I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Florida and attended graduate school at Florida State University, earning my Ph.D. in 1995. I became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work at Texas Tech University, where I remained for five years. I moved to the Department of Sociology at Georgia State University in 2000 where I am currently a Principal Senior Lecturer and the Director of Instruction. I also earned Women’s Studies certificates at the BA and MS levels and am currently an Affiliate of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Institute at Georgia State. Georgia State University, located in downtown Atlanta, enrolls one of the most diverse student bodies in the nation, making it an ideal location to teach sociology.
My primary interest is teaching. I currently teach undergraduate mass sections of Social Problems and Sexuality and Society and, along with co-authors, I have published anthologies for both courses (Focus on Social Problems: A contemporary reader, Oxford University Press; Sex Matters: The sexuality and society reader, 5e, W.W. Norton). Teaching courses in Sexuality can be a magnet for controversy, but it is a labor of love. I am honored to have twice won my college’s Outstanding Teaching Award as well as the Southern Sociological Society’s Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award (an award honoring outstanding teaching contributions benefiting the discipline of sociology).
I also direct the Graduate Teacher Training Program (preparing our graduate students to enter the classroom). As part of this program, I teach both Teaching Sociology and the Teaching Internship at the graduate level. The Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning at Georgia State University awarded me the Pedagogical Mentorship Award for my work preparing graduate students to teach. The Teaching and Learning Section of the American Sociological Association also awarded me with the Carla B. Howery Award for Developing Teacher-Scholars. This award recognizes significant contributions to teaching sociology through mentoring and training graduate students both to teach sociology and to contribute to the scholarship of teaching and learning. In recognition for this work, as well as other contributions, the Georgia Sociological Association named me Sociologist of the Year.
My research has focused predominantly on the production of collective identities. For example, I explored how men in gay fraternities negotiated their dual identities of being gay and being Greek (with King-To Yeung) and how men in gay fraternities reproduced hegemonic masculinity (with King-To Yeung and Renee Wharton). I’ve also analyzed the collective sexual reputation of fraternity little sisters and compared (with Irene Padavic) how Black and White fraternity little sisters/sweethearts were differentially exploited by and resisted fraternity men. My current research focuses on power relations and oral sex, as well as a variety of pedagogical issues. I have published articles in Social Problems (2), Gender & Society (2), Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Teaching Sociology, and a variety of other journals and anthologies.