- Juris Doctorate – Marquette University Law School, Milwaukee, WI
- BA – Luther College, Decorah Iowa
I’m an applied microeconomist with a liberal arts background who likes to connect the theories and data of economics with the wider world of people and ideas. I grew up mainly in Pennsylvania and Upper Michigan before studying in a liberal arts college in Minnesota and graduate school in Wisconsin. Travel across the world and research in several Latin American countries inform my teaching of international and development economics courses. In environmental economics and history of economic thought, I connect economics with other ways of seeing the world in natural science and history. I also dig into the big picture of economic concepts and data with students in principles of macroeconomics and intermediate macroeconomics, as well as Catalyst seminars. My two children grew up in Ripon where my wife and I enjoy living.
I teach a variety of courses in United States history and global environmental history. I got interested in history when I realized that people could have different interpretations about historical developments and that those varying interpretations could shape how we view ourselves and our relation to one another. I decided I wanted to be a history professor before I headed off to a liberal arts college, and then got interested in other pursuits, including anti-poverty work and being a park ranger. When I figured out that I could combine these interests in the study of US history, I decided I wanted to go into history after all. I’m thrilled to be working at Ripon, as part of a wonderful college community, teaching history and environmental studies. One of my favorite aspects of teaching at Ripon is when I get to know students over multiple courses during their college experience. My research interests combine my background in race and environmental history in 20th century U.S. history, and I’m currently examining the history of lead poisoning from drinking water. Some of the courses I teach include U.S. History 1815-1914, U.S. History 1914-Present, United States Environmental History, Prisons and Punishment in American History, The Civil Rights Movement, Natural Disasters in World History, and World War II Home Fronts.
I am a qualitative sociologist who studies social inequalities, the sociology of health and illness, as well as the sociology of jobs and work. In my spare time, I also like to scout thrift stores, flea markets, and antique stores for quirky collectibles. I’ve combined these interests in my most recent research project, which focuses on how and why some people collect contemptible collectibles or racist objects from the past.
I teach classes on social inequalities, medical sociology, death and dying, as well as sociology through film and research methods, among others.