I am Department Chair and Associate Professor of Sociology in the School of Social, Behavioral, and Global Studies at California State University, Monterey Bay. I study social movements: groups of people who work outside (and sometimes within) conventional political channels in an effort to change their society, or prevent changes from happening. My research focuses on how activists create strategies and form alliances with other organizations. Because people come together to seek change in almost every aspect of social life, my research encompasses many other topics, such as labor unions, gender, and sexuality.
I teach on a wide range of sociological topics, and I’m especially interested in helping students use writing as a form of sociological inquiry. I also work to connect the classroom to the community through experiential learning. As a first-generation college student and Appalachian native, I’m particularly interested in mentoring my own students, and in increasing access to higher education for first-generation and working-class people.
In addition to my teaching and research, I’m a mediocre endurance runner, a lover of tabletop and role-playing games, an amateur baker, and a proud Virginia Tech alum (Go Hokies!).