My Bio: Life as Place

dwLittlevilleEven growing up, I had a very strong sense of place, of being somewhere as I was being. It's no wonder, then, that so much of my pedagogical practice and scholarly interests involve place.

I was raised in Littleville, Alabama. Yes, that really is its name as well as its description. See the travel brochure cover picture on this page. Littleville is in the northeastern corner of Alabama, about an hour from Mississippi and an hour and a half from the Tennessee line. I have a very blue-collar background: my mother's first job was at a Shop Rite convenience store, and then she worked for 20 years at a factory where Lee blue jeans were manufactured. My daddy retired after 37 years of working at Reynolds Metal Co., where Reynolds Wrap products were manufactured and shipped. Both of those plants have since closed down my parents were just lucky that they had enough years to retire. Many people in the area did not.

After graduating from Athens State University in 1987, I taught in North Alabama for 14 years. I have taught in a private school, an inner city public school, and a county school; I have taught English and history courses to all grade levels from 7-12. In 2001 I earned my master's degree in curriculum and instruction from Coppin State College in Baltimore, Maryland through a distance learning program. I enjoyed distance learning very much, and completed the program as part of a cohort group of teachers from my school.

In 2001 I began doctoral studies at Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge. This experience was the most gratifying and enjoyable educational experience I've ever had. I loved being on a large campus and pondering theoretical ideas with fellow graduate students while jetting off all over the country to educational conferences. I graduated with my Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with a specialization in curriculum theory and a minor in women's and gender studies in 2005.

Also in 2005 I began teaching at Kennesaw State University (KSU) in Kennesaw, Georgia just 5 months before Hurricane Katrina struck my adopted state of Louisiana.  KSU was my first experience teaching college students, and I still enjoy working here.Living in Georgia; it puts me closer to my family in Alabama. I have parents, a son and a daughter, two granddaughters, and a brother who live there.