I grew up in Silver Creek, a small town in western New York, so State College feels very comfortable to me. I completed my undergraduate degree in biology and anthropology and wanted to go on to graduate school in archaeology. Ending up at Penn State for that degree was one of the best things to ever happen! I loved living here and always hoped I'd find my way back. After living here for five years, my husband and I left the area to pursue our careers. My husband works in accounting and finance, so for a while we lived in Rockland County, New York, and he commuted to Manhattan. Soon after our first son was born, I got a job as a professor of anthropology at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Potsdam in northern New York, and we moved so I could pursue that career. It was quite a shock to live in such extremely different places! After teaching and researching at SUNY Potsdam for four years, my family and I decided we needed a change. My husband wanted to pursue a different career opportunity, we both wanted to live in a place like State College, and I wasn't as happy as a college professor as I thought I would be. I had never really considered any other possibilities, so this move really prompted me to rethink my interests and abilities. I discovered academic advising as a career and finally feel like I'm doing something I find meaningful and fulfilling. I love higher education, teaching, research, and working with individual students. Academic advising allows me to combine all these interests in ways that my previous work didn't. I find that this profession allows me to engage in scholarship that actually makes a difference in individual student's lives, and I love coming to work every day!
In my spare time, I read a lot (especially journal articles from higher education), cook, and hang out with my husband and two kids, Jimmy and Jack. I'm pretty handy with power tools and enjoy renovating my house. If I hadn't gone the academic direction, I'd definitely be in the contracting business.
- B.S. in Biology and Anthropology, State University of New York at Geneseo
- M.A. in Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University
- Ph.D. in Anthropology, The Pennsylvania State University
Senior Undergraduate Studies Adviser and Coordinator for Academic Programs, New Student Orientation
Research & Teaching Interests
Multicultural issues in higher education, the effect of academic advising on students and their institutions, educational decision making, the role of higher education in society
Office: 120 Grange Building