I am currently an Assistant Professor of sociology at the University of Southern Maine. I received my PhD from the University of Notre Dame in 2017. I completed an MA in political science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2008, with a certificate specialization in International Human Rights & Diversity. I am primarily interested in how dominant cultural discourse impedes the attainment of social change. My dissertation investigates the dominant cultural narratives surrounding the American Indian Movement (AIM) and American Indians from 1973-2015 in order to understand: 1) why and how discourse toward social movements changes over time & 2) the nature and evolution of Euro-American attitudes toward American Indians in US society. I draw insights into these matters by relying on a unique research design in which follow-up interviews were conducted in 2014/2015 with individuals across South Dakota and Minnesota whose 1970’s AIM narratives were collected from varied archival sources (viz. constituent political mail, juror voir dire transcripts, public opinion polls).
Aside from teaching and research, I am passionate about music (creating & listening) and nature, and can often be found on trails throughout the Black Hills and the San Bernardino Mountains…and more recently island hopping around Casco Bay.
“As long as there are sundowns, there will always be the West.”–J. Molina