Nikolai Alvarado

Nikolai A. Alvarado
Geography Faculty


Nikolai Alvarado holds an M.A. in geography from the University of Denver and a B.A. in Latin American Studies from the California State University, Fullerton. He is currently completing his Ph.D. in the Department of Geography and the Environment at the University of Denver. Nikolai’s dissertation research examines the everyday political strategies of Nicaraguan migrants to secure housing, infrastructure, and basic services in informal settlements in urban Costa Rica. Nikolai tries to spend as much time as possible in La Carpio, the largest migrant settlement in Central America, in San José, Costa Rica, learning from migrants who manage to improve their immediate worlds and claim a Right to the City largely from a position of unwanted outsiders. At CCA Nikolai teaches courses in both human and physical geography, as well as in Latin American History.


Elizabeth Hirsh

 Elizabeth M. Hirsh
Anthropology Faculty


Elizabeth Hirsh received her M.A. in Anthropology from Rutgers University and her B.A. in Psychology and Anthropology from the University of Georgia. She joined the faculty at the Community College of Aurora as an adjunct instructor in 2004 and became full-time faculty in 2008.  Elizabeth now coordinates Anthropology for CCA. She has received a broad training in Anthropology, having conducted behavioral and cognitive studies with primates at the University of Georgia and archaeological fieldwork in Koobi Fora, Kenya, a major region for paleoanthropological research.  Her academic interests include osteology, zooarchaeology, human origins, and primatology. Elizabeth currently teaches Indians of North America, Biological Anthropology, Introduction to Archaeology, and Cultural Anthropology.
Geoff Hunt

Geoff Hunt, Ph.D.
History Faculty


Dr. Hunt earned his B.A. in History at the University of Wyoming in 1972, M.A. in Museum Studies from Cooperstown Graduate Programs (SUNY-Oneonta) in 1984, and Ph.D. in History from the University of Colorado-Boulder in 1997.  He is a military historian and an avid Civil War re-enactor.  Dr. Hunt has worked in museums for twenty years, and he's taught at the Community College of Aurora since 1995.  He and his spouse Rebecca (she teaches history at CU-Denver) share a hundred-year-old house, three kids and seven grandkids, and assorted cats.
David Spiegel David Spiegel
Philosophy Faculty


A longstanding faculty member since 1998, Spiegel serves as the lead in the area of Philosophy. He provides administrative oversight of the department as well as supervises part-time instructors. He also teaches courses such as Ethics, Logic, Philosophy of Religion, Introduction to Philosophy, and Environmental Ethics. Spiegel’s first priority is to design his Philosophy courses so that they are interesting, informative and well organized. This priority has been recognized previously with the Bowman faculty endowment award, which recognizes CCA faculty making a significant difference for their students. Prior to joining CCA, Spiegel worked at the University of California, Santa Barbara, as a chapter coordinator of Campus Ambassadors, with a stint hosting a radio show devoted to philosophy and current events.  Then, he moved to Denver, and started a house painting business in the metro area. He holds a bachelor’s in Geology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and two master’s degrees from Denver Seminary, the latest in Philosophy of Religion, with honors.
Brandon Williams

Brandon Williams, Ph.D.
History Faculty and Chair of Social Sciences


Hired to teach full-time beginning with the Fall 2015 semester, Williams leads classes covering 20th century world history and early American history. He comes to CCA after teaching for one year at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. Williams also had nearly five years of classroom experience as part of the doctoral program at West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.V., with 20th century social and labor history in the United States, 19th century U.S. history, world history, and education comprising his advanced degree. He holds a master’s in American History from James Madison, as well as a bachelor’s in History and Adolescent Education at the State University of New York-Cortland. Williams’ experience includes time as an AP History instructor at Culpepper County (Va.) High School.
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