Assistant Professor of Honors and Interdisciplinary Studies
My Role in the Honors College
I teach a variety of classes in the College, including HON 402 and HON 300. I am also responsible for coordinating a team of faculty developing a new core course for all Honors students. This interdisciplinary course will provide a global perspective on a series of broad trends that will shape the world over the next twenty years or so. This course will be offered for the first time in the fall of 2012. I am piloting a series of related courses right now.
I attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an undergraduate student (1983-89) where I majored in History, Anthropology, and Philosophy. My primary interest was in Mesoamerican/Southwestern US archaeology and I conducted field work in areas ranging from the deserts of southern California to the jungles of the Yucatan peninsula. I did my graduate studies in Colonial American History at the University of Texas at Austin (1990-96). In graduate school, my main area of research was in American Indian identity in New England and New Mexico during the 17th century. In particular, I examined the role that Christian missionaries played in these two regions.
I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, but I have lived in Wyoming, Texas, and, since 1996, Kentucky. My kids were both born in Austin, Texas and raised in Bowling Green, Kentucky. However, since my wife and I are both from Wisconsin and our extended families are there, Madison still feels like a second home to me.
My current research focuses on the most important trends that will shape our world over the next several decades. I am particularly interested in the role higher education will play in preparing students and society for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. More specifically, I am interested in how technological developments will affect how we understand what it means to be human. I am currently developing a course exploring these questions, and I have a series of research projects related to this work.
Hobbies and Interests
When I’m not engaged in “university business,” I enjoy spending time with my family, watching my kids’ performances or sports activities, running with my friends, playing guitar, painting, reading, listening to music, cooking and working in my yard/garden. I also enjoy traveling and riding my motorcycle with my wife.
What Brought Me to the HC
I came to the Honors College after many years of gradually becoming interested in interdisciplinary themes and approaches to traditional historical questions/problems. My background as a historian and archaeologist trained me to think in terms of chronology and to focus on connections between the past and present. However, in 2008, I decided to offer an Honors Colloquium exploring how contemporary trends may shape the world over the next twenty years. That course was so much fun, and working with Honors students was so rewarding, that I decided to continue to examine these issues. Eventually, the idea of developing a permanent course on global perspective of the future became a reality and I moved full-time into the Honors College.
A Little About Myself
My wife and my two children (one is in high school and one begins college this fall) share my passion for running and travel, so we like to venture out on runs whenever we are somewhere new. I am also involved in helping to build a greenways system for bicycles and pedestrians here in Bowling Green. I try to get out and run whenever I can, so you may see me running around campus sometime. If you ever want to join me, let me know!