I was born and raised in Minnesota, two hundred miles north of the Twin Cities, thirty miles from the Headwaters of the Mississippi, in a region of Minnesota called Lakes Country. After graduating from college, I went to Eastern Washington University in Spokane, Washington for my MFA in nonfiction. When I graduated, I took a job teaching composition full-time at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and was there for seven years. I finished my PhD in English (specializing in nonfiction and place studies) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2013 and I'm currently Assistant Professor of English at Concordia College, in Moorhead, MN.
I'm very interested in the contemporary essay, place writing, travel writing, environmental/ecocritical works, and particularly Irish Studies. My dissertation was/is a collection of essays on the city of Galway, Ireland that I'm hard at work revising (after my latest trip to Ireland last August). I am also in the midst of writing an article on the Irish essayist Tim Robinson for the first critical collection of his work and my next critical project will involve the role of place and fiction craft in contemporary Irish noir.
Outside of the classroom, I love to be outside. I like to go camping with my little 13-foot Scamp camper, with two fur balls who are not as enamored of camping as I am. I enjoy photography and refinishing furniture, cooking and baking, and I have a particular fondness for tea. Like my father before me, I am a tinkerer and I never go anywhere without my Leatherman.