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I am currently an Associate 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), and the Founding 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 research, program development, and teaching I am addressing three questions: (1) What are the cognitive and cultural underpinnings of key transferable skills, and what does that mean for teaching and learning? (2) What is the relationship between features of college internship programs - especially that of institutional, disciplinary and students' cultural identities- and their labor market, professional identity, and psycho-social outcomes? and (3) How can postsecondary institutions transform their structures, cultures, and pedagogical practices to best support career-integrated learning while also attending to disciplinary learning, attention to inequality, and the traditional goals of a liberal arts education?


To investigate these problems I conduct descriptive, mixed-methods research that utilize theory and method from situated cognition, cognitive anthropology, and relational sociology to study colleges and universities (especially Minority Serving Institutions and community colleges) and workplaces in the U.S., China, and Japan.  Underlying each of these investigations is a strong commitment to documenting and then dismantling systems of gatekeeping and marginalization that reside within higher education and the workplace, while also working to prepare students for disruptive forces in our society and ecology.

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