In these two words, E. M. Forster, one of my favorite novelists, said it all.
Relationships create the fabric of our lives. My intellectual passion is to understand those invisible threads that exist between people, and connect us person to person. Persons have meaning only in relationships. As David Kenny put it, “individuals are fundamentally a fiction of perception and experience. What we call an individual is really a complex composite of relationships.” How do relationships work? What processes makes a relationship nourishing and growth producing? And how can we help people to thrive in relationships, particularly with intimate others?
Research, teaching and outreach are each integral parts of my professional identity. I love to teach about relationships in the classroom, and to develop and implement empirically-based educational programming to support family relationships, particularly through my role as a Cooperative Extension Specialist.