I was born and raised in the Detroit metro area and did my undergrad degree at Wayne State University. I was pre-law for much of my undergrad and, despite focusing on Medieval history in my graduate work, I still have a great love of Constitutional law and history. After completing undergrad, I moved to England to complete a masters degree at Oxford University. Following my time in England (which was wonderful), I moved to Los Angeles to pursue my Ph.D. at UCLA.
I Love Teaching & I Love History
My goal was always to teach the subjects I enjoyed at a deep level. Because I thought I could only do that teaching undergraduates and above, the Ph.D. was my means to that end. In the midst of conducting my study I discovered that the independent prep school environment could be as fruitful (if not more so) than working with undergrads (even at a great school like UCLA). Short story, I have now spent a decade teaching in the independent high school environment.
Through my history classes I’m able to engage with a wide variety of subjects. For instance, environmental factors (such as water resources) are as relevant in 21st century California as they were in Uruk on the banks of the Euphrates, and socio-economic tensions shaped Roman society just as they do ours today (inequality is as old as civilization itself). I honestly feel very lucky to be a historian; because the field of history spans the entirety of human experience, there is little outside its purview. See my articles and posts to get a sense of the topics that interest me.
In my professional life I have been fortunate enough to work with many amazing colleagues. I’ve gotten to work on initiatives implementing the teaching of writing and rhetoric across all curricular fields and on the use of a 1-to-1 computing in the classroom. I’ve participated in Critical Friends Groups and peer coaching programs, undertaken planning and leadership roles on professional collaboration and technology implementation and standards, and served in my school’s diversity and inclusivity efforts.
Through these experiences – particularly through collaboration with my peers – I’ve developed a number of professional tools, many of which are freely available in the resources section of this site.
Mental Performance Consulting
I am the founder and lead performance and mental skills specialist at Arete Performance Consulting. I work with individuals and organizations to develop stress management and performance enhancing mental skills for sports, academics, and public/artistic performance. I have a particular specialization working with prep-level student-athletes on both the academic and sport sides of performance.
When we have ‘performance breakdowns’ – whether that’s as athletes, as students, as artists, as professionals – they’re so often mental. Athletes deliberately train their physicals skills but often neglect to train their mental skills the same way. Students learn the content of their courses, but not the mental skills to implement that knowledge while under stress.
I am also a freelance photographer. I focus on portraiture and sports/action photography. As a portrait photographer I’m interested in making connections with my subjects and allowing them to connect with an audience through my work. I view portrait photography as a collaborative process that isn’t about ‘taking a picture’ but about creating something that represents the subject. As sports/action photographer, I love capturing the ephemeral moments that stick in our memory. I’m a huge sports fan myself and I bring that ‘fan’s sense of the action’ to my work.
My artistic work explores the way photos interact with our perceptions. I love the adage that “Art is a lie that reveals a truth,” and perhaps no medium ‘lies’ to the audience as effectively as photography. It’s that dynamic/tension that I most enjoy examining.
Finally, there are number of personal endeavors I enjoy. I’m a big baseball fan and write on statistical analysis and the history of the game and I’m something of a foodie and have a site dedicated to gourmet hamburger reviews. You can find all of my personal and professional projects on the “my projects” page.