About

About Me

You can learn more about my work on my CV, and more about my “origin story” further on down this page. I am active in the Association for Educational Communications and Technology.

Outside of work, I enjoy bike commuting, running (when biking isn’t enough), going to the library (I read a lot of books and comics), playing games (both analog and digital), and—most of all—spending time with my wife and daughter.

About My Web Presence

This website is an effort to keep my web presence under my control as much as possible. I’m a big fan of WordPress, but eventually decided I could learn more, pay less, and better understand how my data was organized by running this as a static site with the help of Hugo, Netlify, and Hover. My home page links to some of the other places where I’m active on the web. However, I try to keep up longer-form blogging on this website to share important ideas—these posts have their own RSS feed here and are usually pushed out to these other places.

Some notes about those other places: After months and months of hemming and hawing, I finally ditched Facebook in December 2018 (and am admittedly surprised by how little I miss it). Twitter is too professionally valuable to me to give up on, but I regularly use Jumbo Privacy to purge old tweets, and try to do most of my microblogging by forwarding microposts from this website to Twitter and to Micro.blog, a friendly, RSS-based social media platform that I would love to see get more traction among academics; you can also subscribe directly to my microposts through this RSS feed.

I believe that RSS is an underrated technology and try to make it the foundation of my web-based information consumption. Thanks to Feedbin, I’m able to do my Twitter following (and email newsletter subscription) through RSS, which means that while I’m (inter)active on Twitter, I don’t actually follow other accounts there.

My Origin Story

I grew up (mostly) in Florence, Kentucky and attended Boone County High School, where I participated in speech and debate, competed in the Kentucky Governor’s Cup, developed a lifelong love for the French language, and played a lot of the Star Wars Roleplaying Game.

I took my diverse interests (and extreme nerdery) with me to Brigham Young University, in Provo, Utah. I took two years off after my freshman year to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in western France and Francophone Switzerland, returning with a deepened passion for the French language and a new appreciation for the different countries and cultures of the world. Upon my return to BYU, this involved keeping up my French and flirting with disciplines such as international relations, Middle Eastern studies, and computer science. However, after taking a class from Dr. David Wiley, I decided on a future studying educational technology and managed to fit all of these interests into a major in French Teaching and a minor in Political Science Teaching.

After a brief stint as a French, debate, and keyboarding teacher in Utah, I entered the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology PhD program at Michigan State University. I began with (and still have!) an interest in educational and meaningful games, and eventually earned a graduate certificate in Serious Game Design & Research from MSU’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences. Some of my early research efforts in this area involved working with an application programming interface for a board gaming website, which sparked an interest in collecting and analyzing data generated by digital communities and eventually evolved into a focus on Twitter research. Working with Digital Humanities researchers at MSU helped me develop my familiarity with digital research methods, contributed to my focus on meaning in data (rather than just data themselves), and resulted in another graduate certificate. In June 2018, I successfully defended my dissertation, which compared around 60 Twitter hashtags used by teachers in different American states and Canadian provinces.

Two months later, I began my appointment at the University of Kentucky’s School of Information Science, which both completes the circle and provides exciting new opportunities to branch out. Being at UK means getting to come back home to continue the research and teaching that I’ve been so passionate about; it also means new opportunities to work with researchers from fields that are new to me (like information science and instructional communication) and add new perspectives to my work. This is a perfect place for my career to develop and grow!