Ph.D. in Learning Sciences and Human Development

Academic Background & Research Interests

I’m interested in social and emotional development (especially motivation and resilience), mindfulness and wellbeing in the school environment, outdoor education and forest schools, and sustainability and food/farm/garden-based education.  I believe these interests are all connected to my fascination with what it means to educate the whole child (body, relationships, mental health etc.) rather than just teaching academic content and skills.  I completed my undergraduate studies in Psychology at Yale, and my current academic interests have been shaped by my work at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence as well as the summers I spent working at Common Ground, an environmental education center in New Haven.  

Personal Background (any information you would like to share)

I love hiking and other outdoor adventures, yoga, sketching and painting, trying new food (recipes and restaurants) and coffee!

What led you to pursue a Degree in Education?

I developed an interest in education initially in high school, where I received a lot of support, wisdom, and mentorship from several of my teachers.  In college, I worked with an educational outreach organization called Splash that designed learning experiences for middle and high school students aimed at inspiring excitement for formal and informal learning. Over the course of college, I also began developing an understanding of power, privilege, and positionality, and how these issues manifest in the educational experience. Though I found psychology to be an intellectually exciting discipline, I was frustrated by the disconnect between basic research and application to pressing concerns in the field of education. I am excited to learn to be an effective and conscientious researcher, specifically in the design-based research method that characterizes learning sciences as a field. 

Why did you choose the UW and College of Education?

I’m from St. Louis and went to college on the East Coast, so I was ready to check out a new city and a new coast!  I was also drawn to the forest school movement that is growing in Seattle. Finally, I loved the interdisciplinary and design-oriented methodology of learning sciences.

What will you do to transform the world upon graduation? 

I will do my best to listen, ask questions, and stay open-minded in order to work toward the change that is needed in learning ecosystems.

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A new mural in Miller Hall highlights the stories, knowledge and pedagogies of Native communities.