I joined faculty of the Department of Communication in 1993, coming from the Ph.D. program in Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My background as a professional journalist enables me to share real-world experience with students in my writing, reporting and editing courses. In addition, I teach a variety of theory and research courses, including Media Criticism and Women and the Media.
My research area is comic books. My book Seal of Approval: The History of the Comics Code, was published in 1998 by University Press of Mississippi. My scholarship also includes a number of articles and book chapters on comic books, ranging from a study of comic books commemorating September 11th, published in Media Representations of September 11, to an exploration of the ethical dimensions of the postwar comic book controversy, published in Comics as Philosophy.
- Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1994
- M.A., Northern Illinois University, 1983; M.A. Northern Illinois University, 1986
- B.S., Central Michigan University, 1977
- Three-time winner of the M. Thomas Inge Award for Comics Scholarship, presented by the Comic Art Comics Area of the National Popular Culture Association.
- Consultant for a three-part documentary on superheroes (National Endowment for the Humanities)
- Keynote speaker for the Comic Book in Popular Culture Conference at Bowling Green State University, November 2008
- Consultant for the Connecticut Historical Society exhibit on comic books
- Winner of a summer research stipend for research on the history of the National Cartoonists Society.