I am from Albuquerque, New Mexico. I graduated Summa Cum Laude in History and Spanish from the University of New Mexico, and my Ph.D. in Sociology is from the University of Manchester, UK.
Although two different disciplines, both history and sociology allowed me to make sense of the world. Similar to a jigsaw puzzle, both disciplines provided ways to connect disparate facts into an intelligible and meaningful narrative. In particular, I was inspired by the ways that I saw people’s collective efforts to improve life in the past could have profound effects on the well being of people today.
I have recently published a book titled The Winter of Discontent: Myth, Memory, and History that charts the collective efforts of ordinary people, especially women, to create political change in Britain in the 1970s and 1980s.
One of the most significant achievements I have observed from one particular student represents the broader spectrum of students I teach. Zak Hoskins was an exceptional student in my “Introduction to Sociology” class, so I suggested that he enroll in PC’s Honors Program.
He worked with me to complete his Honors project on prisoner re-entry in Clallam County. The poise, confidence, and intellectual acumen he displayed during the presentation of his findings represented the best of what I am lucky enough to witness with a variety of students every day at PC.
While working and raising my sister and me, my mom would attend the local community college in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Despite struggling financially, it was when my mother was attending school that she felt the most challenged intellectually and valued and respected socially.
I wanted to contribute to that broader goal of serving smart and hardworking people like my mother. It is her experience that inspired me to teach at two year colleges.
Every day students ask me smart and challenging questions that have me dig deeper into my field and make me think about my discipline and the world around me in exciting, new ways.