In 2017, I joined California State University, Bakersfield, as Director of the Kegley Institute of Ethics. I’m in the process of developing the Institute, both building on its traditions and introducing new projects. Among others, these projects include establishing ethics and philosophy seminars in local prisons; expanding the Institute’s Ethics Across the Curriculum Program; establishing new philosophy and ethics education partnerships with local K-12 teachers, administrators, and students; launching faculty and student ethics fellowship programs; and hosting public lectures and faculty and community panels on a wide-range ethically-relevant topics.
In 2017, I co-founded (with Dr. Brittney Beck) the Social-Emotional, Ethics, and Democratic Education (SEEDE) Institute . The SEEDE Institute is an annual program that features interactive professional development for local K-12 educators on topics in social-emotional learning, ethics education, and democratic pedagogy. Our goal is to cultivate teachers and students who are better able to grapple with who they are, who they want to be, and the broader purpose of education in the context of a diverse community.
I serve as Vice President of the Public Philosophy Network. In this role, I work with colleagues to support philosophers who use their concepts and skills to serve communities outside of academia and to make positive changes in society and to support institutional changes supportive of publicly engaged work.
I am the founding editor of Precollege Philosophy and Public Practice, an annual interdisciplinary and peer-reviewed online journal for philosophical and/or empirical research on precollege philosophy and its impact and interaction with related areas such as public philosophy, dialogue-based education, ethics education, and human development.
In 2014, I initiated a school-based research project on possibilities for interactive, dialogue-based, ethics education in early childhood classrooms. This project – Philosophical Ethics in Early Childhood, or, PEECh – is thoroughly interdisciplinary, informed by pedagogical strategies and research in the fields of philosophy for children, social-emotional learning, constructivist education, moral development, and ethics. You can find articles on PEECh collaboration with faculty from the University of Verona, Italy, and our pilot study in State College, PA, here and here. To date, PEECh programming has been implemented in preschool classrooms in State College and Lewistown, PA, and Verona Italy, and PEECh extensions in Bakersfield, CA are underway.
From July 2018- July 2020 I served as President of the Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization (PLATO). PLATO is a national non-profit organization that promotes philosophy classes and related programming for all K-12 students. Now, as a PLATO Board Member, I work with colleagues to develop workshops, conferences, and education resources for administrators, teachers, and students interested in philosophy.