I am a transplant to the South, originally from southern California, although I have come to love living in Appalachia. I am pursuing my Ph.D. in Sociology after having completed a Bachelor’s in Sociology/Anthropology and a Master’s in Criminology. I have returned to academia after several years in the professional world where I worked primarily in program management and HR. Some of my previous research has involved rural criminology and research methodology in the study of crime, two areas of special interest to me. Rural crime is under-represented in contemporary criminology, a pattern that is self-perpetuating. Additionally, I believe that rigorous research methodology is under threat due to the perception (not completely incorrect) that it can be painfully boring and the recognition (almost completely correct) that it is very difficult to teach engagingly. Guided by a critical perspective of both criminology and political economy, my true passion lies with the study of state- and state-sponsored crime, particularly its nexus with white-collar offending. Assuming the U.S. remains an open society, contemporary American culture possesses the promise of presenting a golden age for the study of both. I hope to be able to continue teaching and performing research after earning a doctorate.