I grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a small university town in the American South. I earned my BA, MA, and PhD at the University of North Carolina, spending a year on exchange at Mansfield College, Oxford along the way. I came to American Studies at Keele in 1996 and then moved to SPIRE.
My main interest is education politics and policy, which puts me in the happy position of studying what I do for a living. I am currently working on a comparison of higher education between Europe and the United States. I won the Keele Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2005, and was made a National Teaching Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2009.
My main research interests are in public policy (particularly education) and American politics. I have written about education reform in the U.S., particularly No Child Left Behind. I have been involved in various projects looking at topics that include promotion and rewards for staff, civic engagement and citizenship, assessment, undergraduate research, e-learning, research methods and the curriculum. My current research compares the higher education curriculum for universities in Europe and the United States. I am also carrying out a project examining the provision of study abroad programmes in the U.K. and their contribution to internationalisation.