I am from what was once a very small country town in the piney woods of east Texas, where I cultivated a strong love of plants, people, and the night sky. In 2007 my Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics was conferred from the University of Texas, but I stayed on for another 2 years as a post-baccalaureate research assistant and continued to study languages and linguistics. I became involved in a research project on the Dynamics of Hunter-Gatherer Language Change with Dr. Patience Epps, who encouraged me to apply for graduate study. In 2010, I was accepted to the linguistics program at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, where I have continued to cultivate my knowledge and skills.
I took a break from my PhD studies for the academic year 2014-15 to complete the first ever Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellowship to East Timor. I spent that year working on various projects for the Ministry of Education, especially cooperative projects with the National Commission for UNESCO where I discovered my unlikely love for Monitoring and Evaluation (NGO-speak for “collecting and organizing data”).
In my spare time I’m a volunteer English teacher, painter, chorister, ukulele player and inflexible but enthusiastic yoga practitioner. I have recently completed my PhD and am now seeking employment from my quiet flat in Canberra, Australia with my partner, James Grama.