I came to UVM right after finishing my Ph.D. at UC Berkeley in 1994. I also received my Master’s degree in sociology from Berkeley. While there I focused on the study of deviance and qualitative research.
My specialty is qualitative research, using observational research and in-depth interviews. I have mostly studied intervention programs, such as my dissertation topic, which was about an HIV prevention program for injection drug users on the west coast.
At UVM I have taught large sections of Deviance, Introductory Sociology, a mid-level class on the Sociology of Punishment, as well as smaller senior seminars on Criminal Justice and service-learning courses on applied sociology. My proudest achievement is the University teaching award I received in 1999.
For the past twenty years or so, my research interest has been in the area of social control and punishment. Specifically, I am fascinated by the ironies of social control, in other words, the unintended consequences of well-intentioned social problems interventions. More recently, though, I have become interested in what works, especially in the area of offender reentry/reintegration. I have been conducting research on offender reentry programs in the state of Vermont, notably the Circles of Support & Accountability (CoSA) program, that pairs formerly incarcerated individuals with volunteer supporters. In spring 2013, I was awarded a Fulbright Senior Scholar award to compare offender reintegration in the U.S. and New Zealand, and was affiliated with Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.
In 2018 I became an Associate Dean in the College of Arts & Sciences at UVM, and also launched the UVM Liberal Arts in Prison Program (LAPP) that offers credit-bearing courses in two Vermont prisons. UVM is the first public institution to join the Bard College Consortium for the Liberal Arts in Prison.
In my spare time, I like to walk with my dog, drink coffee with friends, read, sample dark chocolate, and plan my family’s next adventure.