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I am currently an Associate Professor in Adult Teaching and Learning in the Department of Liberal Arts and Applied Studies and the Department of Educational Policy Studies at UW-Madison, the Founding Director of the Center for Research on College-Workforce Transitions. After several years of experience in organic agriculture and food systems research, I received my master's degree in applied anthropology from the University of Maryland - College Park. I then worked as a program evaluator of public health initiatives and STEM education initiatives before earning my Ph.D. in the learning sciences from the Department of Educational Psychology at University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2012.


My work focuses on discerning the cognitive, cultural, and contextual factors that underlay organizational change processes. and learning in the professions. Using theory and method from cultural anthropology, cognitive psychology, and systems engineering, I have explored issues related to curriculum planning, classroom instruction, and data driven decision-making in postsecondary STEM departments. These perspectives are now being applied to the problem of skills development, career readiness and work-based and work-integrated learning, and the degree to which these complex factors can and should be considered when developing public policy regarding education and workforce development.


My research utilizes a wide range of qualitative methodologies gleaned from a variety of disciplines, including grounded theory, decision modeling, scaling and data reduction techniques, and case study techniques.

Shell Beach, California


Favorite teams: Seattle Seahawks, Chelsea, Packer-Badgers

Favorite bands: Tame Impala, Shins, Grateful Dead, LCD Soundsystem, most anything on KCRW

Favorite foods: Cool Ranch Doritos, sushi, carne asada

Favorite artists: D. Hockney, P. Cezanne, J.M.W. Turner

Favorite writers: Junot Diaz, Gary Snyder, W. Vollman

Favorite places: Kyoto, Santa Barbara, Sequoia N.P., Shell Beach


Examples of Teaching Activities: Course Syllabi

EDPOL 202: Education at work: A practical and theoretical look at career development and the future of work (ongoing: 2022 Syllabus).

DCS: Teaching 21st Century Skills in the College Classroom, UW-Madison (ongoing; 2019 Syllabus)


EDPOL 600: Critical and Cultural Perspectives of Student Employability. UW-Madison. (Fall 2020 Syllabus)

ELPA 888 - Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. UW-Madison (Spring 2018 Syllabus)

Examples of Successful Grant Proposals

National Science Foundation (2014-2017): Exploring the Alignment Among Employer Expectations for STEM Skills and the Design of Education Curricula and Interventions

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