A fifth generation Wisconsinite, I was born and raised in West Bend. My dad, uncle, and my mom’s dad all worked at the West Bend Company for several decades, and I worked in the factory there during the summers I was a college student. Though my life and my interests have taken me many different places since, I feel privileged to have a job doing what I love in the state that I love. Among my hobbies are many outdoor activities and sports. When younger I played a lot of baseball; now my free time is more often occupied with racquetball, camping, hiking, and canoeing. My brother and my parents still live in the area. Being close to them and experiencing Packer-mania in its natural environment are pretty special for me.
I was educated in the public schools of West Bend, then went on to get an undergraduate degree at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, majoring in Political Science. One of the highlights of my undergraduate career was participation in a semester-long study abroad program called Global Semester, which brought me to ten different countries, including month-long study stays in Egypt, India, Taiwan and Japan, with a course taught in each. Another highlight was interning in Washington, DC for US Representative Les Aspin, then Chair of the House Armed Services Committee. I earned a Masters degree and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, graduating in 1997. I studied under two great professors renowned in the field, Charles O. Jones and Robert Booth Fowler. They taught me the importance of following my own muse when it came to research–because you have to remain passionate and interested in what you do—and that very accomplished scholars can also be very nice people. Before coming to UW Oshkosh in 2001 I taught at two wonderful liberal arts colleges, Colorado College and Wellesley College in Massachusetts, and at Bradley University, a regional comprehensive school in Peoria, Illinois.
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