Please join the Faculty Senate in recognizing our Faculty of the Month for March: Dr. Sandra Chako.

We are pleased to announce Dr. Sandra Chacko as the Ohlone Faculty of the Month for March! Sandra became part of the Ohlone family when she was hired in Fall 2015 as the sole full-time faculty member of the Anthropology Department. Her former dean Bob Bradshaw joked at her tenure ceremony last spring that she made his job incredibly easy because she managed the numerous bureaucratic responsibilities of her department so effectively. Sandra has worked hard to create engaging and accessible curriculum for Ohlone students. It’s no wonder that since she came to Ohlone, interest in anthropology has soared!

Dr. Sandra Chacko

Sandra is an expert on monkeys who has conducted field research in India and in Central America and shared her findings with the Ohlone community. Her adoring students learn from day one that Curious George is not a monkey, despite what they were all taught by PBS Kids. What is even more impressive is that Sandra has extensive training in all major fields of anthropology from the University of California, San Diego, where she completed her doctoral studies and earned her Ph.D. In her heart, Sandra is a scientist whose undergraduate studies led her to earn a BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Arizona.

Dr. Sandra ChackoDr. Sandra Chacko

Her breadth of knowledge comes in handy as she advises the Ohlone Multicultural Anthropology Club (OMAC). Under her guidance, OMAC members have explored the cuisines of Burma and Vietnam, learned about the history of immigration by touring Angel Island, attended lectures at theCalifornia Academy of Science, and even created a sandbox archaeological site for Science Night where children could dig for “bones” and other treasures.

Recently, Sandra has delved into the world of Study Abroad. She joined Jeff Watanabe and his students in Costa Rica in January 2019, and she will be leading a trip to Peru this coming winter. There are still spaces available for interested students!

Sandra’s dedication to the Ohlone community extends far beyond her work as an anthropologist. This is especially evident in her equity-related efforts. Sandra is a trained Safe Zone workshop leader who co-led a session during our most recent Learning College Week. She has been an Umoja mentor and has preserved the sanity of our Umoja coordinator by helping to chaperone Umoja field trips to Sacramento and Davis. Sandra has been a member of the GE committee since she was hired and has been a part of several hiring committees, including the committee searching for our next President of Ohlone College. A great deal of Sandra’s service is “behind the scenes” work such as reading scholarship applications for the Ohlone Foundation each year, judging speeches in a forensics tournament, and contributing to the recent Faculty Senate Decision Making Task Force.

Before joining the Ohlone family, Sandra worked for years as an adjunct at Pima Community College in her home state of Arizona, where also she helped to raise her oldest nephew. His art graces her office walls. Her family is very important to her, and she visits whenever she can work it into her busy schedule. Currently, she lives in Fremont with her adorable shelter cat Eliza, who adds levity to committee meetings by joining via Zoom. After a long day of teaching, Sandra can often be found rock climbing (which she learned through a class at Ohlone), drawing and painting (also studied at Ohlone), or doing yoga to unwind.

Please join us in honoring Sandra for being such an amazing, dedicated faculty member.


The Faculty of the Month program seeks to honor faculty who have a history of making significant and continuing contributions to the College.

The selection is made by a subcommittee of the Faculty Senate. The award is given monthly (of course!) during the academic year.

Learn more about the Faculty of the Month program.