College is far more than training for a career. It is a chance to understand the greater world around you while learning about yourself. Nowhere is that more true than in the classes taught by anthropologist Alexis Tucker Sade, Ph.D.
Alongside teaching traditional anthropology courses, students in Dr. Tucker Sade’s brand new class explore the complex biological and cultural aspects gender, sex, and sexuality. The course challenges students to look outward at the diverse social constructions of these categories across cultures and inward at the physiological foundations of human variation through studies in genetics, neuroscience, human development and biology.
“We once thought of sex as binary – male or female – but the biology of sex is a spectrum. This class aims to give students a more nuanced, scientifically-grounded view,” said Tucker Sade.
Dr. Tucker Sade developed her knowledge through undergraduate studies in biological anthropology and philosophy and, later, attaining her Ph.D. in sociocultural anthropology
from UCSD. As a Pacific Island specialist, her doctoral research led her to the Solomon Islands where she lived for two years. She brings anthropology to life in the classroom through her research and adventures and continues to engage professionally in her field.
“My goal is to build a greater empathy, understanding, and critical thinking by empowering students with scientific knowledge and a true sense of human diversity,” said Tucker Sade, who sees a marked change in her students from the time they start her classes to the end.
But her efforts to empower students and encourage empathy doesn’t just stop in the classroom. Dr. Tucker Sade is also the founding advisor for the MiraCosta Women’s Club located on the San Elijo campus. One of the newest student-led organizations at the college, the club combines advocacy, education, volunteerism, and social activities. Women’s Club creates a space where people gather to discuss issues, volunteer, form community, develop educational events, and access training in various skills including One Love to recognize and support victims of domestic violence.
“We empower and support women, shining light on women’s issues in our society while strengthening our members’ ties to each other and the MiraCosta community,” Tucker Sade said.