I am currently a Ph.D. student at Portland State University, working toward a degree in Applied Community Psychology. I also work as the Director of Research and Client Experience for Adept, and as a research assistant for CIRG.
My interest in community psychology began during my undergraduate studies at Linfield College in McMinnville, OR. During my first year I met a hippie (in all the best ways) old (but young) lady named Ellie Gunn, and helped her with some projects. Ellie introduced me to a community group of free-spirited, veggie-growing, drum dancing, bike-riding, Earth-loving, human-loving, consciousness-raising folks of all ages. This group completely changed my life in all the best ways.
Ellie is like a grandma to me, and that group of beautiful people and McMinnville hold a special place in my heart. They showed me that there are other ways to be in the world, and my interactions with them made starkly clear to me so many things, but one in particular: the detrimental side-effects to how disconnected people are from their communities and the Earth, despite being constantly plugged into technology and seemingly “more connected than ever.”
During that first year in school, I also studied longevity and well-being, which sparked an interest in communities in the world where people live the longest, healthiest, thriving-est lives. I didn’t realize this sense of thriving was missing from my life until I began to thrive myself, and I realized I could help bring that sense of a truly fulfilling, well-being-filled life to others around me. So, I decided to study pursue an education community psychology to see what I could do about it.
My undergraduate studies were in psychology (focused in personality and abnormal psych) and music – double major deal. I will always be a musician, and, I feel compelled to focus my energies on helping the world in other ways – music is for me, my studies in psychology are to help others. Adept is highly related to my psychology interests, so check it out if you’re curious.
I often feel like I live many separate lives, and I’m trying to figure out how to bring them together. Outside of this “professional” realm, I also have a BA in music – with my song-writing being rooted in jazz, R&B, folk, and classical music, if you can even imagine what that may sound like. I played numerous instruments growing up, never truly excelling at one, so call me a well-rounded self-entertaining musician.
I enjoying hiking and backpacking as well as anything that keeps me physically active. I love to dance and have a thing for swing dancing (and I pretend I can do more hip-hop style, but that’s mostly when I’m alone). I lift weights regularly and practice yoga daily. In another life I might have been a yoga teacher, though for now it is a practice purely for myself and my own mental-emotional-physical-spiritual well-being.
I am drawn toward Buddhist-oriented books, as well as narrative poetry, all written works of Charles Eisenstein, and anything that encourages me to expand myself and open my eyes to see the world a little more clearly.
Back in the day (i.e. undergrad) I also worked in Sustainability. If I could’ve gotten three bachelor’s degrees, environmental studies would’ve been the third. I enjoyed that work, though now I simply do my best to practice a rejuvenating and sustainable lifestyle.
Fun fact: I grew up riding a unicycle as part of a competitive unicycle team. Give me a unicycle and I’ll show you some tricks.