Stead Family Professor of Sociology
B.A., Spring Arbor College
M.A., Ph.D., Purdue University
What Classes are you currently teaching?
Sociology of the Family; Aging and Society; Seminar in 20th Century Genocide
What activities or campus organizations are you actively involved with?
Deacon, First Presbyterian Church of Cedar Rapids; Board Member, Anna Purna Ghosh Foundation of Cedar Rapids (which helps cancer patients to pay for the prescription drugs that are part of their treatment); Inter-Religious Council of Linn County (which includes representatives of 21 different faith traditions).
What makes Coe stand out from other schools?
The faculty and staff care very much about each other and show that they do. The support that my family and I received while my wife was battling cancer was amazing.
What is your favorite class to teach and why?
The Sociology of Religion, because of the immense varieties of religious faith, both in the U.S. and around the world. Name your most memorable Coe lecture and what it has meant to you. David Baugh's commencement address in 2003, in which he urged his audience always to respect the civil liberties of our fellow Americans, no matter how horrible the crimes with which they are charged.
What is your most memorable moment interacting with a Coe student?
On quite a few occasions I have received letters from former students, often many years after they have graduated, telling me that I have influenced their choice of vocation, their desire to use their gifts in the service of other people, etc. Such comments are enormously gratifying and make all the hard work of teaching seem worthwhile.
What book are you currently reading?
Lament for a Son, Nicholas Wolterstorff
What is your favorite thing about Coe?
Coe provides both faculty and students with great flexibility in the courses that they teach and that they take. During the course of my career I have been able to add several courses to my repertoire. If you develop a new interest and want to pursue it with students, there is ample opportunity to do so.