I was born in Wisconsin, but I grew up in Ames, IA. I moved to Iowa City, IA for my undergraduate work, where I took my first linguistics class after a brief adventure in Chemistry. When not in classes, I took part in a local short form improv group (Paperback Rhino). I also spent a year in Iceland where I became somewhat proficient in Icelandic, and also acted in a stage translation of the movie Magnolia– I was told I sounded like “an Icelander impersonating an American accent,” which I took as a compliment.
I moved to Santa Cruz, CA in 2008 to pursue a PhD in Linguistics at UC-Santa Cruz. There, my interests shifted somewhat, and I began to pursue research on Estonian in addition to Icelandic. I took two trips to Estonia (4 months total) in 2010-2011, and this solidified its place among my research interests. I wrote my dissertation about the morphosyntax of nominals in the language, and it’s hard to imagine a time in my life when I didn’t think about Estonian on a daily basis.
From 2014 until 2019, I was an assistant professor in the linguistics program at OU in Norman, Oklahoma. While there, I continued my work on Estonian (including fieldwork in Summer 2016) and developed new interests in typology as well. Oklahoma is also where I adopted a cat (Cookie). Outside of my professional life, I enjoy playing tennis and volleyball, playing games of all kinds (card, tabletop, video), a little bit of crafting/making, and vegetarian/vegan baking and cooking.
After much careful thought, I left my academic position in 2019 and moved to San Francisco to pursue a second career in industry. There are increasing numbers of former academic linguists pursuing industry careers, and I’m excited to join them in 2020!