Laura M. Montgomery

Laura M. Montgomery

Professor of Anthropology
Phone: (805) 565-6196
Office Location: Off Campus this semester

Office Hours
Leading the Westmont in Mexico program for Fall 2011

Cultural Anthropology: Mexico & Central America

Leading the off campus program Westmont in Mexico for Fall 2011


  • Ph.D. Anthropology, Michigan State University, 1989

Selected Professional Positions:

  • Professor of Anthropology, Westmont College, 1990-present
  • Resident Director, Westmont in Mexico Program, Queretaro, Mexico 2005 and 2007
  • Reviewer, Human Organization, 1997-present
  • Reviewer, Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 1994
  • Associate Director, Human Needs and Global Resources Program, Wheaton College, 1986-87
  • Assistant Professor of Sociology/Anthropology, Wheaton College, 1984-87
  • Co-chair of Anthropology of Higher Education Committee, Council on Anthropology and Education (American Anthropological Association)

Areas of Expertise:

  • Cultural Anthropology: Mexico and Central America
  • International Development
  • Cross-cultural Communication Studies
  • Cultural Ecology
  • Political Economy of Gender

Research Grants:

  • Grant to develop study abroad progam in Mexico, funded by Westmont Irvine Foundation Diversity Grant (held jointly with Mary Docter, Ph.D.)
  • Faculty Development Grants, Westmont College
  • Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities Global Stewardship Project (funded by the Pew Foundation), 1996
  • National resource Fellowship in Foreign Language and International Development Studies, 1983-84

Research Interests

  • Short-term medical missions
  • Gender equity in higher education
  • Effects of new government agricultural policies and the North American Free Trade Agreement on Mexicali, Mexico

Selected Publications:

  • “Irrigation and Social Reproduction in the Mexicali Valley of Northwest Mexico” in “Culture and Environment: A Fragile Coexistence,” by R. Jamieson, ed., University of Calgary Press, 1993
  • “Short-Term Medical Missions: Enhancing or Eroding Health,” Missiology: An International Review 21 (30), 1993.
  • “Girls as Goods: Facing Child Prostitution,” Together, January-March 1996.
  • “‘It’s Just What I Like’ Explaining Persistent Patterns of Gender Stratification in the Life Choices of College Students” International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education 17 (6), 2004
  • To be published soon: “Reinventing Short-term Medical Missions to Latin America,” Journal of Latin American Theology 1 (2) 2007