(he/him) is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Co-Coordinator of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at at Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi.
His research focuses on inequalities, health disparities, and family dynamics within the LGBT+ community. A passionate educator, Daniel is an American Sociological Society award-winning scholar of teaching and learning.
Like many individuals who stumbled upon sociology, I had no idea what it was until I enrolled in Intro to Sociology during my sophomore year of college. The initial weeks of the course were a struggle, pushing me to transcend my personal worldviews and ponder the intricate workings of society. One memorable instance was when my professor cast doubt on the notion of the American Dream.
Having grown up in a rural North Dakota farming community, I had absorbed the belief that personal determination dictated one's destiny, and that relentless effort could conquer all barriers. These convictions were deeply ingrained for my entire 18 years of existence. Sociology, however, shook the foundations of my truths, leading me to dismiss the course as an endurance test.
Around six weeks into the class, a pivotal transformation occurred within me. Suddenly, I comprehended how individual opportunities are profoundly molded by external social influences, far beyond our control. It struck me that I had lived my formative years completely oblivious to my place within the LGBT+ community due to religious and familial constraints that vehemently suppressed any exploration. Sociology unveiled how we must maneuver the impact of social frameworks—such as religion and family—while navigating our personal choices, including the communities we align with.
Acquiring a sociological imagination revolutionized my life and redirected my career aspirations, propelling me to my current position. My favorite part of being a sociology professor is sharing my passion for critical thinking, community building, and creative problem solving with my students. My teaching style is very interactive and prioritizes the practice of "problem-based learning." I present students with complex, real-world problems and teach them how to collaboratively use social research methods to generate solutions. Teaching through real-world applications often transcends my instruction beyond the classroom. The majority of my courses involve some component of community engagement or service-learning. These applied experiences often inspire students to seek further opportunities to collaborate on research projects, which allows me to further mentor future generations transformative problem solvers. of As a queer, first-generation college student, I am especially enthusiastic about mentoring students from underrepresented backgrounds. If you'd like to learn more about my research, teaching, and service, I invite you to explore the other sections of my website.
Doing Sexuality: How Married Bisexual, Queer, and Pansexual People Navigate Passing and Erasure
My latest publication in The Sociological Quarterly examines how society's binary view of gender and sexuality makes bi+ people's identities unnoticed, especially when married. It shows that marriage can intensify feelings of erasure, but also notes that some married bi+ individuals use assumptions about their heterosexuality to avoid prejudice. The research suggests that greater visibility of married bi+ individuals could help deconstruct gender and sexual binaries and the inequalities they perpetuate. This article was co-authored with my former undergraduate student, Meagan Pendleton.