I love the Shenandoah Valley. My husband, Adam, and I were married in March 2010 at CrossKeys Vineyards. Both of my children, Latham (6) and Gwendolyn (3), were born in Harrisonburg. I am involved in several community groups and my church, Muhlenberg Lutheran. Over my nine years in the Valley, I’ve cultivated friendships and professional relationships, and I’m so grateful to call this beautiful community home!
I was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I earned my B.A. with a Biology major at Hanover College in 2002 and earned my M.A. in English Literature at Indiana University (IUPUI campus) in 2004. I edited the science journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in Maryland for two years before going to the University of Alabama’s Renaissance Literature Ph.D. program in 2006. I finished my doctoral coursework in December of 2009, and moved to Harrisonburg in March of 2010.
Most of my professional career has been spent educating college students in English literature and writing. I've taught at JMU for the past eight years, but I've also taught at Blue Ridge Community College, the University of Alabama, and IUPUI. I've also worked with younger students too--most recently when I was the Education Coordinator at the EJC Arboretum at JMU. I believe that the delegate who represents Virginia’s 26th district needs to concentrate on several areas, but I'm very passionate about education, the environment, mental health, physical health, the economy, and infrastructure.
During 2017, with fellow community members, I helped to start and organize ForHHS2, a grassroots non-partisan organization that advocated to the HCPS School Board and the Harrisonburg City Council that there needed to be a second high school. In 2018, I was selected to be in the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for the Political Leaders class of 2018. As part of that program, I’ve spent the year visiting many regions around the Commonwealth and discussing how all areas interact. It has been enlightening and energizing. My classmates are from all areas of the political spectrum and our class has practiced civility, trust, and respect in politics while discussing polarizing and relevant issues.
Having battled postpartum depression when my children were young, I am especially invested in helping address mental health care as well as how to best support new mothers. My son and daughter are the most glorious creatures in the world, and I'm lucky to have had a supportive husband, wonderful friends and family, and resources available in our community as I work to help them grow. I want to be sure that we can help every child, every woman, and every family in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County.