I was born in Fairfax, Virginia, where I lived for a lengthy six months before moving to Albuquerque, New Mexico. During undergrad I went to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where I earned a B.S. in MCB and a minor in English. I’ve always loved observing living things, but when I took an introductory MCB class in college I started to realize just how complex and intricate biological systems really are, which crystallized my love for MCB. At the U of I I spent two and a half years conducting research in Steve Blanke’s microbiology lab. I worked on the biochemical characterization of bacterial multi-subunit genotoxin assembly using microscale thermophoresis. I also had the wonderful opportunity to teach physics lab courses, culture mammalian cells for an MCB lab course, and work on a research project examining LGBTQ representation in southern gothic literature. When I’m not working on coursework or doing research, I enjoy reading, writing, cooking, trying new foods, tending to my plants, and going for runs. During my time as a grad student I hope to continue teaching, cultivating my science communication skills, and exploring the reciprocal relationship between science and culture.