I am an assistant professor in the gender & women's studies program at Western Kentucky University and a faculty member in the new Masters of Arts in Social Responsibility and Sustainable Communities (SRSC) degree program. The Gender & Women's Studies Program broadens student's knowledge of gender dynamics, globally and historically, with an emphasis on issues central to women's lives. Through an interdisciplinary classroom experience, community outreach, and special events, the Gender & Women's Studies Program advances understanding of the social and cultural institutions and practices that affect us.
I completed my undergraduate degree in sociology and environmental science in 1994 and my master's degree in public health/environmental health, in 1999 at Western Kentucky University. I also have graduate certificates in Women's Studies and Community College Faculty Preparation. In 2007, I completed my PhD program in higher education administration at the University of Louisville. My dissertation entitled, "Measuring Student engagement activity levels and persistence: A study of a four-year comprehensive university," explored the effects of service learning and civic engagement on student persistence. I began teaching as a graduate assistant in the spring of 1995 and since that time have taught various courses in the higher educational setting. In the fall of 1999, I taught my first Women's Studies courses at Western Kentucky University and found a passion for the field of gender studies, the Women's Studies Program, and, above all, serving students as well as the community. Since that time, my educational and research interests have focused primarily on issues pertaining to women, gender, and sustainability.
In addition to my interests in traditional classroom teaching, I have taught courses in Ireland and Belize (Central America). Gender related issues that affect our global neighbors have a direct effect on our nation and it is imperative that students learn how and why these relationships exist. There is a growing need and demand in every field to teach our students to have an understanding of the concept of stewardship and sustainability.
Aside from scholarly interests and activities, I also enjoy music (my first love), cooking, and gardening. I am a member of a folk group called, "Just Us" and the co-owner of Molly Shannon's Irish Pub. I am also an owner and stock-holder in the Green Market Cooperative (a local food co-op) in Barren County and SKY Farmer's Market board member in Bowling Green, KY.