative research projects and analyzes the results. She received an M.A. in Applied Anthropology from SJSU in 2015. As a graduate student, she conducted research on the underground economy in Oakland and presented her work at numerous conferences and colloquiums, including the annual meetings of Southwestern Anthropological Association and the SJSU College of Social Sciences Dean's Student Research Colloquium.

Amanda Kadkly

Amanda Kadkly is currently a Lecturer at San Jose State University and De Anza College. She received an M.A. in Applied Anthropology from SJSU in 2015. In previous positions, Amanda designed research projects using qualitative and mixed methods, provided consulting services to clients, and conducted coding and data analysis. She has held positions as a graduate assistant and laboratory assistant at SJSU and UC Santa Cruz. Amanda's graduate thesis, which explored new methods to analyze sharp force trauma on bone, was awarded SJSU's prestigious 2015-16 Outstanding Thesis Award.


Armando Ayala is a UX Researcher at Facebook, where he works on the payments team. He conducts international and domestic research, including foundational and evaluative qualitative research. He works as an embedded member of a payments-centered product team, collaborating closely with engineers, designers, and product managers to improve the user experience of Facebook's products. Previously, Armando worked at Google and UEGroup as a UX researcher. As a graduate student he conducted ethnographic and user experience research for a San Francisco-based start-up, Trnio, exploring the possibility of designing and marketing a web-based app for 3-D printer users. As an undergraduate, Armando participated in the prestigious McNair Scholars Program. He received an M.A. in Applied Anthropology from SJSU in 2015.


Nicole Conand is a Product Manager at AcquisBI, a Los Gatos-based company that develops cloud-based programs for government and health care markets. She received an M.A in Applied Anthropology from SJSU in 2011. Her current work incorporates behavioral research and user interface design for a rehabilitative health care system in Ireland. For several years Nicole has worked as a freelance researcher, contributing to projects ranging from mobile app development and HR program design to data management system research for large government agencies. Her graduate research integrated anthropology and media to address issues of civic engagement in Silicon Valley. Nicole is a part-time lecturer in SJSU's Anthropology Department.


Kelli Sullivan is an Archaeologist for Caltrans (California Department of Transportation). She received an M.A. in Applied Anthropology from San Jose State University in 2018. At Caltrans, Kelli is responsible for the environmental planning, research, and analysis of archaeological sites for transportation-related projects through conducting and preparing environmental studies. Her graduate research focused on landscape mobility of the pre-contact Ohlone through stable isotopic analysis of human molars. Her Methodology allowed for a temporal investigation of dietary shifts and mobility of the population throughout their lifetimes, as well as throughout different cultural periods. 


Jacqueline Gamboa is a Community Outreach Coordinator at Teatro Visión, a San Jose-based theater company and non-profit organziation promoting the value and artistic vision of Chicana/o theater. She received her M.A. in Applied Anthropology from SJSU in 2009. Jacqueline is currently involved in outreach efforts including presentations for elementary, junior high, and high school students. Prior to her current position, she worked as a community organizer at Sacred Heart Community Services where she conducted various projects, including an educational equity campaign with bilingual and low-income immigrant families. Jacqueline currently teaches courses in Chicano/a Studies and Ethnic Studies at San Jose City College.


Michael Boero is an Archaeologist with the US Forest Service in southwestern Oregon. He serves as a resource specialist for a wide range of projects and activities, from ecological restoration and wildfires to public outreach programs. As a graduate student, Michael worked with Bok Kai Chinese Temple in Marysville, California to document hundres of objects dating back to the temple's founding in the mid-1800s. For his thesis work, Michael conducted ethnographic work in the Sierra Nevada to understand how traditional ecological knowledge informs contemporary forest restoration. He received an M.A. in Applied Anthropology from SJSU in 2017.


Marina Corrales is a Ph.D. Candidate in the School of Education at the University of California, Irvine. She received her M.A. in Applied Anthropology from SJSU in 2010. For the past six years Marina has worked as a research assistant, graduate mentor, tutor, student evaluator, and program developer. Currently, Marina serves as a program coordinator for a U.S. Department of Education initiative to address retention of underrepresented, first-generation college students. Her research explores the impact of social capital on retention of students of color. While at SJSU, Marina participated in a project that brought together researchers from anthropology, urban planning, industrial design, and nutrition and food science. The project goal, funded by Kaiser Permanente, was to support health and wellness at SJSU.


John Schlagheck is an Associate Archaeologist at Holman & Associates, a San Francisco-based archaeological consulting firm. He received his M.A. in Applied Anthropology from SJSU in 2011. John's graduate research focused upon obsidian hydration dating methods, which he used to conduct original research at a Middle Holocene site located along California's north central coast. His interests in maritime and historical archaeology led him to conduct shipwreck archaeology in the West Indies island nation of Nevis and in Baja California. Closer to home, John worked on a Gold Rush-era lighter from Yerba Buena Cove. He recently completed a treatment and discovery plan for the archaeologically sensitive areas at the site of the Port Chicago navel munitions disaster of 1944 along the shore of Suisun Bay.


Loan Luu is a UX Customer Success Mentor at UserZoom, a San Jose-based company specializing in usability testing and user experience research. She is currently on assignment in the Netherlands. Loan received her M.A. in Applied Anthropology from SJSU in 2012. Her responsibilities include helping UserZoom's clients integrate new programs, providing training on user experience products, and managing work teams. After graduating from SJSU,Loan was employed as a program coordinator at Kapor Capital and a researcher at Bronze Investments. Her graduate project informed the design of a public landmark at San Jose's Diridon Station.


Jessica Donohue is Education and Prevention Coordinator with the Santa Cruz AIDS Project, which serves HIV-positive men, women, and children in Santa Cruz county. The Santa Cruz AIDS Project is connected with Encompass Community Services, a non-profit organization. Jessica received an M.A. in Applied Anthropology from SJSU in 2012. In her current position, Jessica develops evidence-based HIV prevention education curricula, conducts needs assessments to determine barriers to HIV prevention, and provides onsite HIV and hepatitis C testing. As a graduate student, she worked as part of a team that produced a documentary film on terminal breast cancer patients.


Sabrina Morales is a Senior Associate at Circlepoint, an Oakland-based firm specializing in communications and environmental services. She received an M.A. in Applied Anthropology from SJSU in 2012. Sabrina's graduate project focused on the accessibility of health and social services by Latina immigrants. She conducted an ethnographic evaluation of a women's health group in San Jose and provided recommendations for group sustainability and network building. Her experience includes project management, evaluation, and rapport building with public partners. Sabrina currently collaborates with agencies and businesses to provide strategic communications to Bay Area communities concerning public works projects.


Kristy Keller is Program Director with San Francisco-based Compass Family Services. She has experience in program management, service development, and evaluation. She received an M.A. in Applied Anthropology in 2013 from SJSU. In graduate school, Kristy developed and implemented programmatic interventions to enhance volunteer services at an Oakland-based refugee resettlement agency. These interventions responded to an examination of refugee resettlement policies in practice, as well as various institutional barriers to effective service delivery. In her current position, she directs the Drop-In Center at Compass Connecting Point, a program of Compass Family Services. She also serves on the Communications Committee of the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology.


Greg Cabrera is a Research Analyst for TRC Staffing Services, an Atlanta-based company. He received his M.A. in Applied Anthropology from San Jose State University in 2008. Greg is currently working on TRC's Voice of the Customer Project, an initiative that focuses upon providing customized market research to clients in the food industry. He also has several years of experience collecting, analyzing, and presenting market research data for two major insurance companies, State Farm Insurance and Apex Systems. As a graduate student, he was involved in projects on entrepreneurship and financial literacy.


Michelle Nero is Owner and Manager of Nero & Associates, a San Jose-based private investigations company. She received an M.A. in Applied Anthropology from SJSU in 2010. Michelle's company provides business and individuals with a range of services including background investigations, locating missing persons, business litigation, insurance fraud investigation, and adoptee and birth parent searches. Her graduate project focused upon ways in which residents in San Jose's Olinder neighborhood might find new opportunities for improving public safety. (Note: To protect Michelle's identity, we are not using her real photo!)

chris avery

Christopher Avery is a Senior User Experience Researcher at eBay. He received an M.A. in Applied Anthropology from SJSU in 2011. In his current position, Christopher is responsible for carrying out design research in support of eBay's business to consumer products. He is also exploring ways in which qualitatively informed approaches to big data might improve its analytical effectiveness. Before beginning his current assignment, Christopher conducted user experience research at Yahoo! and design anthropology at SonicRim. His graduate research was an archaeological investigation into agricultural expansion and intensification on Hawai'i Island from 1400-1650 AD.


Jeffrey Greger is a Design Strategist at financial services startup Percapita Group, LLC. where he develops tools to meet the needs of financially underserved communities. Previously, Jeff helped fintech Varo launch its national bank, grounding the company’s strategy in a deep understanding of the unique financial and emotional needs of its low-to-moderate-income customers. While at Varo, he applied insights from his master’s thesis research on the structural and organizational issues perpetuating financial exclusion, starting Varo’s ethics and social responsibility working group, and serving on the company’s DEI Council. He received an M.A. in Applied Anthropology from SJSU in 2019.


DeDe Patterson is a Ph.D. Candidate in the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex. She received her M.A. in Applied Anthropology from SJSU in 2016. DeDe’s research focuses on South Sudanese refugees living in Kenya, and their transnational relationships with their family members in the UK and the US. She is interested in refugee policy development, economic anthropology, identity, and the community networks. Currently, DeDe is teaching Introduction to Anthropology and Gender and Development at the University of Sussex. She also actively works for the Brilliant Club, a nonprofit organization the helps underprivileged students to prepare for university.

Erika Harvey

Erika Harvey is a Project Manager for Sierra Business Council (SBC), a triple bottom line non-profit focused on economic development and clean energy projects that serve communities in the Sierra Nevada. Currently at SBC, she’s working on projects that illustrate how rural Sierra communities are impacted by climate change and facilitate adaptive capacity strategies. The goal of these projects are to enable rural small businesses and local governments to be more sustainable and climate resilient. Erika received an MA in Applied Anthropology in 2017, where her research was focused on landscapes and site formation processes of archaeological sites at risk from climate change factors such as sea level rise. 

Jasmine Low

Jasmine Low is an anthropologist with PRO Unlimited at Waymo. Working alongside an interdisciplinary team, she designs and conducts qualitative research to advance design and innovation in ways that are relevant to diverse customers, communities, and organizations. She received an M.A. in Applied Anthropology from SJSU in Spring 2020. As a graduate student, she partnered with the Tech Interactive to study the design of youth visitor experiences, explored food robotics, and developing VR for anthropology with Professor Jan English-Lueck and Tina Korani. Prior to her current role, Jasmine worked as a research consultant.