After receiving a PhD in 1997 from York University in Toronto, I taught in the department of sociology at Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario, Canada) from 2003 to my retirement in 2023. What I love most about my work is the ongoing
learning that is required not only in teaching, but also very dynamically in writing and research.
In my career, I have taken up a few areas of specialization. Starting out with the sociology of education and the issue of school choice, I then developed an avid interest in critical whiteness studies where I remained for many years. In 2011, I shifted to Romani Studies, an area in which I combined my academic and community work. Other interests that I publish on are activism, inequality, and racism.
The undergraduate courses I teach are Applied Sociology, and the Sociology of Health. In the past, I taught Social Problems, Race and Racialization, Qualitative Research Methods, and the Sociology of Education.
My approach to research has been qualitative and community-engaged. This means that I spend a good deal of time listening carefully to people’s experiences, recording interviews, making observations, and spending time at places like community centres, homes, meetings, even music performances. The approach comes down to building human relationships. More abstractly, I would say that my overarching goal is to facilitate social change and the improvement of conditions for human dignity. As a result, my work stretches well beyond the university campus.
I am most comfortable in identifying myself as a writer, a community-based researcher, an advocate, and an activist. As an educator, I wish to inspire my students to explore everything that sociology can be when it is applied to understanding
people and their communities, especially the strategies and strengths they utilize to overcome inequities.
“…questioning the ostensibly unquestionable premises of our way of life is arguably the most urgent of services we owe our fellow humans and ourselves.” Zygmunt Bauman