Associate Professor and Chair for Interdisciplinary Studies
I started my teaching career almost thirty years ago at an area vocational school for at-risk youth in Southern California. My early career work in higher education was focused on teacher education and professional development of personnel who provide special education, vocational education and transition services for students with disabilities, at-risk youth and non-traditional learners in higher education. This work involved the development of articulated, multi-institutional and interdisciplinary programs structured to enhance the career development of underrepresented paraprofessionals and professionals in these areas. Funded by multiple, US Department of Education personnel preparation grants, my research and program development included designing curriculum-based and portfolio based assessment and the design of nationally-implemented curriculum for training teachers and parents in English-as-a Second Language education.
Over the next decade, I expanded this work more broadly to integrate feminist and critical perspectives into the design and delivery of equitable education in higher education. My research focused on women in higher education, as teacher, leaders, and students including a multi-year, interdisciplinary collaborative research projects examining service-use among ethnically diverse, low-income families; a narrative study of feminist scholar/change agents and the structural role of a feminist research center, and a feminist ethnographic study of the role of the community college in welfare reform. Parallel inquiry into qualitative research methodology, specifically feminist, narrative and ethnographic methodology became a focus of my scholarly publications and professional service at the national level.
During my tenure at Colorado State University, I provided administrative leadership in development of the graduate research program, and taught courses in Qualitative Research, Educational Policy and Educational Leadership and directed interdisciplinary, doctoral research for the on-campus and three distance graduate programs. My work outside of higher education has involved community service and research in the areas of domestic violence, homelessness, and the state-wide assessment of the status of women and girls through the Colorado Women’s Foundation. In more recent years, undergraduate teaching has become my primary passion, and I find the opportunity to introduce college students to the transformative scholarship of feminism and queer theory most appealing and rewarding. I am increasingly drawn to theory and practice of contemplative, interdisciplinary studies and the interrelatedness of feminism to this movement within higher education; in particular, I am interested in the healing power of community through compassionate circles for supporting marginalized students including students struggling with mental illness.