A native of Atlanta, Georgia, I attended Wake Forest University from 2004 to 2008, graduating with a major in English and minors in secondary education and religion. In the spring of 2007, I studied abroad in Christchurch, New Zealand. In the spring of 2008, I wrote an honors thesis on Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things. I also student-taught 9th grade English at Mt. Tabor High School and earned a North Carolina teaching license.
After graduation, I taught literature and history to middle school students at the summer academy organized by the Higher Achievement Program, a DC-based organization that provides motivated middle-school students with academic and social support.
From the fall of 2008 to the summer of 2009, I served as an AmeriCorps volunteer, working as an adult education instructor at the Academy of Hope in Washington, DC. While there, I created curricula for a foundational math class and an essay-writing class. I also designed a poetry elective class. In July 2009, I led professional development workshops at the Adult Literacy Resource Center Summer Institute to adult educators about my methods of teaching poetry and essay writing to adult learners.
Also in the summer of 2009, I completed the Mayor's Marathon in Anchorage, Alaska, with the Leukemia & Lymphom's Team-In-Training Program. This was an enormous challenge and test of self-discipline, and I found it extremely rewarding. I have no plans to run another marathon -- this one caused too much hip damage -- but it was well worth the time and effort.
I then enrolled at Georgetown University, where I began graduate studies in English and American literature. As a graduate writing fellow, I tutored graduate and international students in the writing center each week and served as a TA for writing-intensive classes in Georgetown's School of Continuing Studies. In my second year at Georgetown, I passed my oral examination with distinction and completed my master's thesis on narrative theory and postcolonial feminism. My paper, "Fragments, Traces, Echoes," about authorship and authority in the work of Edwidge Danticat, was published in Georgetown's English journal, Predicate. While a student at Georgetown, I attended various conferences and presented the following papers:
- “Writing Redemption: Transforming (Re)Presentations of Trauma in The God of Small Things.” Louisiana Conference on Literature, Language, and Culture, Lafayette, March 2010.
- “Privileging Interiority: Narrative Style in Edwidge Danticat’s The Dew Breaker.” Chesapeake American Studies Association, Washington, DC, March 2010.
- “Writing Together: A Personal Approach to Composition.” University of Virginia Graduate Conference, Charlottesville, April 2010.
- “Participation and Performativity: The Ethics of Form in Toni Morrison's Fiction.” University of Illinois Graduate Conference, Urbana-Champaign, April 2010.
- “Passive-Aggressive Negation: Social Critique in Pride and Prejudice.” City University of New York Graduate Center Conference, New York, February 2011.
I graduated from Georgetown’s Master of Arts in English program in May of 2011 and began teaching 9th grade English at the Minnie Howard Campus of T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia. In my first year there, I taught three honors classes and co-taught one section of an ELL English class. I applied for a grant from the ACPS Dream Fund and received funding to bring Kindles and e-books into my classroom.
In my second year at TC Williams, I taught three honors classes and one standard class. I created screencasts on numerous topics ranging from parallel structure, to The Epic of Gilgamesh, to Dante’s Inferno. I applied for and received a grant from the PTSA to take all of my students on a field trip to the Newseum in downtown Washington, DC. I also developed writing rubrics for the 8-member English department and collaborated with fellow teachers to create a new 9th grade curriculum.
From the fall of 2013 to the spring of 2015, I taught 10th grade English at The Lab School of Washington. I was named a 2014 PBS Digital Innovator for my work to integrate technology into my English classroom. I made videos and podcasts for my students, all of whom learn in non-traditional ways. In my second year at the Lab School, I co-led professional development for the high school staff as we worked to enhance student-centered learning.
In the past few years, I've attended several NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) conventions as well as the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) convention. In October 2015, I traveled to Dallas to attend the annual conference of the International Dyslexia Association.
Since the summer of 2015, I've worked with numerous high school students on college essays, organization strategies, self-advocacy, communication with teachers, assistive technology, and various writing assignments. I am currently licensed to teach English at the secondary level in the District of Columbia.