I was born and raised in Saint Paul, Minnesota and attended Loyola University Chicago on the full tuition Ignatian Scholarship from the Interdisciplinary Honors Program. During my time at Loyola, I spent a semester in Washington, D.C. through the Les Aspin Center for Government, where I interned in Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky's office. I also devoted a semester to the South Africa Service Learning Program hosted by Marquette University. I majored in Political Science with a minor in Theater Arts, and graduated Magna Cum Laude.
During my final semester at Loyola, I began an internship with J Street, an interest group working to bring peace to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At the end of this internship, I was asked to join the staff full-time as the Midwest Field Organizer. After a year and a half in this position, I decided to leave to pursue a Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Minnesota.
During my graduate tenure, I have devoted significant time to community outreach work. This has included my position as the Vice Chair of the Executive Board at the Devin Smith Scholarship Foundation, which provides financial assistance to high school seniors who show a creative vision for their lives. I have also used my graduate school training in my role as the volunteer Co-chair of the Research Committee formed within Jewish Community Action, working to foster more racially and economically equitable banking practices in the Twin Cities.
When I'm not busy with work or volunteering, I can often be found agonizing over the most recent losses suffered by the Minnesota Vikings or Minnesota United FC.