Professor of Sociology
I have ongoing scholarly interests in the growing contingencies workers face in their jobs and employment relations. This is because of my background. I grew up in Kenosha, WI. Similar to industrial-based cities in PA like Reading, Allentown, and Pittsburgh, a significant proportion of Kenosha's population worked in durable goods and automobile production industries. This was until the 1970s and early 1980s, when many auto and industrial workers in Kenosha experienced job loss. What happened to Kenosha's auto and industrial workers was part of a larger social and economic process scholars call deindustrialization. Kathryn Dudley (Yale University), a cultural anthropologist from the Kenosha area, does an excellent job with interviews of unemployed auto workers there. She discusses the shift from a "culture of the hands" to a "culture of the mind" in her award winning book The End of the Line: Lost Jobs, New Lives in Post-Industrial America (1994).
Through the 1970s, I grew up as part of the working class in Kenosha and this culture has had a significant effect on shaping my research interests in changes in work and organizations and technology in the workplace (a prime culprit in the reengineering of work, producing greater employment contingencies, and the job losses described above). For my master's thesis, I conducted ethnographic research of blue-collar temporary work. For my PhD, I interviewed information technologists and human resource professionals about the outsourcing of their work.
I continued doing qualitative research on the outsourcing of professional work and, recently, I published a book on the effects of outsourcing on social relations, culture, jobs, and professional work. It’s called Working Lives and in-House Outsourcing: Chewed Up By Two Masters (2018), and you can view the book here.
I have used my interests in changes in work to contribute to scholarship in academic and career advising with collaborator Dr. Leigh S. Shaffer. In 2018, our article “The Professionalization of Academic Advising: Where are We in 2010?” was awarded the first Leigh S. Shaffer Award by NACADA for significant advances made to the academic field of academic advising. My ongoing plan is to continue contributing to the field of academic and career advising with my research on job and work changes in market organization. In collaboration with Dr. Susan Brudvig, I recently submitted the following article to NACADA Journal for publishing consideration: “Preparing Our Students for the Human Capital Requirements in Jobs in Markets.”
Because of my background and professional interests in college teaching and sociology, I am conducting research on teamwork and collaborative learning in undergraduate sociology general education courses. I am also continuing to develop a class-based research project that examines the jobs, ongoing education, and professional careers of sociology alumni from West Chester University.
Advocating for Workers Who Get “Chewed Up” in Social Interactions and Jobs in Market Organization. North American Management Society Conference, HRM Track, March, Chicago, IL
Preparing Our Students for the Human Capital Requirements in Jobs in Markets. NACADA Region 2 Conference, March, Atlantic City, NJ
Labor Studies Session Organizer, “The Future of Work in the Digital Age,” Society for the Study of Social Problems Conference, August, New York City, NY
“When the Subjects are Your Alumni (and the Researchers are Your Current Students): Navigating the University Foundation AND the IRB.” (With Miguel Ceballos and Susan Brudvig.) Society for the Study of Social Problems Conference, August, New York City, NY.
“Preparing Our Students for the Human Capital Requirements in Jobs in Markets.” (With Susan Brudvig.) Under review at NACADA Journal.
“Too Much of a Good Thing: When Student Contribution Harms Collaborative Teamwork.” (With Susan Brudvig.) In process with the intention to submit to Teaching in Higher Education.
My book on the “in-house outsourcing” of information technology and human resources jobs was recently published by Routledge (2019). Links to the book’s webpage and Amazon page are below:
In fall 2015 I began a research study on the jobs, professional careers, and ongoing education of Sociology alumni who have recently graduated from West Chester University (WCU). My colleagues Dr. Miguel Ceballos, Dr. Susan Brudvig, and I call our collaborative study “The Sociology Majors Project.” As part of the curriculum in two of the sociology classes I teach (Sociology of Organizations and Sociology of Work) students are contacting sociology alumni from West Chester University to better understand the jobs, professional careers, and ongoing education they pursue post-graduation. This knowledge will be shared with the department, WCU faculty, and faculty across disciplines to help shape: curriculum, academic and career advisement, and pedagogy and teaching.
The SMP is still in development. In spring 2020, the focus will be on collecting more data, further developing data management and analysis processes, dissemination tools for our findings, and bridges that connect current students and sociology alumni.
In spring 2017, I began a research study on teamwork and collaborative learning in sociology and marketing classes. I am collaborating with Dr. Susan Brudvig in the School of Business at Indiana University East on this research. The results of our survey research will improve the composition, purpose, pedagogy, and student learning outcomes of teamwork and collaborative learning in courses across disciplines.
We have one paper in progress (noted below) and will be analyzing other significant relationships related to in-role behaviors, gender, teamwork, and collaborative learning.