Western Region Representatives
I graduated from high school in 1999, and left my hometown of Greenville, NC to attend college at Appalachian State University. My love for the mountains drew me to Boone; camping, hiking, and paddle boarding had always been hobbies of mine. But I had no idea at the time, that I would discover a new love at App State, psychology. I took my first Psychology class that very first semester, and by the second, I had declared it my major with a focus in early child development. After graduation, I took a job as a nanny, working for a single father raising two young sons. The boys I worked with had a unique set of challenges, and my interest in how environmental experience shapes our lives grew ever stronger.
In 2005, I returned to my hometown to attend graduate school at East Carolina University. At ECU, my initial studies focused on early childhood attachment relationships, but eventually my research interest turned to neuroscience. My thesis looked at how prenatal alcohol exposure effects Eyeblink Classical Conditioning in a rat model. This research gave me plenty of laboratory experience, but not much teaching experience. Consequently, my first job out of graduate school was as a Research Specialist in the department of Physiology at ECU School of Medicine. I loved doing laboratory research, but missed research in psychology and longed to be back in the classroom.
In 2008, I applied for an adjunct teaching position at Pitt Community College, and just like that, my teaching career began. In 2013, I was hired as a full time Psychology Instructor at PCC, and my love for psychology and teaching continues to grow daily. In addition to teaching, I am proud to serve on the NCCCSPA board as the western representative where I get to collaborate with an amazing group of individuals each year. I am also a proud mom to my 9-year old son, Ben, and our big, goofy, golden retriever, Harley.
I graduated cum laude with a BA in sociology, and a minor in social work, from NC State University. After graduation, I moved to Manhattan, KS, and earned an MA in Sociology from Kansas State University in August of 2014 by successfully defending and depositing my thesis on political sociology, race relations, and social movements. After graduation, I was published in a competitive peer-reviewed journal, Contemporary Justice Review, and have presented my research at various sociology conferences in Chicago, IL, New Orleans, LA, and Charlotte, NC.
I am currently an adjunct instructor of sociology at A-B Tech Community College in Asheville, NC, and I am at my happiest when I am in the classroom working with my students. In my sociology courses, I highlight the importance of the Arts in STEM by designing hands-on, engaging activities for my students that emphasize sociological inquiry, project-based learning, and mathematical sociology. I am currently interested in social media platforms like Twitter. I amparticularly interested in uncovering methods my students can use to help navigate these hidden worlds to make sense of complex sociological phenomena in a fun, creative, visual way.
In my downtime, you can find me tutoring students in math and science. I can also be found on the water, on a paddleboard or on a float, floating down the river in the summer months; and during the winter, you can find me on the slopes of WNC.