My journey to St. Jerome's University is a circuitous one, one with many bumps on the road. I was born in Dublin and raised in Cashel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland, the eldest of 13 children in a rural working class family. As the son of a stonemason, I have much experience working in construction, working as a labourer and bricklayer in Ireland. I completed my undergraduate degree in Trinity College (Dublin), majoring in Economics and Sociology. During the summers I worked construction in the United States to help pay for university.
After my undergraduate degree, I worked in construction in San Francisco and Alaska for a few years. I came to Toronto with my wife for two years (as I promised her) to do MA in Analytic Sociology a perspective invented by Blum and McHugh, work I had been exposed to in Trinity. As if by accident, I found my Socratic vocation, and decided to pursue a PhD on power and ethics in this area. We stayed in Toronto for 10 years, during which time our three children were born. I got my first teaching job in a small liberal arts university (Augustana) in Camrose, Alberta. I really enjoyed the liberal arts ethos and came to be committed to its virtue as an educational foundation for a future life. For twelve years, we raised our family (‘a great place to raise kids’!!) and I taught many courses, working out my vocation in the context of a strong liberal arts community.
When an administration opportunity at St. Jerome's University came up, I pursued it as it seemed an ideal university to continue my work, combining the commitment to a liberal arts education with the opportunities to participate in graduate school supervision. Coming here also gave me the opportunity to work on several large interdisciplinary research projects with colleagues from across Canada. I continue to enjoy developing and practicing my vocation in life as well as in teaching, research and service here at St. Jerome's University.