Ph.D. Mass Communication; Kappa Tau Alpha
Dissertation: "Supreme Court as Cultural Critic"
M.A. Communication Studies
Documentary: Remember the Children
B.A. Communication; Athletics Hall of Fame Inductee
Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Creativity, discernment, critical inquiry—these three watchwords inform my approach to education. To develop abilities to support and ground intellectual work requires confronting difficult topics and tasks with an eagerness that must be cultivated student-by-student and course-by-course. My goal is to help learners discover the importance of course concepts and to gain an understanding of self in relationship to salient topics and skills. Interrogating the theories and practices that inform the perspectives of our time works best when learners are engaged and actively participate in the experience.
Where do they fit within the larger dialogue? What do they think?
How are their perspectives informed by traditional norms and values? How are they not?
What ideas should be brought to the table or recruited from different disciplines?
I strive to meet learners where they are on their educational journeys, ask them to start from their individual positions of strength, and develop from there.
What do they know?
What are they good at? What are they not?
What unique qualities do they bring to the topic and course?
How can they capitalize on those qualities to build skills and understanding?
To meet these goals, I embrace teaching as a constellation that includes creativity, coaching, playfulness, empathy, investment, and time. From course construction to course evaluation, I imbue that spirit throughout my teaching. As my “Reimagining Social Media” syllabus demonstrates, I center student experience and learning outcomes within the larger course context and provide tangible evidence of my teaching philosophy and style in my syllabi.
My course designs are learner-centered, project-based, and outcomes-driven. Activities that encourage creativity, critical thinking, active participation, collaboration, and personal development are key. Creativity bridges the gap between topic and self, thus opening a space for growth and critical inquiry. My workshop-style courses invite students to actively explore concepts and/or skills that extend beyond their quotidian experience, whether they are studying media production, theory, criticism, or context. Thus, an important facet of my work is to connect people and concepts through the creative process—connections made possible through my own creative experience with documentary production, text and video editing, research inquiry, and publishing. My hope is that through the integration of my own work, I provide in some way my own ever-evolving answer to the question, “how ought we to live?” Obviously, there is no one choice, no pat answer. But within the goals and visions of academic communities, I find hope—hope that students and faculty alike will focus on the journey, rather than the telos, of the process called “education.”
Assistant Professor, Media Studies and Production
College of Liberal Arts; Student Media Faculty Advisor
Assistant Professor, Media Studies and Production; Radio–TV Program Lead
Department of Communication; Media Facilities Coordinator
Visiting Assistant Professor, Media Studies and Production;
English & Mass Communication; Faculty Advisor to The Billboard Student Newspaper
Visiting Assistant Professor, Media Studies and Production;
School of Communication
Inspiration and Transformation
For me, the most overlooked, amazing, transformative city in the United States is Detroit, Michigan. Years back, I accepted my first tenure track position and landed smack dab in the heart of the city. I went there because I needed a job and Wayne State was the first Carnegie I Research University that called. I was also just young enough to be impressed by George Ziegelmueller driving me around campus in the blowing snow and by Jack Kay treating me to dinner atop the RenCen. From the revolving restaurant, the city looked serene. The company was warm. The job sounded . . . well, it sounded okay. I'd be a short timer anyway. I had no real interest in living in Detroit. But then my whole world changed. Teaching senior level video production labs and graduate courses in media theory and criticism, the students captured me. My undergraduates needed help negotiating the academic program—lacking prior access to full time faculty, they had issues to be solved. I became their advocate—a voice for needs no one in the department knew existed. As hard as I worked, they worked harder. One young mother never missed a class. Pregnant in the studio one week, wearing a sleeping baby the next, she refused to lose even one opportunity to participate. Another woman, older this time, struggled with technology, but wasn't giving up. A survivor of divorce brutality, she would bring herself back to life through education. I saw and experienced more discrimination there than I'd ever known. I also saw and experienced more determination, more creativity, and more faith in possibilities. My graduate students were totally different, but equally amazing. Whole seminars filled with people who had so little in common you'd never imagine them conversing. Absolutely wealthy, barely scraping by, older, younger, differently abled, black, white, brown, LGBTQ, evangelical, hippie, conservative, business executive, artist, chef, Detroiter, transplant. They embraced the challenge of education, if not each other. I shared what I knew about media . . . I designed production facilities . . . I advised . . . I spent a lot of time problem-solving, listening, reaching out. Jack and George are gone now, but from time to time I still hear from some of my students. They seem appreciative of me and our time at Wayne, but what they'll never fully understand, because I can't quite explain it, is how together they transformed my life, my perspectives, my understanding of humanity. My work is dedicated to them, to that constellation of moments that continues, to this day, to define for me the importance of everyday engagements and the relentless pursuit of education, friendship, feminist interventions, and social justice.