I received a bachelor of arts degree in religious studies from the University of California, Berkeley (1992). After completing a master of arts degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder in Comparative Religions (1995), I began studies at the University of Virginia.  My areas of studies at Virginia were Theravada/Indian Buddhism and Hinduism, in addition to Sanskrit and Pali.  My dissertation, which was the result of almost two years of research in Sri Lanka conducted under the auspices of a Fulbright Fellowship, examined Buddhist monastic training and education.  In addition to completing another M.A. degree (1999), I completed my Ph.D. (2002) at Virginia. 

Professional Experience
In 2001, I joined the faculty of the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Western Kentucky University.  As an Associate Professor here, I have taught courses on Asian Religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Buddhism in America, Buddhist-Christian Monasticism, Theravada Buddhism, a two semester sequence in Pali and a semester Sanskrit course.  Since 2010 I have also been the coordinator of the Asian Studies program at WKU and plan to develop new courses in the near future. 

Current Interests
My research interests center on the intersection of religion and culture in contemporary Sri Lanka and Malaysia.  I recently published a monograph titled Attracting the Heart: Social Relations and the Aesthetics of Emotion in Sri Lankan Monastic Culture (University of Hawaii Press).  Since 2006, I began a new book-length project examining the social history of Theravada Buddhism in Malaysia.  Besides publishing one book and co-editing another book (with Anne Blackburn) on Buddhist texts and practices in South and Southeast Asia, I have published more than two dozen articles, book chapters, and book reviews.

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