About Me

I empower people from diverse backgrounds to be courageous and self-aware so they are open to learning from experience, have empathy for the voices and perspectives of others, and harness creativity to strengthen their communities

I’m a lover of language and all of the beautifully messy bits that make us human.

Y’all is perfectly correct, it’s okay to play with language (it’s yours after all), and each person’s version and special flavor of a story is valuable and can be useful for how we make decisions as a community or society!

I’m a researcher, teacher, wife, mother, lover of books, local explorer, artsy-fartsy crafter (yes, I try to find time to indulge myself as an avid baker and aspiring quilter), as well as a DIY junkie.

In spite of my education and background in the humanities (a Ph.D. in English Language Studies), I have found myself working in the innovation, entrepreneurship, and environmental policy spaces, obtaining certifications that make me legible to non-academics (becoming a Project Management Professional (PMP) and a certified MBTI Practitioner), and have embraced my identity as an evangelist of design thinking, user- and community-centered approaches to designing communication, and information justice–byproducts of my time working at Stanford University (Post-Graduate certificate through Ignite in Business Innovation and Design Thinking). I even have a book coming out in 2021 on Human-Centered Design and Energy through Routledge–a journey that I will be documenting publicly through my Field Notes in the coming months.)

Currently, I’m the Director of the Social Energy Atlas and faculty at the University of Georgia–by way of Stanford University and Arizona State University previously.

Collaborating with the fantastic folks at UGA Cooperative Extension and our work collecting the perspectives of everyday folks so that it can inform policy is one of the things I love about my research.

I also run a consulting business that provides technical communication services (copyediting, indexing, content authoring), community engagement support, and coaching for academics regarding research strategic planning and pathways for translating the skills learned at the university to non-academic audiences. My path has been a rambling and circuitous one–read more about that here–but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m still chasing the ever-illusive tenure-track job, and I haven’t given up yet–despite the frequent questions from my friends and family regarding why I even want it given the successes I’ve had up to this point.

The answer to that question is not because I want the "cushy professor life," but instead that I believe in what tenure represents: a way to put yourself out on the vanguard with added security so that you are able to pursue those ideas that have a chance to change society for the better. I love taking on the challenge of establishing yourself as an expert and gaining validation of that achievement at both national and international levels of scale--this is an especially difficult personal challenge given the fact that I struggle to see myself as an expert (there goes that evil imposter syndrome demon again). 

These days, I have become equal parts innovation, policy, and technical communication researcher, community educator, research writer, science communication and community engagement consultant, a private coach for new and established academic professionals wanting research support (e.g., project planning, proposal development, communications strategy), and a teammate in discovering pathways for legibility outside the university.

I speak at conferences around the country about the research I conduct and share my favorite methods for engaging diverse communities in challenging conversations. I’ve done numerous workshops with teams and individuals on design thinking, communication strategies, and innovation culture.

If you still want more insight into my thoughts, ramblings, and daily grind, go take a look at my Field Notes–which are basically a way this feral humanist documents her daily ramblings, musings, and management of her crazy. In that blog you might find my thoughts about being married to another academic, raising a very precocious little girl while managing multiple ventures, the importance of creative outlets to keeping yourself sane, and the many tools/methods/services I find along the way that help me keep everything going!