Until June 2015 I worked as a Teaching Associate in Sociology at the University of Strathclyde, since completing my PhD there in 2010. I’m interested in all sorts of social patterns and social change, and I contribute to teaching across the Sociology programme. My research focus is on higher education in Scotland, drawing on sociology of work & neoliberalism, along with ethics and the ‘big questions’ of social science.


Qualifications  •  PhD Research  •  Academic Publications  •  Popular Publications  •  Teaching Experience  •  Presentations & Conferences  •  Leadership Experience  •  Funding & Awards  •  Other Relevant Experience & Skills


  • 2015: PGCert Advanced Academic Practice, University of Strathclyde.
  • 2010: PhD Sociology, University of Strathclyde.
  • 2006: MSc Human Ecology (with Distinction), Centre for Human Ecology / Open University.
  • 2002: BA Cultural Anthropology (Cum Laude), University of Southern California.

PhD Research

No Such Thing As Society? Social Conscience and the Marketisation of Scottish Universities.

  • Supervisors: Colin Clark and Patricia McCafferty
  • Examiners: Richard Collier and Kean Birch
  • Funded by an Overseas Research Student Award & University Scholarship.

Despite a tradition of “democratic intellectualism,” neoliberal pressures threaten the intellectual, civic and social values of  Scotland’s universities. In an ethnographic case study, the experiences of sociologists at six Scottish universities shed light on the changing structures of higher education.

PhD Summary (3 pages, PDF)

Academic Publications

  • 2011 and 2013 (2nd ed).  Sociology in Scotland, stand-alone chapter packaged with Sociology: Making Sense of Society, ed. by Marsh et al. and Sociology: A Global Introduction, ed. by Macionis and Plummer. Harlow: Pearson.
  • 2010. Social Conscience and Scotland’s Universities: Past, Present and Future in The Proceedings of the World Universities Congress, Volume 1, pp. 376-383. Also available online.
  • 2009. Social Conscience in The Handbook of Sustainability Literacy, ed. by Arran Stibbe. Devon: Green Books. Also available online.
  • 2005. MSc Thesis: Telling Mythologies: Pasts & Possible Futures in Activist Literature.
  • 2002. BA Thesis: It Will Always Be There: Ethnography of an Imagined Community.

Popular Publications

I have published in newspapers and magazines on a range of topics relating to higher education, along with pieces in the Times Higher Education Supplement and Network, the Magazine of the British Sociological Association. For details, please see the writing section.

Teaching Experience

  • Teaching Associate, Sociology, October 2010 to June 2015. Duties included coordinating and teaching on the Level 4 dissertation class and Level 3 research methods class, designing and teaching option classes at Levels 3 and 4, conducting workshops and delivering lectures at Levels 1 and 2, supervising honours dissertations, student assessment and feedback, pastoral support, serving on the School Ethics Committee, etc.
    Class titles: Introductory Sociology; Power; Sociological Theory, Method and Practice; Sociological Project; Sociology of Education; Social Issues in Contemporary Scotland; Sociology Dissertation.
  • Teaching Team Member, Human Ecology MSc, academic year 2008-09. Duties included helping plan and deliver intensive weekend-long workshops, carrying out student assessment and feedback and acting as a mentor, providing individual pastoral support and academic advice.
  • Undergraduate Tutor, Sociology, academic year 2007-08. Duties included conducting workshops and seminars at first year level, student assessment, feedback and support.
  • Delivered a workshop on Writing and Presenting Research for PhD students in all disciplines, Centre for Academic Practice and Learning Enhancement, 19 January 2011
  • Public Sociology Roundtable discussion: presented the ‘anti public sociology’ stance to second-year sociology students, 3 April 2008.
  • Designed and delivered a supplemental writing workshop for first-year students, 2007. Later incorporated this material into scheduled workshops to help students improve their writing.
  • GOALS programme, Campus Day: designed and facilitated a sociology ‘taster’ workshop for 45 secondary school pupils, 14 November 2007.
  • Guest lecture, Fan Culture course: Goo Goo Dolls Fan Culture Case Study. Media Department, University of Chester, annually 2005-2010.

Presentations & Conferences

  • Inspiring Future Academics: The Human Element. Paper presented at the Society for Research into Higher Education Conference, Newport, 10-12 December 2014.
  • The Same as Any Other Office Workers? How To Respect Academics in Five Easy Steps. Poster presented at the QAA Enhancement Themes Conference, Glasgow, 11-13 June 2013; Society for Research into Higher Education Conference, Newport, 11-13 December 2013.
  • International Association of Universities Conference: ‘Ethics and Values in Higher Education in the Era of Globalisation: What Role for the Disciplines?’ Vilnius, Lithuania, 24-26 June 2010 (attendee).
  • The Ponzi Scheme of Higher Education in the UK. Staff-Student Seminar Series, University of Strathclyde Department of Geography & Sociology, 31 March 2010.
  • British Sociological Association Regional Postgraduate Day School: ‘Whose Knowledge is it, Anyway?’ University of Edinburgh, 24 March 2010 (attendee).
  • A Changing Landscape: Teaching, Learning, and the Human Element in Higher Education in Scotland. Paper presented at the Moving Forward Conference, University of Aberdeen, 22 July 2009.
  • Can Sociology Teach Global Citizenship? Poster presented at the Moving Forward Conference, University of Aberdeen, 21-22 July 2009; University of Strathclyde Research Day, 10 June 2008.
  • Telling Mythologies: Pasts and Possible Futures in Activist Literature. Paper presented at the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (UK) Conference, University of Edinburgh, 11 July 2008.
  • Social Conscience: a New Model for Understanding Public Sociology and Political Engagement. Paper presented at the European Sociological Association Conference, Glasgow Caledonian University, 6 September 2007.
  • Stories, Motivation, and Social Change. Centre for Human Ecology Lecture Series, 8 May 2006.

Citizenship & Leadership

  • University and College Union (Scotland) Education Committee, April 2014 to June 2015.
  • Vice-Convenor, School of Applied Social Sciences Ethics Committee, February 2012 to June 2015 (Committee member from September 2011).
  • Centre for Human Ecology Board of Directors, 2006-2009 (also newsletter editor & webmaster).
  • Human Ecology Management Committee, Department of Geography & Sociology, 2008-09.
  • Centre for Human Ecology Academic Board (Student Representative), 2004-05.
  • Founder and leader, Goo Goo Dolls Fans For Peace, 2002-2006.

Funding & Awards

  • Teaching Excellence Award Nominee, University of Strathclyde Students’ Association, 2012, 2013, 2014.
  • Funding from various sources for attending national and international conferences, 2007-2010.
  • Overseas Research Student Award and University Scholarship, 2007-08 and 2008-09.
  • Undergraduate Scholarships, various sources, 1998-2002.
  • Resident Honours (early entrance) Programme, 1998.

Other Relevant Experience & Skills

Editing & Proofreading. From April 2007 to September 2009, I was editor of the Centre for Human Ecology’s e-newsletter (soliciting and editing submissions, designing layout, and maintaining e-mail list of over 900 people). In March 2008, I proofread Hell and High Water: Climate Change, Hope, and the Human Condition by Alastair McIntosh (2008, Birlinn). In the summer of 2006, I proofread an early manuscript for Changes in Educational Policies in Britain, 1800-1920: How Gender Inequalities Reshaped the Teaching Profession by Helen Corr (2009, Edwin Mellen). I also worked for an academic proofreading company in 2010.

Museum Research: Deaf Education. From 1996-2000, I worked at the Old State House museum in Hartford, Connecticut. For the post, I conducted historical research from primary and secondary sources, particularly on 19th-century deaf education in America and Britain. Based on my research, I wrote historic interpretation scripts, two short plays (in which I also performed), pamphlets, and other materials for museum visitors. I also helped to develop other tours and education programmes on a variety of topics.

Strong IT Skills, including basic computing (Microsoft Office suite, EndNote, PowerPoint, e-mail, internet-based research, VLEs), qualitative data analysis (NVivo), digital audio transcription, web development (HTML, CSS, some PHP), digital art (Adobe Photoshop) and basic PC repair. I worked for a web development company in 2005, and have developed and maintained a variety of websites since 2002, most recently the blog for Radical Independence Aberdeen.