With the exception of one wonderful year out-of-state, I am a born and bred Michiganian/Michigander. I was raised in the area of suburban Detroit known as "Downriver," which is an often misunderstood place, both in terms of its location and culture. It is a traditionally blue-collar area where the majority of people are employed in the automotive industry.
I was valedictorian of my high school graduating class at Southgate Anderson High School, and from there went to the University of Michigan. I went through the usual major-of-the-month during my first few years of college, but was almost always headed toward something in science. I graduated with a degree in biology, and after deciding against medical school (I never applied to any, so I can't say I was rejected...nor could I say I was a lock to get in), I obtained my teaching certificate the following year.
My first job was at Clarkston High School, where I started in 1998. I taught various courses in biology and chemistry, both advanced and remedial. However, I started to get an itch to try something new, and for the 2006-2007 school year my district granted me a leave so I could pursue a degree in Futures Studies at the University of Houston, one of three colleges which grants such a degree. The following summer I was an intern at the Institute of Alternative Futures, a leading futures consulting firm in the Beltway. Undecided on my career path (i.e., there weren't many futures jobs at the time, and I was not set on jumping right into a doctoral program), I returned to teaching the following fall. After taking a year off of my own schooling, I began my doctorate in Instructional Technology at Wayne State University.
As I approached the end of my doctoral career, I accepted a faculty appointment at Grand Valley State University, where I began teaching in the fall of 2012. I also do adjunct work for Wayne State when asked.
I do have somewhat of a life outside of both my school and the schooling of others. I'm an avid runner (13 marathons to date), hack chef, and a homebrewer.
Finally, I married my best friend in June of 2012.