What was your first real job? My first job out of undergrad at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington (UNCW) was an Americorps VISTA placement at a homeless shelter in Alexandria, VA. I did a combination of data and volunteer coordination work, focused on building capacity. I ended up being hired full-time after my year of service and stayed for another two years before joining APLU!
Why did you want to work at APLU? I wanted to join APLU to gain experience working in a national-scale nonprofit. I was looking to translate my direct-service experience to large-scale, policy work.
What motivates you to work in higher education? I have been privileged enough to attend two public institutions that are APLU members. I earned my bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and am currently working on a masters of public policy at George Mason University. I am most passionate about expanding equity and accessibility of higher education through affordability and inclusion.
What current APLU project or initiative are you most excited about? I am excited to be working with the Commission on Information, Measurement, and Analysis to develop a way to succinctly express the value of higher education at public universities.
What is your favorite thing about living in DC? As a native of Northern Virginia, I appreciate the accessibility of DC. I love being able to walk to bars and restaurants from my apartment while only being a twenty-minute drive from my family!
What was the last concert you attended? Seeing live music is one of my favorite activities. Living so close to the 9:30 club, it’s hard for me to turn down a show! This week I saw both Julia Jacklin and Courtney Barnett and will be attending Father John Misty in a few days.
If you could have dinner with three famous people who would they be? I would love to have dinner with Fred Hampton, Che Guevara, and Norm McDonald. All three are incredible different, but equally influential on me. It would be a very different world if all three hadn’t passed at the times they did.
What’s one thing people would never guess about you? While I was in college I boxed and worked at a boxing gym! These days, I do ceramics and can make a mean mug.