Board and Officers

Board of Directors

John Baker

John Baker


Akeia de Barros Gomes

Darian M. Parker


Anesu Ndoro

Christopher Santiago

Christopher Santiago

Dhardon Sharling

Dhardon Sharling


Stephan A. Schwartz

Current President:
John Baker
Nicole Torres
Communications Coordinator:
Dhardon Sharling
Executive Committee:
John Baker, Dhardon Sharling, Nicole Torres
Social Media Manager:
2022 Coordinators:
Christopher Santiago and Nicole Torres
Membership and Development Committee: 
Marketing and Outreach Committee:
Programming Committee:

Former Presidents:
Andrew Gurevich (2019-2021)
Bryan Rill (2014-2019)
Diane Hardgrave (2010-2014)
Steven Glazier (2001-2003; 2008-2010)
John Baker (1999-2001; 2003-2007)
Mira Zussman (Amiras) (1997-1998)
Jeff MacDonald (1996-1997)
Michael Winkelman (1994-1996)
Sidney M. Greenfield (1991-1994)
Geri Ann Galanti (1984-1990)
Philip Stanford (1978-1983)
Stephan A. Schwartz (1974-1977)

John R. Baker

John R. Baker, Dr.phil., is a Professor of Anthropology at Moorpark College, a California community college. His interest in consciousness grew out of the experiential studies he participated in as a high school student and college undergraduate and was shaped by his studies under Philip Staniford at San Diego State University and his dissertation research at the Universität Hamburg (Germany). 

Although his primary focus today is on providing his students with the best possible introduction to anthropological thinking that he can provide, John continues to follow and write on topics related to consciousness, especially the cultural construction of altered states. He is the co-author (with Michael Winkelman) of Supernatural as Natural: A Biocultural Approach to Religion. 

John has been a member of the AAC (formerly SAC) since 1990. In his previous terms as board member and as President, he worked diligently to ensure that our organization stood on solid financial and membership ground. His primary focus as current AAC President is to recruit a new generation of members and leaders so that the AAC can continue as a viable section of the AAA for many years to come. 

Dr. Akeia de Barros Gomes

Akeia de Barros Gomes, PhD is the Senior Curator of Maritime Social Histories at Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, CT.

She is responsible for curatorial projects of race, Indigenous histories, ethnicity, and diversity in New England’s maritime activities as it relates to the site and collections of Mystic Seaport Museum, and she leads the new Reimaging Histories project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, in partnership with Brown University and Williams College. 

Akeia’s previous work includes her work as Curator of Social History at the New Bedford Whaling Museum and her position of Assistant Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Human Development as well as American Studies at Wheelock College.  She has done extensive work as an archaeologist at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, in Newport, RI, and in the US Virgin Islands. 

She has also done anthropological fieldwork in the US Virgin Islands, West Africa, and New Orleans.  Akeia received a Ph.D. and MA in Anthropology/Archaeology from the University of Connecticut, and a BA in Anthropology/Archaeology at Salve Regina University.

Dr. Darian M. Parker

Darian Marcel Parker has a passion for the “big questions” of human existence.  His pursuit of these questions has inspired his endeavors as a teacher, author, artist, and budding scientist.

He is the founder and CEO of Parker Academics, a Manhattan-based test preparation and tutoring company (, and is an adjunct professor in NYU’s School of Professional Studies, where he teaches cultural anthropology and critical thinking. He is the author of Sartre and No Child Left Behind: An Existential Psychoanalytic Anthropology of Urban Schooling (Rowman and Littlefield, 2015), and “The Haze”, which appears in Pedagogies in the Flesh (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).  Darian is also a dancer and choreographer.  Among other appointments, he is a guest professor at The Juilliard School, where he teaches West African dance. Following a lifelong dream, Darian returned to school in 2021 to pursue a degree in astrophysics from Columbia University’s School of General Studies.  His ultimate goal is to work on space missions, and contribute to our understanding of the exotic features of the universe.  Darian graduated from Yale University with his PhD, M. Phil, and MA in anthropology, and from UCLA’s College of Honors with BAs in English literature (departmental highest honors) and anthropology.

Student Board Member: Anesu Ndoro

Anesu Ndoro is a USAP alum and avid mbira player who hails from Chegutu and studied at Kutama College before starting on a scholarship at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. 

His interests and academic work focus on post-colonial conditions, knowledge production, and subjectivity. He was a panelist for the “The Anthropologist as Other: Praxis, Identity, & the Future of Anthropology,” Anthropology of Consciousness section, American Anthropological Association virtual event series Raising Our Voices (November 2020). He is also the current Student Board Member for AAC.

Christopher Santiago

Christopher Santiago (PhD, Columbia University, 2017); Positions Held: Substitute Lecturer (2019-2020) College of Staten Island (CUNY); Adjunct Professor (2018-2019 & 2020-2021) College of Staten Island; Adjunct Professor (2018) New York City College of Technology (CUNY); Adjunct Professor (2016) York College (CUNY); Interests and/or Activities: phantasm, social & environmental justice, participated in Q&A for the film “Máxima” with director Claudia Sparrow at NYU (2020); Significant Publications: “Hystorize from the Self: D.H. Lawrence and ‘The Lovely Lady'”, The Psychoanalytic Review, 2019. “Twilight States: Comparing Case Studies of Hysteria and Spirit Possession”, HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, 2021. “Blood Magic In The Age of Psychopathy, Mass Shootings and Ecological Catastrophe”, C. Santiago and M. Melmed, The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 2022.  

Based on years of fieldwork in Cajamarca, Peru, my research focuses on the theory and practice of cultural resistance in the form of dreams, songs, stories, and jokes which I call the shamanic aspects of the struggle against industrial extraction. The campesinos of Cajamarca say the lagoons and mountains lead the fight. Facing the death of the Earth, the resurgence of Pacha Mama consciousness in South America is a contemporary manifestation of Andean messianism. In our age of global meltdown, what is the ‘dreamweapon’ that would allow the voices of nature to speak once again? What is the potential of cultural forms widely considered false, fictitious, and counter to truth? Critiquing Western rationality, I call for the reenchantment of inner and outer nature. I seek to reverse the historical trauma that dissociates us from our imaginations and our bodies through the realization that, as the premodern West knew, there is no thought without a phantasm. Abolishing the reactive idealism which separates phantasy and reality, I revalue experience as mythological revolt, in an eruption of spirits. How was magic separated from history? How has the imagination been dominated and domesticated? How does this give rise to different temporalities of hysteria? 

Dhardon Sharling

Dhardon Sharling is an educator, author, gender advocate, activist-leader and a former politician and bureaucrat at the Tibetan government in exile, India. She is a co-author of The Power of the Feminine:  Facing Shadow Evoking Light  (2021), and has been published as a contributing author for A Force Such as the World Has Never Known: Women Creating Change, (2013). As a Phd candidate at the department of Communication, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Dhardon is using her extensive experience in digital advocacy to study how the new digital media can be harnessed in promoting human values especially in a COVID-19 world, and in the face of a looming climate crisis.She teaches Public Speaking  and Writing as Communication to undergraduates at Umass. She runs her personal blog

Dhardon is working on her first book A female Dalai Lama: Intersecting gender, race, religion, and national identity.

Founder: Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A.Schwartz is a scientist, futurist, award-winning author/novelist, a Distinguished Consulting Faculty of Saybrook University, and a BIAL Fellow.

He is an award winning author of both fiction and non-fiction, columnist for the journal EXPLORE, and editor of the daily web publication in both of which he covers trends that are affecting the future.

For over 40 years, as an experimentalist, he has been studying the nature of consciousness, particularly that aspect independent of space and time.

Schwartz is part of the small group that founded modern Remote Viewing research, and is the principal researcher studying the use of Remote Viewing in archaeology.

In addition to his own non-fiction works and novels, he is the author of more than 200 technical reports, papers, and academic book chapters.

In addition to his experimental studies he has written numerous magazine articles for Smithsonian, OMNI, American History, American Heritage, The Washington Post, The New York Times, as well as other magazines and newspapers.

He is the recipient of the Parapsychological Association Outstanding Contribution Award, OOOM Magazine (Germany) 100 Most Inspiring People in the World award, and the 2018 Albert Nelson Marquis Award for Outstanding Contributions.