I was born and raised in Decatur, Illinois. For my Bachelor of Arts, I attended the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and graduated with distinction in English with a minor in communication. During my last two years at UIUC, I was a writer, columnist and editor for buzz weekly. After working as editor of the Community section for three months, I took over and built up the dwindling Arts and Entertainment section of the publication. The switch was a prefect fit and cemented in my mind that I wanted a career in writing and publishing.
The arts editor position also went well with my role as president of the New Revels Players, a campus theatre troupe where I learned to overcome any remaining stage fright. Always eager to stay busy, I also competed on the western team for the Illini Equestrians and helped a friend start a kayaking club called Yakity Yak Kayak, after she fell in love with ocean kayaking during a trip to Australia.
After UIUC, I became a graduate student at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, specializing in interactive publishing, while taking on an internship with Autism Home Support Services, based in Northbrook, IL. As their webmaster, I help them connect with the families of children with autism, giving them access to ABA therapy at home.
When I decided to pursue an extra quarter at Medill through the Global Program, I was placed in my first choice, Dublin, IRE, and worked as an editorial intern at The Irish Times for several months before returning to Chicago and starting work for NorthShore University HealthSystem. At NorthShore, I worked as a web content admin, making updates to the site, developing new content through physician interviews, and providing patients and their families with the valuable information they need in a way that is easy to understand.