October 11, 2015
I was born in Germany and raised in Belgium to a German mother and a father with Belgian, Dutch, German and Swiss ancestry. I came to the United States in the sixties, experiencing some of turmoil of the civil rights movement. Following my undergraduate and MA degrees, I earned a PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. My two children, Erika and Arnout, arrived during my graduate school years, and grew up respectively to become a physician and automotive engineer. Four of my five grandchildren now live overseas, and Erika recently returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
I became an economics professor at CMU in 1981 and switched my teaching to sociology after a decade. This reflected a growing need to conduct research and work in areas related to social justice. I currently teach courses in racism and inequality, gender issues, social justice in the global society, and human trafficking. The opportunity to teach such courses makes it difficult for me to think about retirement any time soon.
Even though I was pretty much raised in an atheist environment, I have been attracted to the UU Fellowship for several years because of its freedom of thought and emphasis placed on social justice and the struggle to end poverty. The welcome extended by the Fellowship to the Central Michigan Sangha, of which I am a member, has encouraged me to start attending the Fellowship Meetings and formalize my membership.