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 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) How can we best design learning environments in higher education and the workplace that facilitate the acquisition of disciplinary content and non-cognitive or "soft" skills for college students, faculty, and employees? (2) What is the relationship between features of college internship programs - especially that of institutional, disciplinary and student cultures- and interns' labor market, professional identity, and psycho-social outcomes? and (3) How and when do assessments of job candidates' "soft skills" enter into hiring decisions?
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, universities, 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 inequality, gatekeeping, and marginalization that reside within higher education and the workplace.