I earned my doctorate in educational leadership from Oregon State University in 2007. My thesis was on the effects of children's exposure to violence and its effect on teacher practices. What I found was a dichotomy of responses from following district policy to following the hearts of the faculty and staff of the school site. I also found that the influence of media violence is a big concern for teachers and its effect on children's learning and healthy development. It is an important subject and I have made educating people and raising awareness to the effects of exposure to violence on children's healthy development part of my mission.
I have worked with children for the better part of twenty years. My roles have included childcare worker, classroom teacher, and teacher educator. But I have also treasured my role as uncle to wonderful children who are growing into magnificent young men and women. While I have enjoyed my time in those roles, I have always kept one foot in the role of researcher and observer and have learned a great deal.
I have presented to art museum docents about ways to make the museum interesting to young children and to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's (NAACP) Portland State University branch on the effects of violence on young children to name just a couple of the audiences to whom I speak. I make a point of presenting research and ideas at the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young People) conference whenever it is held nearby, as in 2023 in Portland, OR, where the topics included how toxic masculinity might be keeping talented men from the early childhood environment and the long and short term effects of bullying on teaching, learning and development.
My publications are limited to this point (VDM-Verlag book publishers and the Northwest Association of Teacher Educators' (NWATE) Journal of Educational Practices) but they are increasing. My focus and passion is to speak out to teachers, parents and caregivers on the negative effects of children's exposure to violence and advocate for a more peaceful world for our children.
I am married with two wonderful boys, Liam and Oliver, who are the lights of our lives. In addition, I have two dogs, Winnie and Lola. We all live in Washington where I continue to work with pre-service teachers, colleges and universities to positively influence their work with children.