I am currently an Assistant Professor in Adult Teaching and Learning in the Department of Liberal Arts and Applied Studies at UW-Madison, and a research scientist at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research. I received my master's degree in applied anthropology from the University of Maryland - College Park before earning my Ph.D. in the learning sciences from the Department of Educational Psychology at University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2012.
My work focuses on discerning the cognitive, cultural, and contextual factors that underlay organizational change processes. Using theory and method from cultural anthropology, cognitive psychology, and systems engineering, I have explored issues related to curriculum planning, classroom instruction, and data driven decision-making in postsecondary STEM departments. These perspectives are now being applied to the problem of education-workforce alignment and college internship program design and implementation, and the degree to which these complex factors can and should be considered when developing public policy regarding education and workforce development. In addition, research on the nature of so-called "soft" skills draws on cultural and critical traditions to document how these competencies are socially and professionally constructed.
Based on current conditions. guest columnists Matthew Hora and Mindi Thompson contend that the very notion of unpaid work is indefensible. They propose three ways to make paid internships more plentiful and available to all students.