I have served in Utah State University’s History Department faculty since 1986, teaching a range of courses from the introductory survey to the Civil War to capstone and graduate classes. I did my undergraduate work at Manhattan College in New York City and completed graduate studies at Purdue University in the American Studies program with a history emphasis. My research centers on nineteenth-century U.S. history, focusing on social reform. I have written two books: The Fortunate Heirs of Freedom: Abolition and Republican Thought (1994) and The Travellers' History of the United States (2000). Translations of the latter work appeared in 2009 in both Russian (St. Petersburg: Midgard Press) and Chinese (Shanghai: Jiao Tong University Press). I am now working on a study of 19th-century techniques for memory improvement.
Since 2009, I have also engaged in projects related to teaching and learning, especially working with the global “Tuning” initiative (designed to clarify the core knowledge and skills developed in all academic disciplines). My Tuning work has been tied to the Utah System of Higher Education, the American Historical Association, the Lumina Foundation’s Tuning USA Advisory Board, the E.U.-U.S. Tuning Board, and the Tuning Academy in Bilbao, Spain. I have spoken to audiences involved in Tuning across the U.S. as well as in Belgium, Spain, Brazil, and Japan. I also hold positions on the advisory board of Liberal Education and the Tuning Journal for Higher Education. My articles have appeared in the Journal of American History, the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, the National Institute for Educational Policy Research Bulletin (Japan), Arts and Humanities in Higher Education (U.K.), The History Teacher, and World History Connected.
I deeply enjoy teaching introductory courses in U.S. history, and I’m especially excited that this course is part of Utah State’s new pilot program in a competency-based General Education program. I hope you will not only discover new and engaging ideas about the American past but also develop sets of core, transferable skills that will assist you in other studies, in your careers, and in civic life.