I joined the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Kutztown University in the fall of 2010 after completing my Ph.D. at theUniversity of Arizona. My teaching and research interests are in areas of sexualities and gender, social movements, communities, culture and religion, knowledge/science, methods, and race/ethnicity.
My goals in teaching are for classes to be informative, engaging, and applicable to students’ lives beyond the classroom and their undergraduate educational experience. By informative, I mean introducing students to new ideas and perspectives, exposing students to cultures and phenomena many of them are unlikely to have encountered before, pointing to the “big picture” in terms of topics relevant to an area of study, and guiding them on where to find additional information. By engaging, I mean demonstrating how social theory and research can be applied to students’ own lives, discussing questions and debates that students are interested in, and encouraging active dialogue among students. By applicability, I mean developing knowledge and skills that will be useful in other classes, future occupations, and navigating life more generally.
My research is informed by a interest in sociological theories dealing with individual, group, and cultural development, as well as theories dealing with contestation and conflict. My dissertation examines the phenomenon of racial sexual orientation, sexual and dating preferences based on race. Specifically, I collected the life and sexual histories of gay men who expressed preferences for dating men of a different race and also studied the organization Black and White Men Together (aka Men of All Colors Together or People of All Colors Together), a multicultural organization organized in part to support persons with cross-race preferences in dating. Other research deals with such topics as: macro-level influences on the founding of conservative Protestant ex-gay movement groups; cultural contestation within the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (GLBTQ) movement; the interplay of gender and risk management in public dog parks; and how intentional communities define their membership. I have also worked collaboratively on projects dealing with the gendered effects of specialization on publication, visibility, and promotion in academic disciplines and on the effects of participation in LGBTQ youth activism on commitment to other forms of civic engagement.
In my personal time, I enjoy reading, playing video and card games (I am advisor for the Gamers of Kutztown University club), gardening, and doing community-building activities.