The boring stuff: I got my BA in international studies from American University in Washington, DC, and my PhD from the University of Michigan (2008). I taught at the College of Wooster (AY 2008-09), American University (2009-10), SAIS (2011), and Christopher Newport University (2015-16). Iíve got a book on how to write empirical research papers from CQ Press.
The fun stuff: Iím a rabid Steelers fan and only slightly less rabid Wolverines fan. Iím pretty obsessed with football; itís on the TV all day Saturday and Sunday, Monday nights, and most Thursday nights as well, plus most of the week between Christmas and New Yearís. I was born near Pittsburgh, so itís not surprising that I bleed black and gold. (Think about it: all the steel mills and brownfields along the Ohio River, municipal water sources, I dunno, maybe?) And after 7 years in a Big 10 (oh, sorry, B1G) town, you drink enough of the Kool-Aid there too.
This is mildly amusing when you consider that I married a military guy from Charlotte, NC. He went to the Air Force Academy, where school spirit is enforced and football attendance is mandatory. He grew up mostly without an NFL team and doesnít have strong ties to the Panthers. So weíve got this weird contra-stereotype household where the woman wants to watch football all the time and the guy would prefer to watch home improvement and cooking shows. I still do all the cooking, though, and thatís (mostly) OK because it turns out that I rather enjoy it.
To the extent that academics can be said to have spare time, my other spare time activities involve being a lifetime member of Girl Scouts of the USA and extensive crocheting. I crank out probably 3-4 full-size crocheted afghans and at least that many baby blankets in a given year (I have perfected watching football and crocheting at the same time, and can even often crochet and read at the same time if it's not too complex a pattern or book). I am obsessed with Harry Potter and have read all of the books in English and in French. My rationale was, if you need to get your language skills back to a functional level (and I did), you need to use something fun or you won't be motivated to keep up with it. Harry did the trick for me, though I'll admit that the first chapter of the first book is a bit of a doozy with all that description. I picked up a young adult series in French when I was at the EUSA conference in Montreal a few years ago; I'm now reading at the proficiency of a 13 year old (woohoo!!). I'm on book 10 of the series and looking forward to finishing the last two volumes because frankly, the writing sucks. This series should have ended 5 books ago.
Finally, just because I can, here are some pictures of us and our fur babies, Max and Lady, the rottenest beagles around.