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Dresser received a BA in Anthropology and an MA in Folklore and Mythology, both from UCLA, and taught for 20 years at California State University, Los Angeles.

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Dresser has authored numerous published books and articles and wrote the 8-year award-winning Los Angeles Times column, “Multicultural Manners.” She has been a member of the American Folklore Society, the Authors Guild, Western States Folklore Society, Chinese Historical Society of Southern California, International Society for Anthrozoology, International Society for Contemporary Legend Research, Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies, and Writers Guild of America, West.