I currently teach asynchronous online courses for Akita International University in Japan. The physical and social context of my research is public space. I remain interested in how public spaces are planned and designed, how they are regulated and policed, and how they impact manifold trajectories of health and well-being within marginalized communities.
RESEARCH | The most recent focus of my research is homelessness in Denver, a city that has banned sleeping in public space. This project reveals many layers of social injustice and manifold public health consequences of sleep deprivation. I also study the how the design, regulation and use of public spaces accelerates gentrification of working class neighborhoods. I report the results of this research in my book Rights to Public Space: Law, Culture, and the Gentrification of the American West.
TEACHING | My years living and working in North America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia help me infuse my syllabi with pragmatic and cross-cultural perspectives. For example, in my geography of North America course, I explore the layered cultural geographies of musical idioms like jazz and the blues and of musical instruments like accordion and the banjo, in order to pique my student’s interest and ultimately to help them learn to think critically about the socio-spatial outcomes of cultural and economic practices.
BACKGROUND | After a year abroad in Bermuda and thirteen years as a business owner in Colorado, I moved to Austria where I studied sociology at the University of Vienna. While completing my graduate studies in urban planning and design at the University of Colorado, I worked as a research assistant, studio associate, and teaching assistant. Prior to my current appointment, I was employed by the University of Colorado Denver as a geography instructor at its campus in China: International College Beijing.