Born and raised in Akron, Ohio I am an Ohio girl through and through. Ever since I can remember, I always wanted to be an educator. Playing “school” was my favorite childhood activity. I created lesson plans, decorated my classroom (the basement), graded papers – I did it ALL! My mom was a guidance counselor, my dad found a passion for teaching later on in life, and most of the people who made the largest imprint on my life were educators. There was no question of what I wanted to be when I grew up. In fact my senior year of school when asked about my future aspirations I said, “To attend Bowling Green State University majoring in Education with a minor in Marketing. My ultimate goal is to become superintendent of a school system in Ohio.” However, life would take me on a much different journey than expected.
I attended Bowling Green State University graduating in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Middle Childhood Education. My experiences as a student leader in college led me to pursue a career in Higher Education and Student Affairs because it allowed me to be an educator in a non-traditional setting. I pursued a Master of Education in Higher Education Administration and Student Personnel from Kent State University, graduating in 2008. Kent is also where I started my career as a Student Affairs professional.
I had an “ah-ha” moment at a training session during my second year of graduate school at Kent State University. The presenter said, “Our job is to inhabit the gap. Bridging the gap allows you to pass over all the crap between what students know and what students do. Inhabiting the gap allows you to help students navigate through the crap!” That’s what I believe I’ve been called to do as a student affairs practitioner – help students navigate through the crap. In 2012, I moved to New York to work at Binghamton University. It was there I started supervising full time professionals and learned I have a passion for developing and cultivating the potential in others by helping them to find their personal mission – and many times that involves helping them navigate through their crap as well!
I moved back to Ohio in 2016 to begin a doctoral program in Leadership Studies at Ashland University. The first course I took was Organizational Development and that’s when everything clicked! Learning about systems theory and organizational change validated how I view workplace situations! I earned my Doctorate of Education in Leadership Studies with a concentration in Human Resource Development from the Dwight Schar College of Education at Ashland University on May 9, 2020.
Other things that are important to note about me: I am a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® and have served in a variety of roles locally and regionally over the last 16 years. I have been a member of Arlington Church God (in Akron) pretty much my entire life. I currently work at Case Western Reserve University as Associate Director of Leadership Programs in the Office of Student Activities & Leadership. I enjoy traveling, shopping, baking, performing arts, being outdoors, and technology! I live in Cleveland with my partner John and our daughter Harper.