The faculty who will guide you through the curriculum at Goucher are not just professors, and they’re not just at Goucher. They are distinguished leaders in their fields. They bring a depth of practical experience that is invaluable to students.


Thomas Walker, Ph.D.
Academic Director

Tom Walker is a current faculty member in the MACS Program and teaches courses on environmental sustainability and organizing community.  As an academic trained in anthropology, history, and folklore, he has worked primarily in the public sector. For over twenty years he has been an independent consultant engaged in the culture of work, the working class, and radicalism as an ethnographer, event organizer, and advocate.  He first worked as a folklorist at the South Street Seaport Museum and later as a project director for a regional folklife project at the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.  As a venture philanthropist, he has served for over twenty years as a trustee to a family foundation which funds research, policy, and projects addressing environmental economics in areas of climate change, energy policy, sustainable fisheries, green taxes, ecosystem services, and ecotourism.  He has served as a board member for several non-profit organizations in the fields of folk culture, environmental health, Greek culture, and documentary film.  As a documentary filmmaker, he is associate producer of an award-winning film about the history of jazz in Washington, DC.  Walker first studied folklore as an undergraduate at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and received his PhD in folklore and ethnography with minors in anthropology and history at Indiana University, Bloomington. 


Erik Assadourian

Erik Assadourian is a Senior Fellow at Worldwatch Institute where he has studied cultural change, consumerism, degrowth, ecological ethics, corporate responsibility, religion, and sustainable communities over the past 13 years. In 2013, Erik co-directed State of the World 2013: Is Sustainability Still Possible? He is author of two chapters of the report "Re-engineering Cultures to Create a Sustainable Civilization" and "Building an Enduring Environmental Movement." In 2012, Erik co-directed State of the World 2012: Moving Toward Sustainable Prosperity and wrote "The Path to Degrowth in Overdeveloped Countries" for the report and continues to research and write on degrowth. Erik also directed State of the World 2010: Transforming Cultures: From Consumerism to Sustainability and wrote "The Rise and Fall of Consumer Cultures." Erik continues to direct the Transforming Cultures project, which explores innovative new ways to intentionally and proactively transform cultural norms so that living sustainably feels as natural as living as a consumer feels today. Most recently, through this project, Erik co-designed an eco-educational scenario for the popular board game Settlers of Catan, Catan: Oil Springs, which he hopes will help players grapple personally with climate change, the tragedy of the commons, and the challenges that come with continued growth in a finite system. Currently, Erik is developing a reality TV show, writing for The Guardian's Sustainable Business blog, and managing the US hub of Future Perfect.

Ann Daniels

Ann Daniels

Ann's expertise encompasses all areas of supply chain management for the food industry:  purchasing, quality assurance, food safety, distribution, logistics, R&D, and international expansion.  Her professional focus is  the development of  sustainable and socially responsible food supply chains including protocols around treatment of land, people and animals.  She owns a consulting company focused on restaurant chains, and works with executives in the business to adapt and improve their food supply chains.


Tiffany Espinosa, MBA, MA

Ms. Espinosa is the assistant dean in the Welch Center for Graduate & Professional studies.  She is also a faculty member in the Cultural Sustainability Program.  Formerly, Ms. Espinosa was as the Business School at the University of Colorado Denver's Managing for Sustainability Program and the Bard Center for Entrepreneurship.  Her research and teaching interests are in community wealth development, capacity building, and public-private partnership. She has created community organizations and developed new programming for organizations in Colorado, Michigan, and Illinois. She has served as a judge for a number of business plan competitions, including those hosted by the William James Foundation, the Bard Center for Entrepreneurship, The Future Farmers of America, and the Young Americans Center for Financial Education. She consultants and does public speaking on socially responsible business, entrepreneurship, non-profit business models, and leadership. Ms. Espinosa is working on a PhD in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Environmental Politics, Decision Making and Environmental Justice from from Colorado State University. She received her MBA and a MA in Education from the University of Colorado Denver and an undergraduate degree in Social Sciences from the University of Michigan.

Rebecca Hill, Ph.D.

Dr. Hill received her doctorate in Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics and her bachelors in Agricultural Business at Colorado State University. She teaches Community and Economic Development for the MACS program.  Rebecca currently serves as the Coordinator of Community and Economic Assistance with the Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics at Colorado State University.  Rebecca has experience working in economic and community development both domestically and internationally.   She serves on the City of Fort Collins Water Board, where she is the chair of the Legislative, Finance and Liaison Committee.  In Panama Rebecca has worked with a local organization promoting sustainable ecotourism.  She also has worked with women's rights groups on reservations and in Kenya.   Rebecca has also taught Agricultural Marketing and Microeconomics at Colorado State University.


Mary Hufford

Mary Hufford, Ph.D.

Folklorist and independent scholar Mary Hufford has worked over the past three decades in both government and academic settings. Her scholarship, teaching, and writing have centered on the interrelations of social, ecological, and cultural systems, and the formation of democratic public space through community-based, participatory research. As folklife specialist at the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress (1982-2002) she led regional team fieldwork projects in the New Jersey Pine Barrens and the southern West Virginia coalfields. From 2002-2012, she served on the graduate faculty of folklore and folklife at the University of Pennsylvania, directing the Center for Folklore and Ethnography from 2002 to 2008. Her seminars and field practica engaged students in ethnographies of movements for environmental and social justice in Philadelphia neighborhoods and the Central Appalachian coalfields. She is a Fellow of the American Folklore Society and a Guggenheim Fellow.

She has published articles and reviews in both public and academic venues, including Orion Magazine, Gastronomica, the Journal of American Folklore, Southern Quarterly, Cahiers de Litterature Orale, Cornbread Nation, Social Identities, Western Folklore, and the Proceedings of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration. Her present writing project, Holding Up the Mountains: An Ecology of Narrative Climax Forests, explores how conversational genres in cross-disciplinary, multi-sectoral communities of inquiry form matrices of democratic public space. For a more complete list of her downloadable publications go to:

Spencer Phillips, Ph. D.

Spencer Phillips is a natural resource economist with more than 20 years' experience helping people, communities, and institutions understand and attain the benefits of improved land stewardship. As principal of Key-Log Economics, LLC, he seeks science-based policy and market solutions that foster positive, sustainable connections between community, economic, and ecosystem health. His current research portfolio focuses on the assessment of ecosystem service value - especially as impacted by climate change, public land and resource management, and water quality improvement - and the economics of biodiversity conservation.
In addition to teaching the "Environment, Development and Economics" course in the MAES/MACS program, he lectures in microeconomics, ecological economics and natural resource policy at the University of Virginia. He has previously served the cause of conservation in a variety of research and organizational leadership roles at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, The Wilderness Society, Northwoods Stewardship Center, and the Northeast Wilderness Trust. Backpacking on a snowy Mt. Rogers in 1983 re-connected Spencer to wildlands and sparked his passion for exploring the intersections of wilderness with human spiritual and economic development. Whenever possible, he continues that exploration by skiing, hunting, canoeing, flyfishing and hiking.

Michael Shepard

Michael Shepard is an anthropologist whose research focuses on documentation and dissemination of endangered indigenous languages. He primarily works with Coast Salish communities in Washington State where he lives. Michael specializes in linguistic anthropology, ethnography, applied research methods and the application of collaborative Internet technologies. The intersection between cultural continuity, environmental preservation and capacity for self-determination is a focus of his research and teaching. Michael teaches for both the MAES and MACS departments and supports course development and design as a staff instructional designer. He is currently a PhD Candidate at the University of British Columbia and expects to complete his dissertation in 2014.

Thomas Simchak, M.Litt., M.S.

Tom Simchak is an energy policy advisor for the British Embassy in Washington, DC where he advises the U.K. Foreign Office on U.S. federal and state energy and climate policy. Prior to joining the embassy, Tom was involved in various clean energy policy issues at a number of DC organizations, including the Center for Clean Air Policy, Business Council for Sustainable Energy, the Alliance to Save Energy, and the Bipartisan Policy Center. His work has focused on electrical grid modernization, sustainable energy finance, and energy tax incentives. He has a Master of Science in Nature, Society, and Environmental Policy and a Master of Letters in Geography from the University of Oxford, where he researched social and cultural impacts of North Sea oil development in Shetland, a Scottish island community. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Oberlin College in Ohio and currently lives in suburban Maryland.