William Fairbanks, PhD

Title: Professor Emeritus
Company: Cuesta College
Location: Los Osos, California, United States

William Fairbanks, Professor Emeritus at Cuesta College, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in anthropology.

Initially, Dr. Fairbanks chose to pursue anthropology because of his parents, who were always questioning things. He likes the subject because it looks at both material and non-material culture while providing answers to problems that history tends to ignore. To further his knowledge, Dr. Fairbanks obtained an Associate of Arts, a Bachelor of Arts, and a Master of Arts from Santa Rosa Junior College in 1957, 1961, and 1962, respectively. He also earned a PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1975.

While Dr. Fairbanks was in school, he was also garnering hands-on experience. He started as a social science teacher at Yuba City Union High School in 1962 and transitioned to Cuesta College in 1966. Dr. Fairbanks spent the next 40 years there, building relationships and delving deeper into anthropology. His reputation for being knowledgeable and passionate made him an invaluable part of the institution’s community. Dr. Fairbanks was popular amongst students for providing professional opportunities usually reserved for upperclassmen and amongst peers for developing a unique faculty mentoring program. Upon his retirement in 2007, Dr. Fairbanks decided he wanted to gather more firsthand data on the country, so he started walking. His five-year journey took him from California to Massachusetts. He spoke to professional associations, colleges, and various clubs along the way, and found it to be an amazing experience. He hopes to turn what he learned into a book.

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