College of Arts and Sciences
Anthropology and Sociology
I am a North Carolina native and was born and raised in Robeson County. I attended UNC-Chapel Hill and received my Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate from the Anthropology Department there. I did my archaeological training through the Research Labs of Archaeology and was mentored by Roy S. Dickens, H. Trawick Ward, R.P. Stephen Davis, Jr. and Vincas P. Steponaitis. My dissertation chair was Vin Steponaitis. During graduate school I worked for Coastal Carolina Research, a cultural resources management firm owned and operated by Loretta L. Lautzenheiser, and I taught part-time for East Carolina University's Anthropology Department. I joined WCU's Anthropology and Sociology Department's faculty in August 2001 and live in Sylva.
I have developed several new courses over the years, including Southeastern Archaeology, Experimental Archaeology, and the Archaeology of Death. In addition to these, I regularly teach World Prehistory and Origins of Civilization. I have recently taught the Archaeology of Sacred Landscapes as a special topics course and hope to develop a Landscape Archaeology course to add to regular course rotation. I also enjoy teaching our archaeological field school and laboratory analysis courses.
Since joining WCU's faculty and participating in the Cherokee Studies program, I have focused by research on Cherokee Heritage sites and cultural traditions. Most of my work includes the study of pottery (manufacture, use, chronology, reconstruction) and I am interested in foodways, gender and spatial patterning, and cultural landscapes. I am fascinated by the Cherokee's understanding of the Southern Appalachians and how cosmology shapes how people interact with their physical world.