About Me

Oh, hello... looks like you found me somehow. Welcome! Can I get you a soda? Yeah? ...a Tab? Sorry, they don't make that anymore. How about a Diet Faygo Moon Mist instead? ...no? Well, can't blame you there.

Who the what?

I am an Assistant Professor of Instruction (quite literally my dream job) in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations at the Klein College of Media and Communication, Temple University, in Philadelphia. I joined Temple's faculty in 2019, and was hired to helm the department's newly minted Psychology of Advertising (ADV 3007) course. I'm working to establish a dedicated autonomic measures lab for Klein College, and hope to help create a new Advertising Studies & Theory track for our ad majors. I also teach courses on branding & brand strategy, advertising and society, mass media, and persuasive writing.

[ See my curriculum vitae ]

Though my job responsibilities are specifically focused on teaching, I still do some research as time and resources allow. In particular I am interested in consumers' relationships with brands, especially brand hate and anti-brand communities. What a paradox, right? Communities are pro-social groups with many positive attributes, and yet these coalesce based on a shared antagonism. I'm working on a book on this topic, as well as a textbook on advertising psychology.

Before coming to Temple, I worked for four years at Washington College in historic (but, quite frankly, tiny and mind-numbingly boring) Chestertown, Maryland, home to just over 5,000 people year-round. As an Assistant Professor in the Department of Business Management, I taught courses on Digital Marketing, Consumer Behavior, and Advertising, and one term I ran a first-year seminar entitled “Neurons and Networks” on the brain and its properties as a network (...which should surprise no one, given the name of the thing).

I earned my PhD in Media Studies in 2015 from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication; while I was there, I also earned a Graduate Specialization in Food Studies, and completed a Certificate in New Media & Culture. Prior to that, I earned my MA in Media Studies (2008) from the School of Media Studies, part of the Schools of Public Engagement, New School University, and my BA in Communication and Digital Art (2003) from Wake Forest University.

I have also been a member of the Insights Association for a number of years--in fact, originally I joined the Marketing Research Association which merged with CASRO (the Council of American Survey Research Organizations) in 2017. I earned Insights' IPC certification for excellence and expertise in marketing research several years ago, and as of January 2021, I hold the advanced IPC Master certification, which requires a minimum of a decade of experience and is held by less than two dozen market research experts globally.

Way back when, though...

I was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, but I grew up in the anti-progressive backwater of Statesville, North Carolina, a stultifying bedroom community for Charlotte located in the central part of the state. This largely unremarkable town, home to (not much more than) a dead mall, an old lady serial killer who killed other old people, and an actual Egyptian mummy that may or may not actually still be on display, was an entirely unremarkable place to have grown up. Consider, for example, that simply because Interstates 40 and 77 intersect inside the city limits, essentially everything you might encounter in the town is invariably named "Crossroads" something-or-other... and that is what passes for "creativity" there.

Consequently, I am the product of North Carolina public schools, which have (to be charitable) "floundered" in recent years. Nevertheless, I was lucky enough to have been taught and inspired by some fantastic teachers over the years (particularly Lois Sharpe, Maria Moore, Connie Andrews, Pam Reich, Betty Lunsford, Cindy Sellers, Linda Marshall, Willa Tucker, Wanda McConnell, Jean Bishop, Chris Putnam, Kim Cressman, just to name a few) who invariably encouraged me to ask questions, dig for answers, and remain curious. I ultimately graduated as the salutatorian of my high school class.

While an undergrad, I also discovered my interest in, and aptitude at, shooting and editing video; Wake Forest and WAKE TV (the student-run campus station) allowed me to formalize the skills I had begun to incubate as a youngster while creating movies with my best friend William. Throughout middle school and high school, on almost any weekend, the two of us could be found shooting something, somewhere, with a borrowed VHS camcorder or crudely editing things together using two jury-rigged VCRs and a crappy 13″ analog TV that had originally been purchased to serve as a "monitor" for our hand-me-down Atari 600XL computer (my first).

After college, I moved to New York in 2003. It was probably inevitable, given that I had spent the previous summer in the city working as an intern in the audience department at the Late Show with David Letterman--I still have my yellow-and-blue wool jacket with the "Worldwide Pants" insignia on the chest (I hope to be buried in it). Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, which I loved and still miss to this day, became "home," and after a couple of fits and starts (including being hired for, but ultimately turning down a position with, the NBC page program), I landed a job with BillOReilly.com. I learned a great deal about iterative web design, usability testing and about business in general, and I’m thankful to have been hired into such a fantastic position--and to hold it for nearly a decade.

I earned that aforementioned Master's degree while I was working for Mr. O'Reilly, and after completing it I dipped my toe into the teaching pool--I started teaching a web design course (hand-coded HTML and CSS in Notepad, baby!) for the Department of Communication at Manhattan College in Riverdale, New York, thanks to the generosity and mentorship of one of my New School professors who invited me to do so.

What next, dummy?

I moved to Philadelphia just a couple of weeks before the world shut down because of the Covid-19 pandemic, so I have a whole city to explore once this dumb virus is under control. Stay tuned...