Students: Be sure to check out the handouts and links below for additional information.
My interests include telemark turns; trad climbs; cozy cafes; bookstores; one thousand kinds of tea; ecology; philosophy; literature; going to the gym; Tibetan yoga; surfing, snorkeling, and body boarding; guitar; treks; Zen and Bhodi Chitta Buddhism; adventure travel to anywhere and everywhere on earth (recently including Mexico, Costa Rica, Thailand, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma, Brunei, the Phillipines, Taiwan, Singapore, Nepal, Colorado, Washington DC, Costa Rica, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, France, Spain, Switzerland, and Turkey).
Born in Denver, I graduated from Manual High School -- an inner-city public school with a majority African American enrollment -- and still by far the best school I ever attended.
Growing up in Colorado, my hobbies were guitar, telemark skiing, and wilderness mountaineering. My first teaching experience came as a wilderness skiing and rock-climbing instructor in Alaska, Africa, and the Rockies. In 1985 I was a member of the American Mount Everest West Ridge Expedition (you can read all about it in my teammate Ed Webster's classic book Snow in the Kingdom: My Storm Years on Everest
or another teammate's book, Robert Anderson's To Everest via Antarctica
). Prior to entering grad school at Stanford, I even had a brief career as a singer/songwriter, working as a warm-up act for nationally-famous performers such as Don McLean and Harry Chapin on the New England college circuit. In fact, writing songs was what first got me interested in studying poetry!
I joined the Foothill faculty in 1989 and served as Dean of Language Arts from 1994-1996. In 1991 I became the co-founder of Foothill's award-winning Cultural Diversity Center, the Foothill Gay and Lesbian Employees and Friends Association, and the Foothill student Gay/Straight Alliance. In addition to courses in College Writing, I have taught Creative Writing, Poetry, American Literature, Lesbian/Gay Literature and a variety of special-topic Honors Seminars ranging from "Lake Tahoe's Literary History" to "Contributions of Islamic Cultures to American History," to "Blogging as an Emerging Genre."
B.A. Philosophy, Williams College, 1980
M.A., Modern Thought and Literature, 1989
Ph.D., Modern Thought and Literature, 1991
My book Tahoe Beneath the Surface: The Hidden History of the World's Largest Mountain Lake
was released in October of 2010 and was awarded a Bronze Medal as 2010 Nature Book of the Year by Foreword Magazine
(the leading national journal of independent publishers and independent booksellers nationwide).
My previous book, Northwest Passages: From the Pen of John Muir
(revised edition 1998) won the Benjamin Franklin Prize from the Independent Publishers Association.
My next book, Paris Naked
will focus on the epic, if often unclothed, misadventures of Americans in Paris from Ben Franklin to Madonna.
During my 2013-2015 Spring sabbatical quarters I'll be researching a book on the battle to save the largest lake on each of the 7 Continents -- including the sub-glacial lakes buried beneath the ice of Antarctica.
Faculty Committees and Student Clubs
Foothill Equity Committee
Foothill Center for a Sustainable Future
Foothill Sustainable Learning Community
Native American Heritage Month Planning Committee
Black Heritage Month Planning Committee
Asian American Heritage Month Planning Committee
LGBT Heritage Month Planning Committee
Foothill College General Education Subcommittee
Language Arts SLO Coordinator
CSU/CC Campus Compass Project
Gay/Straight Alliance Club Faculty Co-Advisor
Eco-Club Faculty Advisor
Politcal Awareness Club Faculty Co-Advisor
During the 2011/2012 academic year, I helped launch two brand new across-the-curriculum initiatives: The Foothill Center for a Sustainable Future
(of which I'm a co-founder and co-director), and a collaborative effort to apply Stanford Design School founder Professor David Kelley's ideas for Teaching Creativity to the teaching of College Writing.
For 2012-2013 I joined the Stanford Human Rights Education Intitiative as a Visitng Scholar to help launch an exciting new Human Rights Across the Curriculum program focused on using social media. http://shrei.stanford.edu/
For 2013-14 I have co-authored a Stanford/Foothill grant application to the National Endowment for the Humanities (with the results to be announced in April 2014). I will also be presenting on the topic of "Teaching Sustainability" at the upcoming annual Modern Language Association Conference in Chicago in January 2014.
Curriculum Vitae-Academic Resumé