I was raised in northern New Jersey, where I attended public schools and spent most of my childhood in the woods. After graduating from Haverford College, I taught geography and world history for four years in Texas. My graduate work was at the University of Wisconsin, where I was awarded a joint doctorate in history and educational policy studies.

I am now an assistant professor of education at the University of Maryland–College Park.

My personal interests include reading, bird-watching, writing poetry, and listening to folk music.