In a special weekly series, the College of Liberal Arts is featuring a faculty member from one of our 13 departments. We asked questions about why they are passionate about the subjects they study and teach, and how they found their path to CSU. See all “Faculty Friday” features here.
Specialty Assistant Professor of Geography, Department of Anthropology
1. What do you like most about geography? What inspired your interest in geography?
I have always loved maps, road trips, and knowing where rock bands and rappers are from, but I didn’t know geography was something I could teach until after college. My high school and my undergraduate university didn’t have any geography classes, so it wasn’t until I applied to graduate school that I learned this was even an option. What I like most about geography is that it combines ideas from lots of different disciplines.
2. Which class is your favorite to teach and why?
Right now, I am developing a brand new class called Climate Migrants, so it is my current favorite. The class will combine several different sub-disciplines of geography and anthropology (climate science, biogeography, political geography, cultural geography, archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, etc.), so I get to learn a lot myself as I create the class. It is a chance to look deeper into why people migrate or why they do not, going beyond simplistic “everyone who lives in a flood zone will move” predictions.
3. What did you want to be when you were little?
When I was young, I think I wanted to be an entertainment lawyer or record industry executive. Being a professional soccer player was never really in the cards, though that would have been great. Both of my parents were college professors, so all I knew when I was young was that I DID NOT want to go into higher education for my career. Oops.
4. How did you get to CSU?
When I finished graduate school, my wife started a post-doctoral fellowship based at CSU. I taught at the University of Northern Colorado for a year and then grew my Ram horns.
5. What is one thing students would be surprised to learn about you?
I cry during sports drink and pet food commercials.