My passion for language began as a child when I would wake early in the morning to the sound of my father typing at his typewriter or simply staring out the window waiting for the next sentence to come. Growing up around a writer and a house full of books, it felt natural at a young age to try to write poems and short stories. Throughout my schooling, I was drawn to courses where I had to show what I know through my writing. Going to the University of Minnesota, I fell easily into the English department and focused my coursework on American literature, women's literature, and literacy. During my undergraduate years I was fortunate to have teachers who encouraged service learning on literacy, language acquisition, and access to resources through language and empowerment; I was able to work at the Brian Coyle Center in Minneapolis, Jane Addams School for Democracy in St. Paul, and Stree Adhar Kendra in Maharashtra, India. After receiving my BA in English, I went on to the University of Northern Iowa, where I graduated with honors with an MA in TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language). During my time in Iowa, I worked with recent immigrant populations on developing their English skills. I also taught general composition and ESL classes for international students at the University of Northern Iowa. Returning to the Twin Cities, I had the opportunity to work with recent immigrants and refugees and mentor ESL teachers in the public schools while taking further graduate credits in Curriculum and Instruction.
As an Assistant Professor at St. Catherine University, I have been teaching composition, creative writing, short story, developmental writing, critical literacy for multilingual learners, and cross-cultural communication classes on the Minneapolis Campus in the Liberal Arts and Sciences Department since 2001. Being able to work with the students on the Minneapolis Campus , teach a variety of course work, and work with a forward thinking faculty has been a true joy. I have been able to utilize the language, teaching skills, and cross-cultural communication skills that my experiences have built. At work, I try to devote most of my time to understanding how to best reach and teach my students the English language, writing and reading skills they will need to pursue their goals-whether that be a two-year degree in the health care professions or a four-year degree in a liberal arts major. I also have kept up my own practice of creative writing, challenging myself in the same ways I try to challenge my students.