What is your current job?
Assistant Professor of Theater at Colgate University. I earned a Ph.D. in theater and performance studies from Brown University in 2012, and my primarily fields of research are American theater history and street performance (including the famous Philadelphia Mummers Parade).
Why did you choose this profession?
I always loved theater, but I never considered it seriously as a career before working with professors Maud McInerney in the English Department at Haverford and Mark Lord in the Bi-College Theater Program. After graduating, I won a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to travel and study theater internationally for a year. I moved back to Philly after finishing up the Watson and started a theater company called Dead Genius Productions with three fellow Haverford alums: Alison D'Amato '02, Matt Sharp '02, and Alena Smith '02. Dead Genius folded in 2008, but Alison, Matt, Alena, and I have all gone onto successful careers in theater, dance, and television.
What more do you wish to accomplish in your professional career?
I love teaching at a liberal arts college, and my biggest goal is to ensure that the performing arts remain a vital part of the curriculum, not only at Colgate but also at peer institutions like Haverford and Bryn Mawr. Whatever your academic interests, the opportunity to create, collaborate, experiment by making theater, dance, and music is a vital part of the a liberal arts education.
Tell us about a decision or change you made that turned out to be a positive career move.
Towards the end of my graduate studies, I took a position as a Visiting Lecturer (and eventually as a Visiting Assistant Professor) in the Writing Program at Haverford. For the first few months, it was nerve-wracking to have former teachers and mentors as colleagues! But returning to Haverford to teach reminded me how much I love the liberal arts environment, and made me a more competitive candidate for a tenure-track position at Colgate.
How has Haverford influenced your professional career?
Haverford helped me win a Watson fellowship, start a theater career in Philadelphia, get into an excellent Ph.D. program, and land my first tenure-track job. No other institution has played as big or important a role in shaping my professional career.