Origins of My Work
My first summer job after completing high school was as a support worker at a home for homeless men. During the day, I'd interact with the men through conversation, games, and softball. On the night shift, I’d pass the time reading case files. I heard, and read, heartbreaking stories of hardship, tragedy, and injustice. This experience profoundly shaped my world view, showing me the long-term consequences of social inequality.
The motivation for my work since that time has been to promote social equality. My key aim is to contribute to the development of social systems that give all members of society a fair shake in life. I went on to study criminology (BA, University of Alberta), social history (MA, Queen's University), and human ecology (PhD, University of Alberta). Before I became a scholar, I was the director of a women’s shelter, a probation officer, and a senior manager for the Ministry of Children’s Services for the Government of Alberta. I bring my worldview and my experiences working with marginalized citizens to my teaching and research. My current research focus is on social policy that contributes to the well-being of women, specifically in relation to mothers and employment.
I currently teach family policy (HECOL 440), epistemology (HECOL 601), and leadership (INT-D 306). In my work with undergraduate and graduate students, I see my key role as opening up possibilities for those I mentor. I aim to expose students to provocative ideas, to teach them to think critically, and to prepare them to articulate their knowledge and experience in clear and compelling ways in order to create a better world. I am seeking graduate students who are interested in doing research that explores how social policy impacts mothers' attachment to the labour market.
2013. Faculty Teaching Award. Faculty of ALES. Awarded to one faculty member per year for excellence in teaching.
2012. President’s Achievement Award. “Dare to Discover” – Learning, Discovery and Citizenship (staff category, team award). For contributions to Student Engagement in the Faculty of ALES as Co-Coordinator of ULead Leadership Program. University of Alberta.
2012. Teacher of the Year. Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences. University of Alberta.
2010. Teacher of the Year. Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences. University of Alberta.
2006. President’s Achievement Award. University of Alberta President's Achievement Award: “Dare to Discover ” (staff category, team award). Granted to the Community-University Partnership where I was an Assistant Director/Research Associate.