Hometown: Salisbury, North Carolina
Q: How long have you been at UMBC?
A: Since August 2006.
Q: What is your current title (job or student organization position)?
A: I am an assistant professor in the Language, Literacy, and Culture Program and affiliate faculty of the Gender and Women's Studies Program.
Q: In 12 words or less, what role(s) do you play on campus?
A: I teach courses and conduct research on language, identity, culture, and society.
Q: What aspect of your UMBC role(s) do you enjoy most?
A: Inspiring students to pursue knowledge, not just for its own sake, but also for the public good.
Q: What is the most important or memorable thing you learned in college/have learned at UMBC?
A: In my junior year of college at the University of North Carolina, our chancellor, Michael Hooker, passed away from cancer at the age of 53. He was the son of a coal miner and the first person in his family to obtain a college degree. He was much admired throughout the state of North Carolina, and he often stressed during his time as chancellor that a public university should be “for the people,” to serve the students of the state. It was only after accepting my faculty position here that I learned that Michael Hooker had previously been the president at another great public university—UMBC! He had served as UMBC’s president from 1986 to 1992, when he was succeeded by President Hrabowski. From UNC to UMBC, I continue to be inspired by the mission that a great public research university should be “for the people,” not only serving our students but benefiting our communities as well.
Q: Complete this sentence: "I am a big fan of __________"
A: The catwalk that runs from my building almost all the way to the Commons -- it's a lifesaver in cold weather, which, as a native Southerner, I am still adjusting to!
Q: Do you have any UMBC stories, little-known facts about UMBC, favorite spots on campus, or anything else you’d like to share?
A: When I was finishing graduate school and applying for jobs, my advisor, Dr. Walt Wolfram, encouraged me to accept an offer from UMBC because it is a place where faculty can be entrepreneurial and can be a part of social change. I took his good advice. Since then, I have learned for myself that UMBC truly is “Exceptional by Example.”
BONUS VIDEO QUESTION: What else would you like to share? Ask yourself a question and answer it.