Where are you from and what do you teach? (or what is your current role)
I’m from the United States. I will serve as an Associate Director of Higher Education-US.
What moments have been most rewarding for you as a teacher? (or working with young people)
My most rewarding moments working with young people are centered around crafting their narratives, generally in the form of the personal statement. Watching a student piece together the parts of their life in a way that charts a distinguished and promising future is exhilarating. In composing the college application, the students who fare the best in the process are the ones who are willing to ask tough questions: Who am I? What is my gift? How have I contributed to the world? What am I called to do next? Working with students to help them craft answers to such questions can be a herculean effort, but is worth every second.
Who is your inspiration?
Michelle Obama inspires me. She embodies grace, courage, and intelligence—all qualities that I hope to emulate.
Who is your favourite author and why?
I am an avid reader, so I can’t possibly limit this list to just one author. My most beloved works of literature include Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl and The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo. From there, I have genre-specific authors that I enjoy. For African-American literature, I am a fan of Ann Petry, the author of the novel The Street, and many works by Toni Morrison. I also much enjoy Ta-Nehisi Coates. I’ve exhausted his non-fiction prose. I find his writing and form of storytelling engaging and informative. I’ve read just about everything by Malcolm Gladwell and would name Outsiders and David and Goliath among my favorites. I’m somewhat obsessed with the “learn-by-reading” genre. Accordingly, I love Daniel Pink, specifically, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing and Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Within the American Cannon, I enjoy John Steinbeck, Zora Hurston Neale, Harper Lee, Truman Capote, and playwright Arthur Miller. Additionally, I’m a fan of Khaled Hosseini, an afghan author known for his work in A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner. I find the plot turns in his novels are nothing less than magical. I also like that his books don’t focus on having happy endings, as strange as that may sound. It’s refreshing when not every problem is resolved.
What hobbies do you like doing outside of school hours?
I am quite fond of reading! Outside of that, I am an adventure enthusiast. I’ve gone sky-diving, parasailing, bungee jumping, kayaking, zip-lining, canoeing, and scuba-diving. I enjoy hiking and spending time outdoors.
Where was your most memorable holiday?
My most memorable holiday was in the Summer of 2019, where I spent time in France, Italy, and Hungary. It was a chance for me to explore my hobbies. I did some great hiking and spent a considerable amount of time cooking. I learned how to make fresh-egg pasta, gelato, and pastries!
What has most surprised you about living and working in Thailand? (in your case, what are you looking forward to most?)
I’m most excited about the weather. I can’t wait retire my down coat.
What is your teaching philosophy?
A central belief defines my counseling philosophy: that excellence comes in many forms. Moreover, admissions to college is an art, not a science. As such, I work with students to craft individual profiles and materials that put their best foot forward.
If you weren’t working in a school, what profession would you like to attempt?
If I weren’t in education, I’d likely be a lawyer or a diplomat or a state congressional representative.
What kinds of things do you not like to do?
I really dislike household chores. I don’t like it when my foods touch on my plate.
What is something you cannot live without?
I couldn’t live without my friends or food.
What degree did you study and where, where did you do your professional training?
For my undergraduate degree at Dartmouth College, I studied English Literature and Language. I’ve always been fascinated by stories and the written word. I also minored in Public Policy, where I focused on education and social development policy. I completed my master’s degree in Comparative Education: Education Leadership and Policy at Beijing Normal University in China.
What do you admire most about Shrewsbury’s approach to schooling and what stood out when you were applying here?
I am impressed with Shrewsbury’s commitment to holistic student development. From the website and conversations that I’ve had, it was clear that students at Shrewsbury are encouraged to excel academically, socially, and outside of the classroom.
Where did you work before Shrewsbury and what did you learn there?
I’ve had the privilege of working in three countries! I started my education training as an Assistant Director of Admissions at Dartmouth College, where I was responsible for evaluating applications and meeting with families and students. Afterward, I taught English in South Korea, which is where I first learned about international education. Next, I ventured to Shanghai, China, where I worked for InGenius Prep, an admissions consulting start-up. I learned considerably about working with high-achieving students interested in attending top schools around the world. At the time, we had one of the largest teams of former admissions officers. Not only could I rely on my experience in the Dartmouth College Admissions Office, but I could also speak to my colleagues who had worked for institutions like Princeton, Stanford, Harvard, and Yale. I then worked for IvyGate International Education Consulting Group, another admissions consulting firm based in Beijing, with offices across China. I learned how to work on a cross-cultural team to develop students in ways that embody western and eastern standards of excellence. As a manager, I also learned about working and coaching my team members to deliver exemplary service.
What is the most important thing students learn at Shrewsbury?
The most important thing a student can learn is how to apply their talents in a way that serves the world. Now, this is a bit of a trick question as it requires students to figure out their abilities and understand the world enough for them to make a difference.
What are you hoping to bring to the HE team?
As a member of the HE team, I am excited to bring a passion for liberal arts colleges and an appreciation for the vast array of educational experiences offered by schools in the United States.