I am a PhD student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a public university in the greater Pittsburgh area. Literature and theoretical texts which explore themes of trauma, mental illness, disability, sexual violence, and identity are of interest to me. Restorative practices, related to political policy and hermeneutics, inform my approach to these subjects.
Other education includes a Master of Arts in English from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania (2015) where my capstone project was focused on themes of anarcha-feminism and labor protections for sex workers in Nawal El Sadaawi’s novel Woman at Point Zero and the DeBordian society of spectacle as represented in John Carpenter’s film They Live.
I have a Master of Education in Globalization and Educational Change from Lehigh University (2012) where I graduated from their TOESL program (2011) which is acclaimed as one of the best programs for ESL teachers in Pennsylvania. During that time I also gained experience writing grants for community programs (including Reading Rocks!) and creating curriculum for after school based childrens’ enrichment activities (Cheston Elementary After School Fitness Program funded by YMCA of Easton, Phillipsburg and Vicinity).
My Bachelor of Arts in English degree is from Centenary College of New Jersey (now Centenary University) where I was an international resident advisor for the college’s Summer Culture and Language Program which hosts students from Italy, Japan, China, and South Korea. I owe a great debt to the Educational Opportunity Fund mentoring program which provided me with counseling pertinent to first generation college students.
During my high school years I worked in a variety of food and retail service jobs (McDonalds, Kohls, ShopRite, Dunkin Donuts, Super Stop & Shop). After becoming a member of the local YMCA at the age of 14, I wanted to become a fitness trainer, so at 18 I became a certified fitness and aerobics instructor through the Athletic and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). From 18-24 I was a health and fitness instructor at the YMCA and taught aerobics classes in my local area.
After earning my first Masters degree I became an ESL and English Composition instructor at Warren County Community College, Northampton Community College, and Centenary College of New Jersey. Most recently I taught at DeSales University. I have also worked as an academic counselor and tutor at all of these institutions and in private settings. During my time as a graduate student I worked at the Kutztown University Writing Center.
From the age of 10-20 I was active in theatrical performing communities including 8 years as a dancer specializing in tap and jazz for Broadway Rhythms Dance Company and Studio under the mentorship of Roger VonBing. As an adolescent I was also a performer for Missoula Children’s Theater and Phillipsburg Summer Youth Theater.
While a student at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania I took an interest in publishing and have founded and co-founded 3 publishing platforms since 2014: Lehigh Valley Vanguard, Rag Queen Periodical, and TERSE. Journal. At the latter I am the current editor-in-chief. Publishing a total of 20 print books and counting I have created compilations to support the promotion of authors and their work.
I have also been active in the local arts community as both a curator of art shows and poetry readings, taking great pleasure in the camaraderie of both. From 2012-2014 I was active in the Arts Community of Easton (ACE) participating in their local art shows and the arts tent at the Easton Farmers’ Market. For a summer I also helped manage the tent at the market where I was responsible for recruiting artists to display their work.
In 2016 I was the keynote speaker at the Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges 21st Annual Women and Gender Studies Conference where I spoke about gendered labor in academia. I’ve presented research at Purdue University’s Anarchism and the Body Conference, University of Pennsyvania’s graduate student conference PROTEST, Lehigh University’s 3rd Annual Literature and Social Justice Conference, and Midwest Labor and Working Class History Colloquium.
Spending time with my partner and cat, reading, listening to astrology podcasts, making mixed media art, and writing are among my favorite things to do.