Knowledge is learning something every day.
Wisdom is letting go of something every day. - Zen Proverb
Outlines of current research projects are below.
While a growing body of medical literature has identified the detrimental physiological effects of human consumption of animal products such as cow’s milk, pork, and beef, an equally increasing body of literature has grown relative to the treatment of animals in the dairy and meatpacking industries. This new area of research introduces “food communication” – the study of advertising, films, and blogs which address the consumption (or non-consumption) of animal products, and how food is considered in the context of nutrition and medication. In this work, I pay particular attention to the global and cultural context of food communication, and how consumers make and take meaning from popular images around the world of dairy and meat consumption.
Gallup polls show that approximately 80% of Americans claim to pray. Thus, a large proportion of the population engages in some sort of spiritual communication. In this context, prayer and spirituality means a direct, interpersonal communication between a person and a higher being (God, Allah, The Universe, etc). One recent publication in this area is an investigation of the blog that rap star Lil' Wayne kept during his time in prison at Rikers Island. The blog addresses spirituality, prayer, respect, and encouragement, which stands in contrast to much of Lil' Wayne's rap lyrics, which are characterized by misogyny and materialism. This paper was published by the Journal of Religion and Popular Culture. I have also conducted an extensive literature review of prayer throughout the life course, which was published in a special issue of the Journal of Communication and Religion in November, 2012. My most recent publication is a study of the acquisition of a meditation practice, and is due to be published in the journal Mindfulness.
Laptops in Education
There is considerable debate on the efficacy of laptops in higher education, despite their increased popularity in undergraduate teaching. Robin Kay and I have conducted a comprehensive, qualitative and quantitative analysis of the efficacy of laptop learning. Issues such as gender, age, program of study, uses and benefits, and best practices are analyzed. We have a variety of publications which are listed in my CV.