Patricia Delaney Associate Professor of Anthropology, Director of the Public Health Program



M.A., Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles
B.S. Georgetown University

Areas of Expertise:

Gender and international development; war, conflict, and the contestation of cultural identity; relief to development continuum; poverty and stratification in the global south; grassroots development and participatory approaches; East Timor; Lusophone Africa

Courses I Teach:

Anthropological Perspectives on Gender
Gender and International Development
Introductory Anthropology
Participatory Action Research
People and Cultures of the Lusuphone World
Life Histories


As an applied anthropologist, I always brings examples of my recent research into my classes. Recently, I have been able to talk about my applied work around gender-based violence in Darfur and a small project on gender and agriculture in El Salvador. The results of my research (and the accompanying slides) make for interesting case studies in class. Whenever I am in the field, I am always thinking about the ways in which my experiences can later be used in the classroom.

Awards & Recognition

I received a Fulbright Scholarship for teaching and research at the National University of East Timor (2006). I was also a research consultant for the Social Action Fund of Angola, for which I designed a participatory monitoring and evaluation system. My consultancy work included applied anthropology research in Angola for two weeks; design and implementation of a training workshop with Angolan staff and local community partners; and completion of a final report for The World Bank (August 2006).

Vermont 2008 Service Learning Professor of the Year
(Given by Campus Compact)


Life Off Campus:

My research runs the gamut from ethnography in far away places like East Timor (located in Southeast Asia) to applied projects with resettled refugees right next door in Winooski. Working together with students, I always do engaged community research that aims to help diverse populations to interact and integrate, both on campus and off. In my work, I also provide advice to organizations such as the US Agency for International Development and the Peace Corps about topics like gender equality and participation in international development.

Recent News

Patti Delaney of the Saint Michael’s anthropology faculty in January 2020 helped welcome a new scholar to campus, emailing St. Mike’s colleagues: “I am writing to introduce you a new member of our community who is joining us for the full Spring 2020 Semester. Professor Gulnora Nasirova is a Faculty Enrichment Program (FEP) Fellow from Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The FEP Program is a brand new initiative of the U.S. State Department and is similar to the more well-known Fulbright Program.”
(posted February 2020)

Patricia L. Delaney of the college’s anthropology faculty was named the first ever “Chapman Faculty Fellow” on the Spring 2019 voyage of the Semester at Sea study abroad program. Fellowship responsibilities included: mentoring a diverse cohort of 15 student fellows; developing and supporting community partnerships with NGOs in India and South Africa; leading community-engaged overnight programs with undergraduates; teaching a diverse group of Semester at Sea students; and providing strategic visioning for future Semester at Sea initiatives (January – April 2019).
(posted June 2019)

Patti Delaney, professor of anthropology, will return to campus full-time in May after a two-year leave, and will serve as program director of the College’s new major in Public Health, with Donna Bozzone, professor of biology, spearheading student recruitment efforts for Public Health until Delaney returns in May. Vice President for Academic Affairs Jeffrey Trumbower made the announcement in November.
(posted January 2019)

Patti Delaney, associate professor of anthropology, led a round-table discussion titled “Somali Culture: Looking In,” on campus April 13. It was an opportunity faculty, students and the community to discuss unique cultural practices embraced by many of King Street Center’s Somali families, and share or make discoveries about family structure, traditional gender roles, food, religion, and other issues specific to these New Americans.
(posted June 2016)

Patricia Delaney, Gender Studies Program director, Sociology and Anthropology Department chair and associate professor of anthropology and gender, on March 27, 2015 gave an invited talk entitled “Marriage, Alliances & Democracy in Timor-Leste: An Ethnographic Examination of Women’s Political and Personal Strategies for Social Change” at the Center for Diversity & Gender Studies at Texas State University during their 2015 Symposium: Democracy’s Promise: De-isolating Gendered Experiences.
(posted April 2015)

Patricia Delaney, Gender Studies Coordinator and Associate Professor of Anthropology and Gender Studies, presented a paper entitled “Gender, Ethnic Identity and Upheaval: Reflection on Displacement, Conflict, and The Contestation of Cultural Identity (Again) in Timor Leste” at the annual meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) in Denver, CO, on March 23. The SfAA is an international organization of practicing anthropologists. The paper was based on ethnographic fieldwork she conducted during her sabbatical during the 2011-2012 academic year. The sabbatical research was supported by Saint Michael’s College and the Ruth M. Landes Foundation. Patti also served as chair of her session, entitled “Politico-economic Impacts on Gender Roles and Gender Identity.”

Patricia Delaney, associate professor of anthropology and gender studies, is just back from a one year sabbatical conducting ethnographic research on gender and identity in the post-conflict environment in Timor-Leste (in Southeast Asia). Her work was supported by a generous two-year grant from the Ruth M. Landes Foundation. The grant provided funding for a full 6-month field season in Timor. During the sabbatical year, she also held a position as a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne in Australia. Patti will be presenting the preliminary findings from her work both on and off campus during the academic year. She is currently working on a book drawn from this work and her writing time is also being supported by the $80,000 Ruth M. Landes grant.