Academic Bio

I received my Ph.D. in Philosophy from The University of Virginia in May 2010. I began teaching in the Philosophy Department at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Fall of 2010. I then served as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Center for Bioethics at UNC (funded by the UNC School of Nursing) from 2013-2014. During 2015 I was a Postdoctoral Fellow in The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University. Since 2011, I have been an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine at UNC.

During the Fall 2017 semester I am teaching at Elon University and UNC-CH. I’m teaching PHIL 212: “Ethical Practice” at ElonĀ  and PHIL 101: “Introduction to Philosophy: Main Problems” at UNC.

Many people have asked me, “How did you, a philosopher, become an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry?” Briefly after I arrived at UNC in 2010 I met a professor of psychiatry who was doing research on the philosophical underpinnings of psychiatry: Gary Gala, MD. Shortly after meeting and discovering our many common research interests, we co-founded a Philosophy and Psychiatry Reading and Research Group (PPRG). The group regularly held meetings in the Department of Philosophy from 2010-2015. We now occasionally hold meetings at the UNC School of Medicine. I was invited to join the Department of Psychiatry in order to develop educational projects and research with Dr. Gala. We co-edited Philosophy and Psychiatry: Problems, Intersections and New Perspectives (Routledge 2016), which is largely inspired by our work with PPRG.

I have extensive training in Medical Ethics and Health Services Research, with a focus on Mental Health Ethics and Policy. I was a postdoctoral fellow in Health Care Quality and Patient Outcomes from January 2013-December 2014. The fellowship was funded by the UNC School of Nursing (PI: Dr. Barbara Mark) and the mentor for my project was Dr. Eric Juengst (Director of the Center for Bioethics at UNC). During that time, I conducted a massive review of the philosophical literature on human enhancement and Dr. Juengst and I co-authored an entry on the topic (available HERE) for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

After completing that fellowship, I was a trainee in the National Research Service Award (NRSA) Mental Health Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Program, which is a collaborative project between The Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at UNC and the Duke University Medical Center. The mentor for my training program was Dr. Jeffrey Swanson (Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University). We worked on topics in public health law and policy, including mandated community treatment for psychiatric disorders, psychiatric advance directives, and the relation of mental illness and violence.

I was the Managing Editor of Public Affairs Quarterly from 2013-2014. During that time I served as the Guest Editor for a special issue on The Moral and Political Implications of the DSM-5. From 2014-2016 I served as the Chair of the Mental Health Ethics and Policy Affinity Group of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities.

My wonderful partner of twelve years is the artist Joy Meyer. She kindly provided the cover art for my anthology on philosophy and psychiatry.