Born in the backseat of a light blue Dodge Dart on the side of a highway in California’s Mojave Desert, I did little else of note for some years. While I always loved reading, especially Frank Herbert’s Dune and everything written by Charles Dickens, I nevertheless pursued a precarious but satisfying career as a ballet dancer in the San Francisco Bay Area before pursuing a college education. After attending wide selection of the community colleges in the Bay Area, I transferred to UC Berkeley where I finished my English degree with high honors and Phi Beta Kappa.
I have attended and/or worked at community colleges, a state flagship university, an Ivy League university, and an access-oriented private liberal arts college. Each sector of higher education played a unique and crucial part in my academic journey. I therefore have a sincere commitment to support students who also sample many types of institutions as a part of their own journeys.
I moved to upstate New York to complete my MA and PhD in English at Cornell University. With the guidance of James Eli Adams I was able to unite my love of Victorian novels with my commitment to social justice. My dissertation, “White Rajas: Charisma and Colonial Sovereignty in Victorian Literature” explored the fetishization of whiteness in British colonial fictions. PhD in hand, I moved to Los Angeles in 2007 to join the Whittier College English Department as a Victorianist with a secondary field in postcolonial studies. At Whittier College, a small private liberal arts college with a majority Latino student body, my teaching and research interests refocused around digital methodologies that support of new approaches to the wicked questions of our time. For some years my research has centered on defining and supporting digital wellbeing across my institution and beyond.
As a teacher, colleague, and leader, I value above all the give-and-take of thoughtful, open-hearted discussion–in person or online.
I seek to constantly enlarge my own and my students’ learning networks so that more voices can contribute to the great conversations of our times. I teach students to participate in these conversations via the analysis and creation of digital as well as traditional texts and other artifacts.
Facilitating an award-winning iteration of the open educational (#OER) network literacy game #TvsZ is one way I’ve promoted digital literacy and digital wellbeing for students as well as lifelong learners.
Explore my occasional blog posts in the section titled “Reflections” to trace my thinking about higher education, liberal arts, and digital pedagogy, or get in touch with me directly through the “contact me” form or via my campus email.