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   Alumni of the Department of Anthropology

   If you are an alumnus/a of the Department of Anthropology at Queens College and would like to update the department with contact information or would like to appear on this page highlighting news about your life (career, research, or family), please email your name, year of graduation, a brief statement, and optional photo to QCAnthroAlumni@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from all alumni! Check back periodically for more updates as we continue to develop this page. Also, be sure to check out our recent Alumni Newsletter for more information on the department.

   Finally, if you are interested in making a donation to the department please visit our "Give to Anthropology" page. Gifts of any size will go to support our current students and help maintain our teaching collections.
Boden-Albala, BernadetteBernadette Boden AlbalaBernadette, who earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology at Queens College, has been named director and founding dean of the University of California, Irvine’s planned School of Population Health, effective July 1, 2019. She is a renowned researcher and administrator whose efforts to reduce health disparities for America’s disadvantaged became a blueprint for community-based stroke and heart disease prevention.
Birkmann, Joseph M.
Class of 2012
Joseph Birkmann
"I graduated from CUNY Queens College in 2012 with degrees in Anthropology and Philosophy. My time at CUNY Queens provided a solid anthropological foundation for my graduate work at the University of New Mexico, where I study environmental archaeology in the Southwest and Pacific Islands. My dissertation work focuses on geohydrology and agricultural production on the windward side of the island of Hawai`i, in the district of Kohala. Here in the southwest, I am actively engated in UNM projects relating to Paleoamerican - Archaic occupation and land use in northern New Mexico and southern Arizona as well as ongoing UNM research at Chaco Canyon, NM."

D'Costa, Krystal
Class of 2005
Krystal D'Costa
Krystal is currently the Director of Operations for New York for Wire Stone, a full service digital agency with offices throughout the United States. Krystal also writes for Scientific American. Her column, Anthropology in Practice, was at the forefront of public science communications, and helps to highlight the everyday intersection of anthropology and ordinary actions.

Grbic, Maria
Class of 2019

Maria Grbic
Maria is a registered nurse at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, where she provides culturally sensitive care to the pediatric population and their families. A triple CUNY graduate, Maria had her start studying anthropology at Queens College, with an interest in medical/psychiatric anthropology.
Medina, Luis R.
Class of 1996
Luis Medina
"My undergraduate studies at Queens College in the Anthropology department were among the most richly rewarding and intellectually stimulating years of my life. After receiving my undergraduate degree, I went on the Columbia University where I pursued Cultural Anthropology and received an M.A. in the discipline (1997). In 2016, I published a book entitled, "Emotions, Culture and Mental Illness: A Short History Of My Father." It explores the subject of Puerto Rican culture, mental illness, and the functional dysfunctionality of island life. The book would not have been possible without the education, training, and mentorship I received from the outstanding Anthropology Department faculty at Queens College. I currently live in Colorado Springs, Colorado where I manage an immigration law firm assisting immigrants find legal paths to residency and U.S. citizenship."

Milkov, Gueorgui
Class of 1997
Gueorgui Milkov
photo credit:
Mackenzie Stroh
"I arrived as an international student at Queens College from Southeastern Europe, but over the years since graduating, I became a naturalized citizen. I chose to major in anthropology because I was fascinated by different cultures and customs, and living in New York City provided me with firsthand experience of the amazing human diversity there. I also loved attending lectures during which we discussed topics ranging from archaeology to human sexuality, while getting exposed to the ideas of Franz Boas and Margaret Mead. Meanwhile, in my sophomore year, I decided to minor in journalism as I had always been a news junkie, following political, cultural, entertainment and sporting events. It turned out that this choice would lead me to develop and pursue my passion for journalism, although the knowledge I obtained as an anthropology major has helped and served me as well.

I’ve been working in the field of print and digital media for more than 20 years. My journalism journey started with an internship at Newsweek magazine during the spring semester of my junior year. I primarily helped on the international news desk, and that was the first place where I professionally used my fluency in several languages. I ended up staying and working on that editorial staff in the summer after my junior year and then continued working there during my entire senior year. Upon graduation, I joined the editorial team at Esquire magazine, where I worked for about a year.  I have been a member of ESPN The Magazine's editorial team since 1998, when this award-winning biweekly sports publication was launched.  It was a great match for me because I love sports as a fan, plus I’m also active by nature (I swim and cycle daily).  I’ve held different editorial positions over time, and six years ago I became the research chief. I manage a staff of 14 researchers/reporters, plus a few project temps and interns. I oversee staffing and recruiting of prospective employees for the research department, which is seen as an entry point to the world of digital and print media at ESPN. I’ve been working hard on setting the highest standards for accuracy and fairness while dealing closely with our legal team on investigative stories. These efforts have certainly assisted the editorial team, and this year ESPN The Magazine won the National Magazine Award for General Excellence for the third time in the publication’s history.

In my current position, I deal on a daily basis with providing researching, reporting and fact-checking help to our editors and writers. I also handle numerous statistical and data requests plus news clip packages for all stories that run in The Magazine along with the long-form pieces that appear on ESPN.com. My duties extend to assisting colleagues in other areas in the company as well, such as ESPN Films, OTL and many others. Last but not least, over the years I’ve also had contributions and acknowledgments in several books—ranging from sports encyclopedias to historical non-fiction titles—and ESPN 30 For 30  series, whose short film Barbosa: The Man Who Made Brazil Cry and accompanying Magazine piece about the tragic life of late Brazilian soccer goalkeeper Moacir Barbosa were based on my idea. Finally, as you can see on the photo (below)—my desk is uniquely decorated with a collection of sports-related items accumulated and obtained over time from various photo shoots, games and events. It is a must-see destination for people who come to the office."

Modenos, Lisa Lisa Modeno Lecturer Advisor for the University Without Walls Program, UMass Amherst
Paing, Chu
Class of 2017

Chu is currently a third year Ph.D. student in the Anthropology Program at University of Colorado at Boulder, where her studies are funded by NSF fellowship. She published an article "To Know a Bāthā: Family Language Socialization among Buddhist Burmese Immigrant Families in New York City" in Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement. The article is based on her senior thesis linguistic anthropology research project carried out in Jackson Heights, Queens which she wrote under the supervision of Prof. Makihara during her senior year at Queens College.
Papadatos, Markos
Class of 2007

Acclaimed journalist and senior editor of the Hellenic News of America. Markos is the most recent recipient of prestigious "Journalist of the Year" award, presented by the Hellenic News of America, and has been inducted into the Hellenic News Hall of Fame.

In early 2021, Markos was nominated and won four "Best of Long Island" categories including Best Author, Best Poet, Best Blogger, and Best Long Island Personality. He attributes much of his success to his Queens College education.

Ramirez, Sebastian
Class of 2017

Sebastian is currently a postdoctoral research associate in Princeton University's Global Health Program. His research focuses on "internally displaced persons in his native Colombia and the role of healthcare services in an effort to remake ideas of home and citizenship in the aftermath of violence". For more about Sebastian and his research, follow this link.

Rifatullah, Sheikh
Class of 2017

Sheikh is now an enrollment Medicaid specialist at Healthfirst. He says “I help people who are disabled, chronically ill, and have low income to become Medicaid eligible so they can get medical help. I help them with Medicaid applications, renewals, conversions, and so on. I am also a field agent in addition to an office fish. This means, I travel all over New York City in different boroughs (use my participant observation) and visit my patients to help them. I always apply anthropology.”
Tan, Victoria
Class of 2016
Victoria TanVictoria graduate from Duke Law in May 2019 and is currently working at a law firm specializing in real estate. Victoria says "I definitely fell that my anthropology degree served me well. Much of law school involved heavy reading, writing, and critical analysis. Attention to detail is also central to the law practice, and I felt that I honed that skill through my anthropology courses".

Victoria graduate with a BALA/Anthropology degree and completed a senior thesis entitled "Beauty and the East Asian Woman".