Lillian Ackerman, PhD

Lillian Ackerman

Title: Anthropologist
Company:  Washington State University
Location:  Pullman, Washington, United States

Lillian Ackerman, PhD, anthropologist at Washington State University, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Scientists for dedication, achievements, and leadership in anthropology.

Intrigued by other cultures and curious to study aspects of humans within past and present societies, Dr. Ackerman is an established expert in Plateau Indian culture, which comprises all Native American tribes inhabiting the complex physiographic high-plateau region between the Rocky Mountains and the coastal mountain system. Dr. Ackerman was the first to research and uncover that gender equality is unique to these communities as women are the gatherers of vegetables, which makes up more than half of their diets. In addition, Dr. Ackerman has performed much research on kinship. In plateau Indian culture, people marry into other villages and tribes primarily to ensure that they could share resources in times of famine. In recognition of the studies and work that Dr. Ackerman has performed in anthropology in her career, she was elected as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and an American Association of University Women Fellow. Additionally, she received a grant from the Phillip’s Fund of American Philosophical Society to continue in her research.

In addition to the anthropology work she has performed in the field; Dr. Ackerman is highly regarded for her work as an educator. Now retired, she spent many years as an adjunct professor with Washington State University, where she also conducted much of her anthropology research. Additional noteworthy roles held in her career include instructor of anthropology for Wenatchee Valley College, chairperson of the Development Disabilities Board of Whitman County, consultant in anthropology in Pullman, Washington, and consultant to the U.S. Census in Washington. Dr. Ackerman has authored several titles including “Women and Power In Native North America,” “Ethnographic Overview and Assessment of Federal and Tribal Lands in The Lake Roosevelt Area Concerning The Confederated Tribes of The Colville Indian Reservation,” “A Song to The Creator: Traditional Arts of Native American Women of The Plateau,” and “ A Necessary Balance: Gender and Power Among Indians of The Columbia Plateau.” Dr. Ackerman holds a PhD in anthropology from Washington State University, a Master of Arts in anthropology from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from the University of Michigan. In her retirement, Dr. Ackerman continues to research and study other cultures as her professional work has always been an extension of her personal curiosities. She intends to continue writing in the years to come.

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