I attended Hampshire College in Amherst, MA from 1988 to 1992, where I studied political economy, cultural policy and languages (French and Italian). My area of expertise was the inclusion of cultural industries (media) in international trade agreements (like GATT, NAFTA, EU). I thought it was really cool, which should tip you off to my inner geek and that I really do like Star Trek. A lot.
After that, I worked in television and magazines in Southern California before moving to Boulder, Colorado. I am a Boulderite to my very core, though I grew up in Sarasota, Florida. Boulder feels like home.
At CU-Boulder, my Master’s degree was on nationalism and globalization (the simultaneous push and pull, coming apart and sticking together) in political discourse, especially around media and culture. I taught Intro. to Mass Comm., Media History and Master’s Public Opinion at CU for about a decade. I was lit up like a light bulb much of that time. Teaching is my calling. I work with young global corporate leaders and social entrepreneurs now.
For years, I studied families, ritual and how we make meaning. My Ph.D. dissertation, Mickey and Minnie Aren’t Married?! Disney, Family Values and Corporate America, featured research with 53 families across the United States. I’ve sung with a big band in EPCOT and visited Walt Disney World as a reviewer for the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. My family was one of the park’s test families; we visited over 100 times as I was growing up. I’m an expert on Disney’s markets; hardly anyone knows that, though. I worked with Erika Doss and Stewart Hoover on the dissertation. They are both great professors, people and mentors. Corporate ethnography and other qualitative methods for assessing public opinion are one of my areas of expertise.
In 2004, Mufasa and I moved from Boulder to Moscow, Idaho, where I was a professor in the department where Sarah Palin earned her degree. It is a fabulous place. No one remembers her. I taught Public Opinion, Media Law, Media and Culture and then in early 2005 it seemed like a good idea to leave the country, hence the name XpatAdventures.
My most recent publications include a chapter on Mideast Youth in a forthcoming (Continuum) academic book on Media, Religion and Social Change and a co-authored chapter about The Daily Show in Laughing Matters: Humor and American Politics in the Media Agepublished byRoutledge.