I am a Professor in Qualitative Research Methods in the Department of Lifelong Learning, Education and Administration at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, USA.
My research interests include the use of digital tools for qualitative research, computer-mediated communication, discourse analysis methodologies and online/blended learning environments. For a brief overview of some of the work I have been involved with, take a look at my Pecha Kucha presentation.
My first formal teaching experience was as an English teacher in Lesotho, Southern Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. One of my favorite parts of the experience was learning to speak Sesotho and the opportunity to travel to Swaziland, South Africa, Botswana, Madagascar and Zimbabwe.
When I returned to the States I studied applied linguistics at Ohio University where I received my Master of Arts degree. I taught English as a second language as a graduate teaching assistant and won the outstanding teaching assistant award. I also published findings from my Master’s thesis in the Journal of Second Language Writing, my first and most frequently cited peer-reviewed journal article.
After finishing my Master’s program I completed a two year internship with the English Language Center at Michigan State University, during which I taught intensive English and academic English classes for international students. I then moved to beautiful Bloomington, Indiana to pursue my Ph.D. in Instructional Systems Technology, minoring in computer-mediated communication, at Indiana University.
From 2003-2014 I was an assistant and associate professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, serving as the coordinator of the qualitative research methods graduate certificate program and the instructional design Master’s program which was recently re-launched as a fully online program. I also facilitated the Discourse Analysis Research Team.
In 2014 I accepted a position as a professor at the University of Georgia where I teach a variety of qualitative research courses and am currently serving as the department’s Graduate Coordinator. I am the co-founder of the Microanalysis of Online Data International Network and the Digital Tools Strand at the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. I’m currently co-editing special issues of journals on both of these topics.
Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to facilitate teacher education programs at South East European University in Macedonia and for the University of Alabama in Quito, Ecuador. I have also worked on faculty development programs in online teaching with the College of Nursing at the University of Tennessee and at the University of Michigan-Flint. Currently I consult and provide workshops on the use of digital tools in a variety of qualitative research contexts in the USA and abroad. I am currently working on a methodological text on analyzing online talk for evidence of learning.
After work and on the weekends I live to be outdoors, particularly running, hiking, backpacking, gardening and biking. I have served as an Appalachian Trail maintainer, coordinated a monthly hiking group for women, and am a founding member of Girls Outside. I consider my opportunities to travel one of the best parts of working at a university, and have been to every continent except Antarctica.