As a high school dropout turned professor, Lisa is the living embodiment of a non-traditional student.

lisa modenos, lecturer

As a high school dropout turned professor, Lisa is the living embodiment of a nontraditional student. Being the first member of her immigrant family to attend college made her college experiences less than smooth at times; but through perseverance, an intense love for Anthropology and social justice, along with incredible professors who inspired her and advised her, she eventually accomplished what no one in her family (including herself at times) had thought possible: she earned her PhD.

Lisa loves to teach and inspire her students. Her teaching philosophy is one that emphasizes inclusiveness, openness, curiosity and humor. As a nontraditional student herself, Lisa understands the many needs and questions that many of our UWW students have. Her passion has become helping other nontraditional students to navigate the often intimidating and sometimes confusing landscape of academia in order to finish what they started and earn their college degrees. In the process she aims to also inspire her students through anthropology and social justice to view the world through a more inclusive, cross-cultural, and critical lens.

Lisa also leads the UWW First Generation College Student Group, a network of UWW students connected via our student portal called the UWW Student Center, which also houses many resources to connect first generation UWW students to information, to one another and to their strengths as the incredible folks that they are!

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educational background

B.A., Anthropology, Queens College, City University of NY
M.A., Anthropology, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Massachusetts Amherst

teaching interests

Cultural anthropology and cross-cultural studies, social justice, identity, critical theory regarding race, class and gender, peace and conflict studies, ethnography, nationalism and ethnicity, first generation college student experiences.

personal interests

Lisa loves crossword puzzles, boxing, and thanks to her mother’s recipe, patience and guidance, she is proud to say that she makes a mean baklava.