As an anthropologist, Yalda Asmatey is committed to putting theory to practice by empowering the people around her to facilitate meaningful change in this world. Born in Afghanistan, Dr. Asmatey and her family came to the United States of America as refugees in the early 1980s. Her personal story coupled with her academic and global work experience breathes new life inside and outside of the classroom. Dr. Asmatey earned her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from UC Berkeley and has a background in ethnic studies and public health. Asmatey specializes in ethnography to study people and cultures, having interviewed hundreds of marginalized people both in America and abroad, documenting their stories, their struggles and their experiences. Asmatey is adept at teaching and facilitating dialogues across a variety of identities and social issues. She is the co-editor of Snapshots: This Afghan-American Life, the first anthology of personal narratives and poems written by first generation Afghan-Americans.
Jonathan Stoll is critical of our materialistic, hyper consumeristic culture, and believes that a paradigm shift in our economic systems and personal values that embrace diversity and build community are essential to ushering in more meaningful ways of interacting and living interdependently with one another. To this goal, Jonathan has facilitated difficult dialogues and coordinated social justice and multicultural programs as the Manager of the Diversity Center at California State University, East Bay, and founded San Jose State University’s Cesar E. Chavez Community Action Center to provide a centralized clearinghouse for the recruitment and placement of students in service to their community. Jonathan currently serves as Oregon State University’s Director of Corvallis Community Relations to enhance neighborhood livability and inspire a shared responsibility for creating a healthy, livable and more inclusive Oregon State University – Corvallis community.