I grew up in Alexandria, VA and began dancing hula when I was 8 years old. I graduated from West Potomac High School in 2004. I've always loved working with kids, and baby-sat and was a camp counselor for years. In high school, I was a coxswain on the crew team.
After high school graduation, I attended Wellesley College where I majored in Psychology. I took many courses in Psychology including: Child Development, Memory, Language Acquisition, Narrative Identity, Personality, Research Methods, and Statistics. I also served as a research assistant for Dr. Emily Cleveland on her study of the social origins of memory development in early childhood and completed an internship at Children's Hospital Boston on a research study of the genetic origins of Autism Spectrum Disorders. I also was a 4-year varsity coxswain on the crew team and served was captain during my senior year.
When I graduated, I knew I wanted to work with children, but wasn't sure in what capacity. I found a live-in nanny position on Maui and moved there for a year. I was responsible for day-to-day care for a 2-year-old and 4-year-old. I also had the opportunity to dance with Hālau Ke'alaokamaile.
As a nanny, I realized I wanted to pursue a PhD in Child Development, and decided to get more research experience before I applied to graduate school. I began a job at the UC Davis MIND Institute on the MARBLES study. As a Junior Specialist on the study, I was responsible for interacting with study participants on a longitudinal study of early predictors of autism in children. I scheduled and attended research visits in homes, clinics, and hospitals to collect biological, environmental, and psychological data from pregnant women and young children ages 0-3 years old.
After 2 years on the MARBLES study, I began graduate school at UH Mānoa in 2011. I served as a teaching assistant and took several classes (e.g., Cognitive Development, Multiple Regression, Culture & Human Development, Community & Cultural Psychology, Qualitative Research Methods, Social Psychology). I earned my MA in Developmental Psychology in Spring 2014 and began teaching my own courses in Child & Human Development. Throughout my graduate career, I have had the opportunity to work with several esteemed researchers including Ashley Maynard, Kristin Pauker, Brandy Frazier, Catherine Sophian, and Cheryl Albright.
I have recently started a tenure-track job in Psychology at Leeward Community College in Pearl City, HI.