I grew up in Cincinnati, OH, before heading to the University of Virginia to study Economics and Commerce as an undergraduate. I went through college thinking I would work in business and eventually go back and get an MBA, but my economics classes fascinated me, so I took econ on as a second major. After graduating, I spent two years as a data scientist in Richmond, Va, for CarMax. I soon found myself wanting the tools necessary to do my own research, so I moved west and started a Ph.D. at the University of Oregon in Eugene.
When I was in high school, my awesome mom ran the Boston Marathon for the first time, and I hopped in the race to run with her for the last 4 miles. The following year, she was a half mile from the finish line when the bombs went off. Luckily she was ok, but the devastating day made me want to go and run the marathon myself. The following spring, I ran the Charlottesville marathon, qualifying for Boston, which I did for the first time in 2015. Since then, I have run many more marathons, lowering my PB to 2:24:17.
From a young age, I have loved spending time outside. I’d go on monthly camping trips with my friends, and every summer, we’d have a big trip backpacking, canoeing, or otherwise adventuring. A significant portion of my childhood was spent playing in a small creek behind my house (and behind a friend’s house when we moved away). The summer before I moved to Eugene, I hiked the entirety of the Pacific Crest Trail in 89 days. The trail stretches 2,650 miles from the Mexican to the Canadian border through California, Oregon, and Washington. This incredible experience is hard to put into words without sounding cliche. I try to remember the connectedness I felt between the trees, plants, soil, water, animals, and us humans every day.
Since moving to Eugene, I have bounced between road, trail, and track running. I like to mix things up throughout the year to keep things interesting. The culture around racing on the track in Eugene is quite remarkable (it’s called “Tracktown USA” for a reason), but access to the world-class trails in our backyard has me pining for the mountains come May. Summer of 2020, having passed the core exams after the first year of my Ph.D., I tried to squeeze in as many epic long runs as I could. This turned into circumnavigating 5 volcanoes, traversing the Tetons and Enchantments, and numerous other long days out on the trails with friends I won’t forget.
I have been vegan for 5 years and stopped drinking for the past 3. Both of these choices have significantly improved my life. I feel healthy and strong, and yes, I eat enough protein. Going vegan sparked my love for cooking as it opened my eyes to a new set of exciting recipes. More importantly, though, I choose not to buy animal products because animals are complex emotional beings that do not deserve to be treated the way they currently are.
I live in a 390 sqft tiny house with the most wonderful partner and our kitten, Rainbow. She has gotten me into surfing and mushroom foraging, so we frequent the Oregon coast for its subpar waves and exceptional mushrooms.