Faculty and Staff

Scott Melzer, Anthropology and SociologyDr. Scott Melzer
Associate Professor and Chair

Scott Melzer joined Albion College in 2004, soon after completing his Ph.D. in sociology at the University of California - Riverside. He also completed an M.A. at UCR after receiving a B.A. in sociology from the University of Florida. His teaching and research interests are in gender, social psychology, and criminology, with particular interests in intimate violence, men & masculinities, gun politics, and social change. Scott co-founded and codirects Albion College's Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. Inside-Out brings together college students and people who are incarcerated for a semester-long seminar in a correctional facility. Scott's research examines how men respond to threats to their statuses and identities. His published articles include a study of men's motivations for participating in a fight club and the impact of men's work experiences on their rates of violence against women partners. His first book (Gun Crusaders: The NRA's Culture War, NYU Press, 2009) analyzes the National Rifle Association's transformation from a recreational firearms interest group into a conservative social movement organization. He is completing another book (Manhood Impossible: Men's Struggles to Achieve, Maintain, and Transform What it Means to be a Man, Rutgers University Press, forthcoming) examining how men respond when they are unwilling or unable to fulfill body and breadwinner ideals. Dr. Melzer can be reached by e-mail at or 517/629-0421.

Lynn Verduzco-Baker, visiting assistant professor of anthropology and sociology at Albion CollegeDr. Lynn Verduzco-Baker
Assistant Professor

Lynn earned her Ph.D. in sociology and women's studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor after receiving her M.S. in sociology from the University of Michigan and her B.A. in English from California State University, Fresno. Her current research investigates how discourses of motherhood are negotiated by women who were low-income and teenaged (i.e., “welfare queens” and “teen moms”) when they became mothers. The findings from her work challenge the discourses, stereotypes and images of good and bad motherhood and aim to shift the conversation about low-income mothers to one of compassion and respect. Lynn approaches teaching from a social justice perspective that can be traced to her experiences as a university instructor, an English teacher at an inner-city high school and an advocate for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Her teaching interests include: intersections of race, class, gender and sexuality; poverty and inequality; popular culture; family; race and ethnicity; and social panics. Lynn can be reached by email at .

Brad Chase, Anthropology/SociologyDr. Brad Chase
Associate Professor

Brad received his B.A. in anthropology from Northwestern University, his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2007, and has been at Albion since 2008. He is an anthropological archaeologist who has participated in fieldwork in the American Midwest and Southwest, Turkey, Pakistan, and currently India, where he has been conducting research for over a decade. His teaching and research interests include the organizational dynamics of early urban societies in comparative perspective, the relationship between humans and their environments during periods of social change, and the role of material culture in the creation and maintenance of identities in the past and present. His ongoing research explores these issues in the context of the Indus Civilization in Gujarat, India, specifically focusing on changes in land-use practices and social organization with the emergence and decline of South Asia's first urban civilization. He can be reached by e-mail at .

Allison Harnish, Anthropology/SociologyDr. Allison Harnish
Assistant Professor

“Alli” is a cultural anthropologist specializing in rural livelihoods, international development, and human-environment relations. She earned a Ph.D. in anthropology as well as a graduate certificate in gender and women's studies from the University of Kentucky after completing a B.A. in anthropology and sociology at Western Kentucky University. Prior to coming to Albion, Alli was a part-time instructor at Transylvania University and co-organizer of the annual Dimensions of Political Ecology (DoPE) Conference on Nature/Society in Lexington, KY. Her teaching integrates economic, ecological, and feminist anthropology. Her research, which has been externally supported by the Fulbright program and the National Science Foundation, explores the gender and age dimensions of development-induced migration, environmental change, and wildlife management in Zambia. Alli teaches Native North America, Africa: Peoples and Cultures, The Global Politics of Nature, Violent Environments, and Theory and Method in Anthropology. She can be reached by e-mail at .

Dr. Matthew SchoeneDr. Matthew Schoene
Assistant Professor

Matt is a comparative sociologist specializing in global and transnational analysis, urban studies, social movement studies and quantitative methodology. He was awarded his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University in 2015 and a B.A. in Sociology from Villanova University in 2009. Prior to arriving at Albion, he served as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Davidson College in North Carolina. Matt’s research uses multilevel modeling and quantitative methods to uncover the effect of urbanization on social movement activity in a cross-national context. His current projects include an examination of how rising inequality influenced European protest activity in the aftermath of the 2008 recession, as well as a cross-national analysis of how international media sources covered anti-austerity protests. At Albion, Matt teaches courses in Statistics, Quantitative Research Methods, Urban Sociology and Globalization, as well as future area studies courses. He is particularly excited to work with students interested in doing their own quantitative research project. Dr. Schoene can be reached by e-mail at or 517/629-0603.

Dr. Matthew SchoeneDr. Amy Michael
Visiting Assistant Professor

Amy Michael recently completed her Ph.D. in biological anthropology at Michigan State University in 2016 and is at Albion College as a Visiting Assistant Professor for the Spring 2017 semester. Her dissertation, a comparison study of burials from caves, rockshelters, and surface sites, represents the largest sample in a dental histology study to date in the Maya region. Amy’s bioarchaeological research interests include using bone and dental histology to explore mortuary variation, refinement of micro-spatial histological sampling methods, and the relationship between social identity, health, and mortuary location in Central Belize. Amy has also worked in the American Midwest excavating on MSU’s campus, as well as excavating house structures and a large civic-ceremonial center at the prehistoric site of Morton Village in Illinois. Additionally, she was involved in a project in Albania excavating Bronze Age burial mounds. She has been a staff member on the Central Belize Archaeological Survey project since 2011 working at the sites of Sapodilla Rockshelter, Actun Kabul, Caves Branch Rockshelter, and Wishing Well Cave. Outside of bioarchaeology, Amy has worked with the Michigan State University Campus Archaeology Program since 2010 to identify sites and artifacts found on the historic campus. Currently, Amy has several ongoing original research projects focusing on the refinement of age at death estimations from bone microstructure, the analysis of bone and tooth deposits in a cave in Central Belize, an investigation of migration using isotopes in burials from Kamenica, Albania, and an analysis of the early gendered landscape of the Michigan State campus. With experience in forensic, archaeological, and paleoanthropological laboratories, Amy is trained as an osteologist and microscopist and is excited about teaching undergraduate students the skills they need to develop problem-oriented research studies in anthropology. Dr. Michael can be reached by email at @albion.edu

Laura WylieLaura Wylie
Faculty Secretary
Office: Robinson 318
Phone: 517/629-0309

Faculty Emeriti

Len Berkey, Anthropology and SociologyDr. Len Berkey
Professor Emeritus

Dr. Berkey received a B.A. from Colgate University in 1969 and a Ph.D in sociology from Michigan State University in 1982. In the interim, he spent two years at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. His long-term interests have been in racial and ethnic relations, inequality and assimilation, and the ways in which personal identities are formed in multicultural societies. He is currently working on a research project with Diana Ariza and 'Dimeji Togunde on the adaptation patterns of recent immigrants to the Orlando metropolitan area. Dr. Berkey can be reached by e-mail at .