The moment Charlotte McGowan stepped into her anthropology courses at San Diego State University, she knew she was hooked. After earning a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts with honors in 1967 and 1969, respectively, she pursued her passion in the field as a Fulbright Scholar in Taiwan in 1996 and in Peru in 1982.
During her distinguished career, Ms. McGowan held the positions of teaching assistant and director of the physical anthropology laboratory at San Diego State University, where she was a professor of anthropology from 1967 to 1969. She also served as professor of anthropology at San Diego Evening College from 1969 to 1971, at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, Calif., from 1971 to 1999, and at the University of the Americas in Pueblo, Mexico, in 1978. Her other academic credentials include teaching in San Diego at the Patrick Henry Adult School, North Shores Adult School, and San Diego Adult School.
Furthermore, in keeping with her passion for archaeology and anthropology, Ms. McGowan has been the director and liaison of interface at National American University and a consultant to the Campo Band of Mission Indians, a tribe on a reservation in Campo, Calif., since 1995. She has been a consultant to Native American Groups in San Diego since 1994. Previously, Ms. McGowan worked for the California Department of Transportation from 1995 to 1998, and Environmental Impact Studies from 1975 to 2000.
While her life’s work has been both challenging and fulfilling, Ms. McGowan found that one of the greatest obstacles she faced was being a woman in her field. She hopes that young people today pinpoint their careers and do whatever it takes to achieve their goals.
Ms. McGown’s published works include “Inventory of Artifacts from Archaeological Excavation,” in 1995 and “Final Report on Excavation,” in 1997. She has also contributed chapters to books, and articles to professional journals.
Enriching her passion for anthropology and archaeology, Ms. McGowan holds membership in the Congress of the History of San Diego and Imperial Counties, an organization that brings together representatives of historical organizations interested in promoting an awareness of San Diego’s history, the San Diego Natural History Museum, and the San Diego Museum of Man, where she has contributed papers on ceremonial fertility sites in Southern California. She is also affiliated with the Southwest Missions Research Center, which is committed to fostering education and preservation in the Spanish borderlands, the Southwest Anthropological Association, and the Archaeological Institute of America, which is devoted to the promotion of public interest in archaeology and the preservation of archaeological sites.
Now that she is retired, Ms. McGowan spends her time at Tai Chi, traveling, reading, writing, doing embroidery, and enjoying her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.