Department Chair of Sociology
Associate Professor of Sociology; dissertation focused on organizational innovation in tribal management of fish and wildlife, and various recent research explores common-pool resource management, inter-governmental collaboration, economic development in Indian Country, and sexual harassment/assault. Her interests center on Indigenous nation-rebuilding, self-governance, and social inequalities—particularly gender, racial, and economic. Additional interests include rural and community studies, social movements, and collective action.
Introduction of Sociology; Social Problems, Gender & Work, Sociology of Gender, Environmental Sociology, Social Science Research Methods, Modern Social Theory, Senior Seminar, and various special topics courses
Carroll is a very special place where students really have unforgettable learning, spiritual and social experiences. I am an alumnus, and I returned to Carroll in part because I wanted to help create and support those amazing experiences I had for current students."
During these challenging times, I have the privilege of writing this from my home, where I am safe, tucked in with my family, and continuing to serve as a Sociology professor in my 13th year at Carroll College.
My path to this point started outside Bozeman, Montana, where I grew up with my artist father and elementary teacher mother. Both of my parents had degrees in education, and I had an early interest in teaching, playing “school” with my younger brother in old wooden desks in our basement.
I attended Carroll as an undergraduate, majoring in Sociology and French and minoring in Anthropology. My time at Carroll was magical. It was where I met many of my dearest life-long friends as well as my life partner. It was where I had the great fortune to learn from faculty of incredible caliber and character, living legends who became my mentors, and later my colleagues and friends. And it was where I began to develop my passion for Sociology. I was a senior during the 9/11 attacks that rocked our world, and through that chaos and tragedy, Sociology helped me make sense of what was happening. That realization drove me to a graduate program, with the distant hope that I would one day be able to return to Carroll as a faculty member. That dream came true, and I now have the pleasure of working with my colleagues to assist our students in having life-changing and life-affirming experiences of their own.
My scholarship and teaching center on examining systems of stratification, and particularly race, class, and gender inequalities. Much of my research has been on sovereignty and Native nation-building, affording me rich opportunities to work with Indigenous groups across North America. Another major area of my scholarship has been on a team of faculty and students in the Gender Studies program through which we examine sexual assault and sexual harassment at Carroll College. I feel very fortunate to be able to do this work.
Sociology is not only an academic field; it is also a way of seeing and approaching the world. I try to help students develop their “sociological imagination” which is the ability to place one’s individual experiences within a larger social context. There is no better time to be developing our sociological imaginations than right now. We can find patterns and meaning in the way decisions are made, resources are allocated, and individuals, communities, and nations are responding. Through this understanding we can gain compassion—especially for vulnerable populations—and we can better act in informed and intentional ways. For this reason and others, I see Sociology in direct support of our mission. Today, under these extreme circumstances, it is imperative to see beyond our immediate biographies, and I am honored to get to assist our students in doing just that, even if remotely.
I wish you all health and peace during this difficult time.