Academic Courses & Programs

Teaching Work

I am a sociology professor with twenty years of experience working in many different kinds of academic environments. I have taught both face-to-face and on-line.  I have created and directed undergraduate and graduate programs in the United States and abroad, including ones in continuing adult and free public education.  I have had extensive formal training in digital media and audio/visual production.  And I have also, over the years, collaborated with other professors and university administrators on how to make higher education more academically rigorous, emotionally compelling and relevant in places and institutions outside the academy.

I have been teaching my own original academic courses and programs since I was a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the mid-1990s and am currently teaching for the Liberal Studies and Continuing Education program, as well as the Department of Sociology, at the Purchase College-SUNY. I also, recently, developed and taught introductory and undergraduate honors curriculum for courses in social documentation, with a specific emphasis on sociological, anthropological and geographical theory, for the College of Mount Saint Vincent, the College of Mount Saint Mary, Molloy College and several small community colleges in the SUNY system located in rural, upstate New York.


I have also, in the past, been an Affiliated Faculty member at the Charles Warren Center for Cultural Studies at Harvard University and traveled around the world as a faculty member for the University of Virginia's Semester At Sea Program.  I have taught on the sociology, geography, law and gender studies faculties at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Denver, directed a London Study Abroad Program for the University of Denver and taught urban studies at City College in London.  I have developed a northeastern border studies and rural sociology curriculum at SUNY-College at Potsdam, helped to develop an interdisciplinary lecture series at Brown University and worked to create a free, university-accredited adult and continuing education program for the Denver Public Library.  And, finally, I have, since 1992, advised students and scholars at the Center for South Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison heading out to do ethnographic field research in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.


My cross-country sociology and documentary making course, Jack Kerouac Wrote Here, Crisscrossing America Chasing Cool, has been featured on National Public Radio, The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer and in the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Denver Post, the Denver Westword and the Lowell Sun. And I have also won several awards, grants and fellowships specifically for course development and excellence in teaching.

While working as a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Denver and SUNY-College at Potsdam, I contributed to several campus-wide initiatives to recruit and retain first generation students of color.  Also, at the University of Denver, I worked in collaboration with professors from Wesleyan University, the University of Arizona and Oaxaca University on creating a graduate program in regional community studies.  In 2003, I created and taught the very first course in sexual identities and culture ever offered, respectively, at the University of Denver and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  And I am currently teaching a new course in practical sociologies at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in the Bronx.

I have always brought new technology into the classroom incorporating it into my lectures, as well as class discussions and student assignments.  But I also often teach outside of the classroom on trains and buses and ships and in the streets without even so much as a piece of chalk.  I have always worked to actively merge the social sciences, humanities and the arts, but also understand the importance of recognizing the history and canonical foundations of specific academic disciplines.  And I am awed by the possibilities of on-line education, but know that the best on-line courses offer students that feeling of being a part of a little community, be that community the size of a single classroom or an entire campus.  This has been the teaching work I have been most focused on for the past three years:  Creating and teaching on-line courses, which tap into all the wonder and sheer expansiveness of digital technology, but still offer the same exciting jolt of learning things and exchanging ideas, live, face-to-face.


I have had over 300 hours of training in on-line course development at two very different institutions, Purchase College-SUNY, a public arts school where many of the students work as professional actors, musicians and dancers, and the College of Mount Saint Mary in Newburgh, New York, a small, Catholic liberal arts school located in a town with a very high crime rate, where most of the students work towards graduate degrees in social work and nursing.  Both experiences helped me to create and teach three purely on-line and two hybrid courses.  I received excellent reviews from students, other professors and college administrators for these courses and have recently started teaching what I have learned about on-line course construction and on-line education more generally to faculty members at SUNY-Purchase and the College of Mount Saint Mary, as well as some of the other institutions where I regularly teach.