Posted on August 9, 2017
As a student, what drew you to the field of Religious Studies?
As a student I was drawn to Religious Studies after taking an introductory course with Charlie Headington during my freshman year. The course was then, and still is for me, devoted to the most relevant and pressing issues of our time. We explored world religions, mythology, justice, the environment and our place in this world. What more could one ask for?
How has your expertise in Religious Studies helped you define and reach your career and personal goals?
I would find it difficult to separate out what I learned in Religious Studies from nearly everything I have done in my career or life since leaving UNCG. Since most of my legal career has been devoted to both fighting for justice for the indigent and challenging myths sounding “forensic science” evidence, I think that pretty much captures my expertise in religious studies – a strong sense of what is right and just, critically thinking and speaking truth to power.
Can you recall any experience in Religious Studies that you found especially enlightening or challenging as a student?
For me, Charlie’s courses focused on the world around us were the most enlightening to me. Even today, whether I am tending to the earth in the small ways that I do or as I listen to the news about the condition of our planet, I can’t help but think about our classroom discussions in the late ’80s and early ’90s. I also truly value the lessons that I learned from Henry and Jon Sopper too about religion and modern culture.
What are your favorite things about the UNCG Religious Studies Department?
My favorite thing about the Religious Studies Department at UNCG has always been about the sense of community/family within the department. I am also a true believer that small is better and the department’s size I think has always been an asset.
Have you stayed in touch with any of the professors or faculty in the UNCG Religious Studies Department?
I have not been good about keeping in touch with professors or faculty in the UNCG Religious Studies Department, however, this past Summer, after 20 years of being away, I was able to reconnect with Pat, Charlie and Jon Sopper when I brought my wife and son to the campus for a visit. Reconnecting with all three was the highlight of our trip. I dropped in unannounced and they all welcomed me with open arms.
Since graduating from UNCG, what have you accomplished in your career or studies?
After graduating from UNCG, I attended Emory University at the School of Law and at Candler School of Theology. I graduated in 1997 with a joint degree – JD/MTS. Upon graduation I worked at the DeKalb County Public Defender’s Office and then moved to Washington DC to work at the D.C. Public Defender Service (PDS). After nine years at PDS, I moved with my family to Boulder, Colorado where I started teaching as an Adjunct Professor of Law, started a Forensic Consulting firm and then joined a small law firm.
What are your long-term goals?
My long term goals are to continue to fight for what I think is just and right. I intend to live as simply as I can and enjoy time with family and friends.
As a graduate, would you recommend pursuing an academic interest in Religious Studies?
As a Religious Studies major, I would enthusiastically recommend that any student pursue an academic interest in Religious Studies. I believe it can place one on a path of self discovery and true engagement in the world.