I grew up in the foothills of western North Carolina, later attending the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics and earning a B.A. in international studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. I studied Mandarin at UNC, at Xiamen University, and independently over four years spent working across southern China.
Outside of my research and teaching, I can often be found hiking along the Triangle's many trails with my wife and two sons, chatting with my neighbors, and reading. I'm also an irrepressible bibliophile, and the proud winner of the 2017 Andrew T. Nadell Prize for Book Collecting at Duke. Finally, and to the chagrin of some colleagues, I'm a lifelong Tarheel.