I was raised in northeast Tennessee and attended Davidson College in North Carolina before pursuing graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I earned my MA there in 2008 — the same year my beloved Davidson Wildcats handily defeated the UW Badgers in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament — and my PhD in 2012. While there, I was awarded a College of Letters & Sciences Teaching Fellowship, recognizing outstanding undergraduate teachers.
In 2012 I moved to Abingdon, Virginia, to teach at Emory & Henry College, where I taught a wide range of classes, including courses focusing on the family, synthetic biology, contemporary problems of justice, health care ethics, and the role of social media in social justice movements around the world. I served on the Women's and Gender Studies Collective, chaired a task force to improve diversity and inclusion within the Honors program, and served as advisor to Sigma Upsilon Nu, a local social sorority. In 2016 I received the Outstanding Faculty Award, given to the faculty member students select as exhibiting outstanding teaching and mentorship, both in and out of the classroom.
In 2016 I joined the faculty at UAB. My current research focuses on the ethics of children's literature. (You can watch my TEDx talk on YouTube.) In particular, I am concerned about the lack of multidimensional people of color in children's literature, as well as the lack of diverse family structures, physical and mental abilities, religions, etc.