The early years.
I was raised in Moraga, CA - a lovely bedroom community about an hour outside of San Francisco. I attended school from age 6-16 here and have so many fond memories.
My parents have been married for more than 57 years. My siblings are scattered across Calif. and Wash. but we try to stay in touch. Combined we gave our parents 11 grand kids.
I started at CSU Sacramento in 1992. I took an accelerated path and completed my BA Organizational Communications degree in 1995. I worked while carrying a full course load - always seeking new opportunities and experience. I was all over the map - a gymnastics instructor, note taker for a labor union, hostess in a VIP tent for a Canadian football league (go Goldminers!). I was the manager and meet director for CSU Sacramento Gymnastics for 4 years. I belonged to a sorority (Gamma Phi Beta) and lobbied for my first career jobs as an intern at a local auto parts chain (Von Housen Auto Parts advertising dept) and C.W. Crocker Communications which turned into my first real career position as Jr. Account Manager upon graduation. I spent 4 years at CWC.
In 1997 I moved to Spokane, WA to begin my six-years at Eastern Washington University in the University Relations division. At the age of 24 I managed 16 staff of writers, graphic designers, photographers, and print production specialists. It was a lot to manage at such a young age. I earned my master's degree in organizational communication while working at EWU and gave birth to my daughter Sawyer in 2000.
I earned my MS in Communications from EWU in 2003 before leaving to join People to People Ambassadors Program (international educational travel company) as their Director of Marketing. There I managed 10 staff of writers, designers, and web developers. I had my son Eli in 2005.
In 2006 I began my academic career as an adjunct instructor at Whitworth University and Eastern Washington University where I first discovered my love for teaching.
This was a time of a lot of big life changes. In 2007 we moved to Sandpoint, ID. I had difficulty acclimating and finding a sense of home and professional opportunities in such a remote area. I started my own consulting business and became a Regional Marketing Director and Web Coordinator for the University of Idaho - overseeing marketing, web, and outreach for the satellite campuses in Coeur d'Alene, Boise, and Idaho Falls. I made wonderful friends and gained valuable experience. I loved my time with UI. Photo (left) is of me with two of my UIdaho colleagues taken in 2009.
In 2010 we moved again - this time to Boulder, CO where I began a two-year contract with the Lockheed Martin Engineering Management Program as their Director of Marketing and Business Development. Boulder was beautiful but so far from family. In 2012 I returned to WA state.
I entered a Murrow College classroom for the first time on my 39th birthday in 2012. I had never taught full-time before so it was daunting to take on 80 students across four classes and adjusting to a new daily practice of curriculum design, instruction, student mentoring, and perpetual learning. I found my home in the classroom.
Teacher. Mentor. Professional.
Over the past 7 years I have taught 65 classes with more than 1500 students on site and online. I teach four classes each semester and one over the summer. I am a Clinical Associate Professor in Strategic Communication and my research interests include integrated communication, digital communication, digital metrics, public relations, health communication, and employee relations. I was the faculty mentor for the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) for 5 years (2012-2017). I am the Director of Murrow Online Programs (2014-present), Research Associate on a multi-university pharmaceutical grant with the Center of Excellence for Natural Product-Drug Interaction Research - NaPDI (2015-present), and faculty advisor for the Beta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi. I represent Murrow College on several committees and serve as mentor to multiple students each semester on special projects, independent study, and internships.
Creative. Entrepreneurial. Collaborative.
In addition to teaching, administration, and mentoring, I am active in creative and collaborative initiatives at WSU with The Creative Commons, The Entrepreneurial Commons, and Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows. In 2018 and 2019 the Creative Corridor team hosted Adobe Creative Jam. This year more than 100 students from 20 majors competed in 22 teams to conceptualize and create a protype of an app using Adobe XD. I remain active as an advisor to the Harold Frank Entrepreneurship Scholars and provide ongoing mentorship and support to individuals and teams participating in start-up endeavors, Amazon Catalyst, iCorps, and Business Plan Competition.
25 years in. What's next?
So in 2019 I am 46 years old and 25 years into my career. The what's next is not fully formed but I do hope to continue my path in lifelong learning and growing as a person and professional. I enjoy teaching and hope to refine skills in instructional design, technical writing, and contribution to grants. I love my family and find great joy in watching the kids grow into their next stages of young adulthood.
“Life isn’t meant to be lived perfectly…but merely to be LIVED. Boldly, wildly, beautifully, uncertainly, imperfectly, magically LIVED.” -Mandy Hale, author
All photos are my own, have authorized usage rights, or are royalty-free.