I am a higher education scholar-practitioner with a zeal for learning and a love for change. Whether in the classroom, in a meeting, or in my research, I’m always pushing myself to reach my fullest potential and act in service to those around me. That same philosophy applies to my hobbies and pursuits of cooking, hiking, and being an active part of Gamma Sigma Sigma National Service Sorority, Inc.
I have defined my career in higher education by developing and implementing co-curricular efforts to enhance student learning and educational success. For more than five years, I have led the development and implementation of initiatives to enhance student learning and development in student affairs and residence life. As a PhD student in Leadership and Education Policy at the University of Connecticut, my research focuses on how university policies and actors impact the lived experiences of minoritized students, specifically related to incidents of hateful and biased expression and incidents. My work as a scholar-practitioner is rooted in constructivist learning theory, organizational learning theory, and critical theoretical approaches. In short, I believe that we need to rehumanize higher education through innovative approaches to learning, equity, and policy and program development.
I started my higher education journey as an undergraduate at the University of Maine, where I studied English and spent much of my time in student leadership roles in residential life, orientation, alumni relations, and community service. When I continued in my master’s program at UMaine, I delved into social justice and diversity, conducted research, and began to my future as a scholar-practitioner. My professional career at the University of Connecticut provided me the opportunity to apply my knowledge and skills, push the status quo, and advance student-centered practices in residence life and student affairs. I began my journey as a PhD student in 2015 at the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut.
As I continue on my path as a doctoral student, I have recently made the difficult decision to move from part-time to full-time study. I spent months considering making this leap—an investment in my research and scholarship. The obvious question has been “Why would I leave a secure, good-paying job that includes tuition benefits for the financial hardship of being a full-time PhD student?” This question has mostly been inside of my own head, though. Friends, family members, colleagues, and mentors have been unsurprised, supportive, and enthusiastic. They see that I have always pursued a life of scholarship, and that my greatest contributions to my field at this time in my career can only be realized through dedicated research and study.
However, my connection and dedication to practice is strong, and I believe that I can continue to make a contribution to practice through meaningful consulting, speaking, and training. Collaborating to create change is my favorite part of student affairs practice, and I look forward to continuing to do this in new and different settings. I look forward to hearing from you and working together to lead change through learning. Check out some of my specific areas of expertise here, and contact me to start a conversation!