Tim Sundeen

Tim Sundeen


Office Location
Pacific Oaks College
55 Eureka Street Pasadena, CA 91103
55 Eureka 55 Eureka St
Associate Dean
School of Human Development & Family Studies

Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Anthropology
M.A. University of California, Los Angeles, Anthropology
B.A. Columbia University, History

Areas of Interest/Expertise
Immigration and identity
Social Justice
Diversity and social inequality
Educational Equity
Assessment and Learning Outcomes
Ethnographic methods

Dr. Sundeen began his academic career as an anthropologist interested in Asia.  After completing a Master's thesis on youth baseball in Taiwan, he did dissertation work in Australia, focusing on the development of Australian national identity through the lens of Asian immigration.  During his time at Pacific Oaks, Dr. Sundeen has become very interested in educational policy, particularly as it applies to unequal access to educational resources. 

Dr. Sundeen has been the Academic Director of the Human Development program since 2003, and the Chair of the Faculty Coordinating Committee since 2008.  Combining his academic and administrative hats, he has become very interested in exploring program development that effectively meets the needs of non-traditional adult learners.

Select Presentations

Credit for Life Experience: A Structure for Linking Work Experience to College Credit (with S. Bernheimer).  Accepted to NAEYC's 2011 Annual Conference, November 2-5, 2011 in Orlando, FL.


The Ethic of Caring and the Cultivation of a Democratic Learning Environment.(with Susan Bernheimer).  Accepted to the 19th Reconceptualising Early  Childhood Education Conference 2011: Politics of Care: Sharing Knowledges, Love and Solidarity   


The Accidental Anthropologist: How Karen Helped Me Find My Inner Outer Voice.  Presented at Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality: A Cross Generational Examination of Politics, Theory and Activism, A Conference and Reception In Honor of Karen Brodkin.  University off California, Los Angeles, October 20, 2008


"Measuring" Student Learning through Narrative Evaluations: The Non-traditional College Student (with Olga Winbush).  Presented at the WASC Academic Resource Conference, San Diego, California, April 16-19, 2008


Democracy and the Subject: A Citizen-initiated Response to Class and Race Based Inequality in No Child Left Behind (Invited session: with Greg Tanaka), presented at the 106th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Washington, D.C November 28-December 2, 2007


Participatory Policymaking II: Launching the Next U.S. Policy after NCLB.  Panel Co-chair, American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, April 9-13, 2007


"You Can't Always Go Home Again: Negotiating Transnational Lives from Sydney, Australia", presented at the Society for the Anthropology of North America Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia April 23-25, 2004


"Are the 'New' Aussies Really the Old Aussies? White Indigenous Identity in an 'Asianized' Australia", presented at the 101st Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, New Orleans, Louisiana November 20-24, 2002.


"You Can't Always Go Home Again: The Production of Transnational Hong Kong Chinese Families", presented at the 123rd Annual Meeting of the American Ethnological Society, Montreal, Quebec, Canada May 2-6, 2001


"Hard Words and Easy Targets: Anthropology and Anti-Racist Rhetoric in Australia", presented at the 99th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, San Francisco, November 15-19, 2000

Select Publications

"A "Kid's Game"? Little League Baseball and National Identity in Taiwan".  Journal of Sport and Social Issues , 25 (3), August 2001: 251-265

 "Settling White Australia: Asian Professional and Business Immigrants and the Remaking of Australian National Identity", Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles, 2002

 "The Role of Little League Baseball in the Construction of National Identity in Taiwan" Master's Thesis, University of California, Los Angeles, 1996

Community Involvement

Child Care Information Service, Pasadena CA, Program Committee

Glendale Community College Child Development Department Advisory Board

West Los Angeles College Child Development Department Advisory Committee

Los Angeles Valley College Child Development Department Advisory Committee

Professional Memberships

American Anthropological Association

Council on Anthropology and Education

American Educational Research Association


Q: Please describe your teaching philosophy.

I see myself as a facilitator of learning in the classroom.  The learning extends to myself as much as to the students.  I bring in a course content borne from my experiences and academic training.  Students also bring in course content based on their work and family histories as well as previous educational experiences.  My job is to connect the two-to help students to develop a frame for their experiences, which in turn deepen and change what I "know" about various topics.

Q: Please provide a statement or philosophy regarding the practice of human development.

Human Development is an innately personal field.  In our program, student are asked to apply their understanding of the cognitive, emotional, social and physical processes through the life span to their own experiences.  By reflecting on these experiences, students gain a better grasp of their own developmental issues, which is a great foundation for working with diverse populations in social service fields. 

Q: Why did you choose to enter the field of human development?

I was trained in the related field of socio-cultural anthropology.  As is the case for anthropology, I like that Human Development takes a holistic approach to human behavior, allowing for investigation of contextual factors that shape human growth and identity.

Q: What advice would you give to a student entering Pacific Oaks College?

Be a good listener.  Don't avoid ideas that make you uncomfortable.  Gather data from many points of view.  Eat.