As a teacher and researcher in the field of Second Language Acquisition (SLA), I am always striving to push the boundaries of the most current theories and find practical applications for those theories in my classroom. I first became interested in SLA as an undergraduate at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. As a senior during my student teaching semester I took a course with Dr. Mark Overstreet called Current Trends in Teaching a Foreign Language. During this course I was introduced to the theories behind the practice of language teaching and langauge learning.
I then spent a year abroad in Hamburg, Germany as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to work on my teaching skills and my proficiency in German. During this time I was able to focus on the path I wanted to follow and decided that I wanted to continue learning about SLA. The following year I started my MA degree at Michigan State University. I chose to get my MA in German Studies because of my passion for the German language and the close ties between the German Studies program and the Second Language Studies program at MSU. There I was able to continue teaching German as a TA, take multiple courses on German literature and language, and also take a number of courses on SLA and Linguistics. The most influential course I took at MSU has to be SLA of Morphosyntax with Prof. Patti Spinner.
I received my MA in German Studies from MSU in spring 2011. In the fall of 2011 I began my studies at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, where I am currently a Ph.D. student in the Second Language Acquisition program. I am originally from Pittsburgh and am excited to have returned home with the vast amount of experience I have collected both here in the States and abroad.