About Me

I was born and raised in the Seattle-area, Washington State. My undergraduate career was at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA; majored in cultural anthropology and minoring in religious studies. I enjoy studying culture because of its vastness and little universality. Religion fascinates me due to the fact that so many people believe in various faiths that revolve around catering their lives to something they will never see with their own eyes yet live in altruistic manners that goes against our mammalian biologics.

After my undergrad tenure, I joined the Peace Corps (The Gambia-’08-’10) as a Health and Community Development Extensionist, where I utilized my training in cultural integration and participatory action research (PAR) to good use. Amongst small projects of teaching English at a local grade school and giving (in)formal health talks to women regarding their children’s health, I was involved with two bush road reconstruction projects. One of these projects involved Engineers Without Borders-USA (EWB) via Rowan University’s Engineering Department’s Chapter. With EWB, I acted as a consultant and translator.

Within my relationship with Rowan, I was given the chance to work with their Engineering Department’s Engineering Innovators Without Borders (EIWB) to implement their ‘human powered grain crusher‘ (or what I called a ‘bike-pedal powered millet milling machine’). My task was to find funding for the project and seek out/work with local agents to sustainably and locally re-create this device towards assuring that it would replace the mortar and pestle used throughout the country. I also did GAD work with Gambians, and trained incoming volunteers.

After Peace Corps, I almost immediately entered grad school in the Boston-area. I am a graduate of two Masters degrees (dual MAs) in Sustainable International Development & Coexistence and Conflict at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. I am a firm believer that in many global situations, conflict and development go hand-in-hand.

After two years of graduate courses and securing two competitive fellowships – Boren Fellowship and the PON Summer Fellow (see PON bio here)– I spent 6-months in the region of Casamance, Senegal (June – November 2012) conducting research to complete my graduate studies. In June – July 2012 I was engaged in intensive language training in the Pulaar dialect of Pula Futa. Between August and November I  conducted original field research on conflict management cultural norms and practices of the Fula ethnic group throughout the region. In doing so, I partnered and consulted for West African Network for Peacebuilding’s office in Ziguinchor, Senegal.

I graduated from Heller in February 2013 with said Masters degrees. Then, I moved to Nairobi in hopes of expanding upon my regional focus. I received my first job offer in the region in late 2013, and flew to Juba, South Sudan, where I worked for 16-months for two international NGOs.

To appease the service requirement of working for the USG under the guise of national security, after 2013 has been focused on obtain a position to fulfill said requirement. I attempted to do this in Kenya, South Sudan, Vermont, U.S. and then in my home area of Seattle, WA, U.S. with no luck of doing so while being able to continue my career path. In short, I appeased the requirement in late 2016. Since then, I have gone back to South Sudan again upon the request of a former employer.

*Views and opinions posted on this blog are my own, and do not reflect the mandate and stance of my NGO*

In my spare time I like to go hiking, camping, cycling, and bouldering. When I am not outside, I love to cook (See the Peace Corps/The Gambia Cookbook here).