I was born and raising in western Washington state, just north of Seattle, in a small town called Arlington. Growing up, I was an avid rider, competing regularly in show jumping competitions with my best friend and horse, Andy. After his retirement, and my graduation from High School, I received my BA in Spanish Language and Literature at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. While pursuing my BA, I travelled abroad to Madrid and fell in love with the vibrant city and culture. This would spark a life-long passion for travel and reading World Literature.
After graduating from Whitman College, I began to pursue my PhD at the University of Texas (Hook Em’) here in beautiful Austin. I will be defending my dissertation, Haiti in Hollywood, this coming December 2021, and completing my doctorate in Comparative Literature. My research has focused on the portrayal of Latin American and Caribbean Diasporic groups in popular literature and media in the United States, with a particular focus on the US relationship with Haiti. I received a Foreign Language Education Scholarship in 2015 that allowed me to travel to Haiti to conduct research and take courses in Haitian Creole. Kreyol pale, Kreyol comprann!
Travel, whether in person or through literature, has become a key component of my life and classroom. Literature offers us the ability to learn, see, visit other cultures, and in my opinion, is our greatest tool to becoming empathic persons of the world. I was drawn to Headwaters School, and teaching in general, because I want to help students see the diverse array of literature that the world has to offer. I strive to make a community impact and foster excellence in written and verbal communications skills.
At UT Austin I worked as an Assistant Instructor in the Department of Rhetoric and Writing, and in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, gaining five-years of teaching experience. In 2018 I was given the opportunity to design a course. My self-made class was titled The Rhetoric of Witchcraft and invited students to contemplate the role that contemporary media and literature has played in demonizing women, healers, and religious leaders from non-Christian faiths across the US. My course was grounded in Affect Theory to look at the ways that constant negative representation can warp our views and discourses on marginalized groups.
Today, I live in North Austin with my partner, James, and our three dogs and cat, who totally get along. When I am not reading or writing, I love relaxing with something bingeable on in the background (Bobs Burgers and The Office are my go to’s) or taking in sights and sounds on a long walk or hike.