Teaching and Research Interests
I teach contemporary American history, with a focus on political history and environmental history. I also enjoy using the history of Schenectady as a resource in teaching, both to illustrate recent trends in American history and to introduce students to the history of the surrounding community. My research focuses on the history of public policy, and in particular, social welfare policy. My first book, The Limits of Voluntarism, examined the role of voluntary organizations in the welfare state over the course of the twentieth century. My new book project will investigate the transformation of disaster relief in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s.
"Psychic Aftershocks: Crisis Counseling and Disaster Relief Policy," History of Psychology (August 2011)
The Limits of Voluntarism; awarded the 2010 Virginia A. Hodgkinson Research Book Prize by the Associatin for Research in Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action. Charity and Welfare From the New Deal Through the Great Society (Cambridge University Press, 2009).
"New Alignments: American Voluntarism and the Expansion of Welfare in the 1920s," in Bernard Harris, ed., Charity and Mutal Aid in Europe and America since 1800 (Routledge, 2007).
“The Voluntary Sector’s War on Poverty,” Journal of Policy History (Fall 2004); awarded the Ellis Hawley Award from the Policy History Association in 2006 for the best article published in the past two years by a junior scholar.