Assistant Professor of Religion and Education
I am ordained as a Unitarian Universalist minister. I have served the Unitarian Universalist Churches of Oakland, Davis, and Berkeley; the Pacific Central District; and Chalice Camp as a minister of religious education. Inspired by Unitarian Universalist youth and young adults yearning to know of our theological heritage and by my love of teaching, I returned to the Graduate Theological Union for a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary studies in history and theology. I am currently working on my dissertation which seeks to tell the story of how Thomas Starr King contributed to the construction of Yosemite as a sacred text. My studies were made possible by generous grants from the Carpenter Foundation and the UU Funding Panel. I have an article, “Emerson’s Hermeneutic of the Text of Moral Nature,” forthcoming in the September, 2014 issue of the American Journal of Theology and Philosophy. When I’m not researching or teaching graduate students, I parent two young children along with my spouse, direct a developmental preschool in South Berkeley, lead the Children and Family Ministries team in my home congregation, and spend time in the Bay Area’s beautiful regional parks.
As a teacher, I aim to carry forward the best of how I was taught as a student at Starr King. Our religious heritage affirms the capacity of education to transform lives, communities, and our society. When approaching any course, I hold multiple commitments simultaneously. I bring a passion, curiosity, and commitment to the subject matter. Secondly, I acknowledge and honor the specific individuals in the course and what they bring to it. I seek to align my teaching with the practice of education that bell hooks powerfully addresses in her essay, “Engaged Pedagogy.” Thirdly, I bring a commitment to fostering a connected, collaborative, enlivened learning community. I set an expectation that all participants will be teachers as well as learners. In my instruction, I utilize a variety of learning modalities, realizing that all students learn in multiple ways and have different strengths.