I was raised in Detroit's northern suburbs before attending Macalester College in St. Paul where I majored in Communication and Political Science, graduating with honors in 1999. After college, I became a high school history and government teacher on Detroit's East Side while earning my teaching certificate at Wayne State University. During this time I also became a freelance music journalist (primarily for the Metro Times) and a DJ with Paris '68. In 2005, I left Detroit for the Department of Communication at the University of Pittsburgh to pursue my Doctorate while teaching classes in media studies and rhetoric. I successfully defended my dissertation, "'Where the Mix is Perfect': Voices of the Post-Motown Sound" in 2011.
My published writings include a chapter-length history of Detroit hip hop entitled, "'Welcome to tha D.'': Making and Remaking Hip Hop in Post-Motown Detroit" in Hip Hop in America: A Regional Guide and, more recently, my article, "Maintaining 'Synk' in Detroit: Two Case Studies in the Remix Aesthetic" was published in the online academic journal Dancecult.
In addition to my scholarship, I consider myself an activist within Detroit's soundscape. In 2011, I was nominated and accepted as a board member of the Friends of the E. Azalia Hackley Collection at the Detroit Public Library, and in 2012 I founded the Detroit Sound Conservancy, an organization dedicated to musical preservation and conservation in the city.
Presently, I am teaching communication studies classes at Northeastern University in Boston where I accepted a postdoctoral teaching associate position in fall 2011. I continue to conduct oral-history interviews relating to post-Motown music history and am presently working on a proposal to transform my dissertation into a book.
I can be found joining the social media conversation on Twitter, archiving my research and travels on Flickr, brainstorming out loud about my classes and research on Storify, and maintaining my DJ career on Soundcloud. Please email me at Gmail.
Updated fall 2013