I completed my undergraduate degree in sociology and environmental science in 1994 and my master's degree in public health in 1999 – both at Western Kentucky University. I also have graduate certificates in Women's Studies and Community College Faculty Preparation. I received my PhD in higher education administration from the University of Louisville in 2007.
I have been teaching at the university level since 1995. In the fall of 1999, I taught my first women's studies courses at Western Kentucky University and found a passion for social justice education. In the last few years, my educational and research interests have focused primarily on issues pertaining to sustainability in terms of place, social policy, and the politics of food justice, production, and consumption. My most recent research and publication projects include (a) a dialogue with vegan feminist, activist/author Carol J. Adams (book edited by Alice Ginsburg), (b) a conceptual model of sense of place using classical social theory (in review), (c) an ethnographic, community-based study in Gales Point, Belize (in progress), (d) an analysis of the barriers to shopping at farmers markets (in progress), and (c) a book project exploring producer-only famer's market in the U.S.
In addition to my interests in teaching and research, I am the principle investigator of an interdisciplinary community/school gardening project in an at-risk neighborhood in Bowling Green, KY. I am also continuing work in Belize with a student-led craft cooperative and sales agreement between the village council of Gales Point and Western Kentucky University's Department of Diversity and Community Studies. The goal is to sell crafts produced by the villagers in the United States with all proceeds going to support the community of Gales Point.
I will be teaching Community-Based Research (ICSR 520) and Community-Building for Sustainability (ICSR 540) for the Master of Arts in Social Responsibility and Sustainable Communities (SRSC). I also teach Feminist Knowledge and Social Change (GWS 545) and Gender, Justice, and Sustainability (GWS 575); both electives in the SRSC. I have a strong background in methodology and research and am excited about the opportunity to be a part of this master's program.
Aside from scholarly interests and activities, I enjoy music, gardening, cooking, activism, sports (especially women's basketball), and KAYAKING! I love the outdoors, nature, the beach, biking, boating, camping, and I am addicted to yoga and swimming. My partner and I are the proud parents of 2 dogs (Buddy and Ellie) and we active members and vendors at the Community Farmers Market in Bowling Green, KY.