My first trip around the research dance floor was as a legal investigator. I spent my days talking to people about their lives, thinking deeply about their stories, and helping them build paths to new beginnings.
In the Peace Corps I found myself mapping community resources, talking to stakeholders, and leading community meetings to identify the right problems to solve.
I like helping people break down big, gnarly problems into digestible chunks and then reassembling them into new options. That’s probably why I’ve worked in all types of organizations – from five to 500 people, from start-ups to the globally scaled.
Being the child of educators is probably what compelled me to pick up two graduate degrees in qualitative research along the way. I also just really, really want to know.
In fact, asking why might be my middle name.
To me research is about understanding how people go about their lives in the world as it is today, internalizing that knowledge, and then using it to work with them to add to their well-being, their dignity, and their experience of the human condition.
Before coming clean and admitting that research is my true love, I trained hundreds of teachers to navigate the teenage mind, ran two ESL schools, flipped a lot of burgers, served a bunch of coffee, rode the streets of DC and San Francisco as a bike messenger, traveled to over 25 countries, and ran one marathon. It’s that last .2 that’s the killer!
At work? I love being a part of close-knit teams where people work hard, share ideas, achieve together, and laugh at the absurdity of life every day.
The ride isn't always what I expected, but I just keep hanging on.