Nearing the end of my PhD program in educational studies at the University of British Columbia, I came to the University of Calgary in 2008, where I am an Associate Professor in adult learning. My scholarly interests are wide-ranging and interdisciplinary, and linked to my 15-year career in the community-based not-for-profit sector.
For my doctoral work, I talked to people in Vancouver, BC who self-identified as critical shoppers to explore how, through shopping, they learned about globalization, identity, and social change. My dissertation received the 2009 International Institute for Qualitative Methodology Dissertation Award and was revised as the book The Politics of Shopping: What Consumers Learn about Identity, Globalization, and Social Change (Routledge).
Since arriving at University of Calgary, in two SSHRC-funded studies in the area known as public pedagogy. For one study, I talked to medical and nursing student fans of Grey's Anatomy and Scrubs about how they juxtapose portrayals in the shows with their educational programs. For a second study, I worked with colleague Dr. Dawn Johnston and talked to Canadian Grey's Anatomy fans about how they learn about healthcare by watching the show. I am now studying how pop culture can be brought into professional education, especially to deepen teaching and learning related to core concepts and "sensitive" issues. Those studies are being followed-up with another SSHRC-funded project investigating how post-secondary instructors use popular culture in their courses, especially to support teaching and learning about theory or about difficult, sensitive issues. My public pedagogy interest is reflected in a co-edited book entitled Popular Culture as Pedagogy: Research in the Field of Adult Education (Brill Sense).
My interest in social justice is also apparent in my University of Calgary-funded study exploring how LGBTQ people navigate coinciding messages about equity and internationalization. A book entitled Equity and Internationalization on Campus: Intersecting or Colliding Discourses for LGBTQ People? (Brill Sense) summarizes findings from that study.