Dr. Richard Effland, Jr., received Faculty Emeritus distinction to honor his 25-year career teaching Anthropology at Mesa Community College. Rick's expansive expertise enabled him to teach every sub-discipline in anthropology, which includes archaeology, cultural, and biological anthropology.
A pioneer in the use of technology for teaching, learning, and online course development, Rick developed multimedia instructional modules on a variety of topics, including early hominid evolution, the fossil and archaeological record of Koobi Fora in Kenya, the emergence of humankind, natural selection, genetics, and archaeology. He created simulations that focused on basic skill development and an extensive website for use by anthropology students and faculty. Because the site was available to the public, faculty from other institutions would periodically ask for permission to use it or to share information they had developed. Rick’s use of classroom technology was noted by Apple as well as community college districts and universities across the United States and China.
Rick combined learning anthropology with digital literacy, discussion-based and reflective learning, and applied research. Believing that students need to understand the relevance of today’s world to the topic they are learning, Rick encouraged students to research issues of the past and tie them to present issues such as trade networks, social stratification, and political upheaval.
Rick’s scientific contributions span our state from the Grand Canyon to southern Arizona. As President of Archaeological Consulting Services from 1978 to 1989, he served as a consultant to the AkChin and Salt River Indian communities. Rick is currently working on a book on why societies fail.