I am currently an Assistant Professor of Adult & Higher Education in the Department of Liberal Arts & Applied Studies (Division of Continuing Studies) and the Department of Educational Policy Studies (School of Education), a Research Scientist at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research, and the Director of the Center for Research on College-Workforce Transitions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My research interests are situated in the fields of applied anthropology, the learning sciences, and education policy analysis. In my current work I am addressing three questions: (1) How can we best design learning environments (organizations, classrooms, and digital spaces) that facilitate the acquisition of disciplinary content and non-cognitive or "soft" skills? (2) What is the relationship between design features of college internship programs and student labor market and psycho-social outcomes? and (3) How can we best "map" the complex organizational, socio-cultural, and political systems that comprise higher education-workforce relations in ways that reveal areas of strength and weakness so that high-quality, equitable programs and opportunities can be provided for all students?
To investigate these problems I conduct descriptive, mixed-methods research that utilizes theories and methods from situated cognition, decision-modeling, and ethnography in colleges, universities, and the workplace in the U.S., China, and Japan.