I have years of experience teaching courses in archaeology, cultural anthropology, ancient Mesoamerica, and world history for the University of Pennsylvania (2013-2017) and for Bard Early College (2017-2022). 

In my courses, I balance activity-driven content instruction with the development of student skills in critical analysis, research, writing, and oral presentation. Highlights include the excavation of mock burials, an analysis of “artifacts” from a public parking lot, original games simulating the choices of ancient peoples, throwing atlatl darts, and the creation of mock grant proposals.

Quotes from Students:

“I liked the variety of teaching styles, from lectures, to discussions, to videos, to field trips.”

“Mesoamerican culture days are fun and help me understand the concepts. That Mesoamerican calendar activity you did with us really helped me understand the complicated system.”

“Your passion for your work and field was clearly evident in your teaching.”

“I was originally planning a double major in English and Cognitive Science, but now I’m positive English and Anthropology are for me. I’m thrilled I took your class and I’m thrilled about a major in the subject. High school counselors love to talk about ‘classes that will change your direction’—this was definitely one of them.”


Students learn about early farming with the game “Natufians!”
Students create a plan drawing of their mock burial
Mesoamerican food and subsistence: a student cooks tortillas

In addition to classroom instruction, students from the University of Pennsylvania, Brandeis, and the Universidade del Vale de Guatemala have also participated in my field project at the site of La Florida, Guatemala. These students have been involved in exploration, mapping, excavation, ceramic analysis, and community outreach.

University of Pennsylvania student Arielle Pierson practices archaeological mapping