I am a doctoral candidate at the University of California Ė Santa Barbara. My main areas of interest are the sociology of culture, the sociology of knowledge, sports, media, and quantitative methodology. My masterís thesis was about how black coaches are represented on television broadcasts during the 2002 NCAA Menís basketball tournament. I found that representations of black coaches did not necessarily adhere to the conventional dichotomies employed in most sports discourse. Rather, a discourse of assimilation was used in the verbal and visual representations of the black coaches that de-emphasized their race. This discourse is closer to racial discourses used in prime-time fictional television shows.
I am originally from Ft. Worth, Texas. I got my BA in sociology, with an emphasis in Health and Human Services from DePaul University in Chicago in 1997. After that, I went to the University of Arizona and got a Masters of Public Administration, with an emphasis on Program and Policy Evaluation in 1999. From there, I went to work at the United Way of Metropolitan Tarrant County as a research associate. There I assisted non-profit human services organizations with their program evaluations that were required for United Way Funding. I also assisted in the administration of a comprehensive community needs assessment that included a community wide phone survey and the compilation of an index of community health indicators.
When I first got to UC-Santa Barbara in 2001, I was interested in doing research on media, particularly television, and how people interact around television. Like most researchers, I chose this particular topic because it is something that I participated in myself as I am your typical television junkie. I soon realized that the reason that I watched so much television was because I watched so much sports programming. I had always been a rabid sports fan. Coupled with my new sociological perspective on media and culture, it became the new focus of my research.
As mentioned above, another one of my sociological interests is quantitative methodology. I have always been good with math, which is probably one of the reasons that I have always been drawn to sports statistics. After the publication of Moneyball, by Michael Lewis in 2003, it occurred to me that the community of stats geeks was one that was ripe for sociological study, which is what has led me to where I am now. It was the perfect combination of sports, stats, and sociology.
Aside from sports, in my spare time I am also a computer and music geek. My 60GB iPod is completely full and I have another ten or so gigs on my computer. I also enjoy playing video games, especially real time strategy games such as Rise of Nations or Warcraft III. As you might guess I spend lots of time tinkering with my fantasy teams. Iím pretty good at fantasy football, but ironically, Iím terrible at fantasy baseball. Iím also terrible at the guitar, but like fantasy baseball, I probably spend too much time at it.
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My Resume (PDF)