After earning a 4-year Bachelors of Science degree in Sociology with a Psychology minor at Northeastern University, I came to the University of Iowa to pursue a PhD and gain expertise in teaching. In December of 2019, I successfully defended my MA thesis; and in 2021 I passed my comprehensive exams in Social Psychology (with distinctions) and Mental Health. In Spring of 2021, I also earned my Certificate in College Teaching from the Graduate College at UIowa.
My primary work concerns the Sociology of Emotions – specifically, how emotions like shame may reflect, and confer, social inequity and oppression. Shaming is sociologically considered functionally as norm enforcement; but psychologically, shame is almost universally considered damaging to mental and emotional health. Further, norms by which people are shamed are born of systemic inequities that use stigmatizing beliefs to bolster the status quo of structural inequity. My MA thesis found a general potential for those with stigmatized or non-dominant identity characteristics (non-cis-males, non-straights, non-whites) to be predisposed to feeling shame versus guilt, indicating an impact of cultural devaluation on psychoemotional harm. I am currently working on a dissertation considering how those with such status stigmas emotionally experience oppression and stigmatization, including experiences of shame, resistance, and/or resilience. I see this shame-inequality research framework as having deep implications for mental health policy and practice, criminology, gender & sexuality scholarship and activism, and racial equity.
I maintain both a blog and a vlog, infrequently updated between surges of graduate work. I take special interest in teaching effectively through video, both live and recorded, in ways that make sociological learning more engaging for students