Joined Beacon: 2016
PhD, Anthropology — University of South Florida
MA, Anthropology — San Diego State University
BA, Anthropology (summa cum laude) — University of North Florida
BA—Business Administration — University of North Florida
How did you come to work with students who learn differently?
My background in leading diverse groups began two decades ago as an experiential educator working with corporate and non-profit organizations in an outdoor adventure setting. Several of these groups included school children with learning differences whom we would facilitate during our team-building programs. Working with such a diverse population of clients toward improving skills such as communication, leadership, and problem solving fostered in me a great sense of the value of human diversity, especially the ways in which diverse groups can foster solidarity and join together for the common good. This in turn helped to guide me to cultural anthropology as a profession. Anthropology has, at its core, principles that center on the assumption that all human beings are equally valuable and one of our main goals is to spotlight this truth with our research and work.
Outside of teaching, I am also dedicated to continuing to work with my dear friends and extended family on the islands of Yap and others in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). My research interests are cultural heritage and tourism and I hope to build upon previous projects in Yap and the FSM supporting local efforts to preserve and protect their incredible heritage.
I also share a passion for adventure travel and cultural experiences with my wonderful wife, Kelsey. When not traveling, I enjoy surfing, soccer, hiking, and simply being outdoors as often as possible. I am also a science fiction nerd and love astronomy and all things associated with space-—especially watching live rocket launches from our nearby Kennedy Space Center.