I am a writer, teacher, runner, and avid photographer of kittens based in Phoenix, Arizona. I received my Ph.D. in English from the University of Delaware in May of 2016. In addition to Delaware, I have taught at major universities across the United States, from George Mason, to the University of Houston, to the University of Arizona. This Fall of 2017 I am making the move to teach at Xavier College Prep, a prominent college preparatory school here in Phoenix.
My path here began in the northwest Chicago suburbs, where I grew up in the land of windy, icy winters, and hot, humid summers. After receiving my Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Illinois with a concentration in literature and a minor in Philosophy, I moved to Austin, Texas. While taking a few years off before graduate school, I unexpectedly developed a successful career in real estate finance. Over a period of eight years I progressed from underwriting loans, to executing transactions in excess of $350 million for Wall Street firms, to serving as Vice President for a national banker where I managed an office of fifty-five people.
Eventually, however, I recognized that my deep desire to study literature endured. I wanted to learn more about literature and writing, and to help others master the interrelated skills of reading, writing, and thinking. I enrolled full-time in the Master of Arts in English program at the University of Houston, where I learned to study discourses of race and imperialism in writers like Herman Melville and Catherine Maria Sedgwick.
I began to engage in deeper research on these topics at the University of Delaware. There I expanded my disciplinary focus to consider the interaction between early American visual and literary cultures. At Delaware I also began to study Native American literatures, and how Native Americans adapted and resisted European writing and narrative forms. My doctoral dissertation was supported by a twelve-month dissertation fellowship at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC, as well as research fellowships at the American Antiquarian Society and the Winterthur Museum and Library, and support from the University of Delaware. I finished "Printing Indians and the Imperial Contest in America" in 2016, with Edward Larkin generously serving as the project's Dissertation Director.
After finishing graduate work, I moved with my wife and kittens here to Phoenix, AZ. After five years on the East Coast, we both sorely missed warm weather and desert landscapes of the Southwest. In Arizona I juggled teaching gigs between Arizona State and Scottsdale Community College.
During this first post-graduate year I realized that my passions lay not in actually teaching college, but in helping secondary school students gain the educational foundation crucial to their success at the university. My belief in the increasing need for female leadership in our society led me to Xavier College Prep.
While I teach, I'm writing a blog about Nathaniel Hawthorne and composing weird fiction set in the world of the author's classic novel The House of the Seven Gables. I'm also serving as an assistant cross-country coach at XCP and taking pictures of cats.