I was born in 1976 to a registered nurse and electrical engineer in Kearney, Nebraska. My parents were transplants from northeastern Pennsylvania, having moved to Nebraska several years earlier as my father took a job at the local rubber manufacuturing plant.
I consider myself a highly creative and intelligent person with a love of problem-solving. To draw broad stroaks, I believe my creative side comes from my mother's family (her father painted pin-ups on the noses of WWII airplanes while in the service), and my geeky/tech savvy side comes from my father's interest in technology. I remember fondly playing on a Commodore 64 with a TV serving as the monitor.
Being an only child of parents who divorced when I was ten, I learned the fine skill of entertaining myself, which drew me to computers from an early age. After the Commodore 64 came an Apple IIGS, where I spent many hours playing fantasy RPGs, "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego," and perfecting my touch-typing skills through writing. I had the blessing of my mother's utter enthusiam to give me as many educational/exploratory opportunities as she could afford.
I departed Nebraska when I went to Connecticut College, and I ended up double-majoring in Anthropology and Religious Studies as an undergraduate, with a focus on new religious movements. My studies were really studies in systems, complex cultural and religious systems. My intellectual interests have always been multi-disciplinary, so I chose degree programs that allowed me to explore, as a whole, the nature of art, language, technology, medicine, and economics. In 1995, a high-school friend introduced me to the internet and bulletin-board systems. In the Spring of 1996, I designed and developed my first webpage by hand-coding the HTML. Had I dropped out of college right then, I probably could have gone to work as a web designer, but by the time I graduated three years later, my skills were far behind the curve. Still, I kept making webpages as a hobby, and continue to practice and refine my skills. I enjoyed being a student computer lab assistant during my junior and senior year, as it offered me compensation for something I loved to do anyway.
Graduating college with plenty of interests but no real focus, I moved to Long Island and began temp work as I had decent typing and organizational skills. The temp work brought me to New York College for Wholistic Health, Education & Research, where I became the administrative assistant to the Dean of the graduate programs in acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. I took on more responsibilities and was promoted to Program Coordinator. After several years of working there, the management of the school changed and after many, many personnel shifts, my position was eliminated.
After a long winter of unemployment, my efforts to return to working in higher education were finally realized when I began work as an executive assistant in the Office of Academic Affairs at Long Island University (LIU). My web design skills were tapped to create an Office of Academic Affairs website, and my interests in technology came to the attention of Michael Byrne, Co-Chair of the Educational Technology Department at the C.W. Post campus. In Spring 2005, I became enrolled in the Computers in Education master's program. During my work at LIU, I have enjoyed working with other administrators and faculty in developing educational technology initiatives across the University.
I am due to graduate in August 2006, and I hope to make a professional transition from general administrative support to educational technology and instructional design in the near future.