Connecting with your professors can benefit you in the classroom and beyond. Read this series to dive deeper into the minds of our professors and get answers to some fun and interesting questions. We asked professors to reflect on their career, advice for students, non-academic hobbies and interests.
Where does your passion/inspiration for your work come from? Is it why you entered your field?
My inspiration for becoming a sociologist specializing in race and ethnic relations comes directly from my childhood in rural South Carolina. My hometown de-segregated schools very late so that I remember three of my older siblings experiencing the transition. When I entered 1st grade, my public school had just been integrated two years before. I remember other vestiges of the Jim Crow system that lingered long after the Supreme Court outlawed legalized segregation in public facilities — segregated waiting rooms at doctors’ offices, for instance, and segregated private facilities such as pools. As a graduate student, I also focused on rural/urban comparisons. I’ve always been a math geek, so teaching (mostly) statistics and methods in the criminal justice program in SPA was a great fit.
What is your favorite quote?
“42.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot.” — Steven Wright
What is your research/teaching philosophy?
I believe in expecting the best from my students as scholars and adults. To treat them otherwise is to show them less respect.
If you were not a professor, what would you be?
House flipper — I love seeing the potential in old houses.
What is your favorite non-academic reading/interests?
Travel (I didn’t fly commercially until I was 26 or 27, so I had a lot of delayed longing), hiking with my family, reading classic English novels.
What was your first concert?
Doobie Brothers ~1980
Where have you lived outside of Colorado?
South Carolina, North Carolina, Washington state. I also spent a semester in Nepal as a graduate student. I’ve been in Colorado for 15 years and love it.
What is your ideal vacation? Or where do you like to travel?
I just returned from a lengthy trip to Greece with my family, and I would go back in a heartbeat.