Associate Teaching Professor & Associate Dean for Students
My research focuses on community and place-making at different scales and in different settings. I am particularly interested in the social aspects of place-making and the intersection of built form, social behavior, and culture. With a background in cultural sociology and theory, I’m fascinated with how people and groups create meaningful places out of ordinary urban spaces, and how these meanings in turn shape social life and personal identities. I have applied these ideas to studies of neighborhoods in Los Angeles, Seattle, and Russia, to investigations of historical trauma among indigenous populations, and to the creation of community in high rises and other “vertical environments”. I teach primarily in the undergraduate program, Community, Environment, and Planning (CEP), but also work regularly with Master’s and Ph.D. students on thesis work and other research. I’m especially interested in alternative forms of teaching and have been nominated for or received five teaching awards at the UW. As an administrator, I have served as the CEP Director since 2010. I was a member of the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Academic Affairs administrative team from 2008-2013 where I developed campus-wide undergraduate policy and programming. I served as Chair of the Department of Urban Design and Planning from 2014-2023 , and interim Chair of the Department of Real Estate. I became the Associate Dean of Students for the College of Built Environments in 2021 and continue in that position today.