A large group of people gather on a rock in a wooded area, posing for a photo.


I’m an award-winning journalist who went to school for a very long time.

When I graduated from St. Agnes School in 1993, everyone threw their mortarboards in the air as if school was out forever. Not for me! I spent the next 14 years in the Boston area, earning four degrees.

I completed my Bachelor of Science in early childhood education at Boston University in 1997. As part of that program, I student-taught at four different schools, including BU’s Early Childhood Learning Lab and Trinity Grammar School in Australia. While at BU, I began a 13-year relationship with the Science Museum of Minnesota (1995-2008), where I designed and taught science classes for children; primarily preschoolers and primarily during summertime.

After completing college, I matriculated at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where I studied with faculty including Carol Gilligan and Howard Gardner, receiving an Ed.M. (1998) in human development and psychology with a concentration in gender, culture, and relational development.

I stayed at Harvard, where I worked as a research assistant in the Department of Sociology with Prof. David John Frank and became a Ph.D. candidate in 1999. (From 1998 to 1999, I also worked full-time as school manager at José Mateo’s Ballet Theatre, in Boston.) I ultimately received an A.M. (2002) and Ph.D. (2007) in sociology.

My research and teaching focused on the sociology of childhood, culture, and education. I published peer-reviewed research on the changing construction of knowledge at universities worldwide (with Frank) and the role of cultural capital in educational attainment (with Jason Kaufman). My qualifying paper concerned the changing subject matter of children’s non-fiction books, and my doctoral dissertation looked more broadly at changes in children’s books as a media field over the course of the 20th century.

During the course of my years at Harvard, I participated in multiple national and international research conferences, and won awards for my work as a teaching fellow. I spent a semester (spring 2007) as a lecturer on sociology at Harvard; since receiving my Ph.D., I’ve been a visiting assistant professor at Macalester College (2012-13) and an adjunct instructor at Rasmussen College (2009-2013).

In arts writing, I’ve been honored with a variety of awards and invited professional development opportunities. I was a member of the last cohort in the USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program (2013), and I’m an alumnus of the National Critics Institute (2022, pictured above). I’ve received multiple Page One Awards from the Minnesota Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists; most recently, I received two first-place awards in 2023. My awards from the Minnesota Newspaper Association include three in 2024.

My active professional memberships include the National Book Critics Circle, the Minnesota Film Critics Alliance, and the Society of Professional Journalists. As a reporter at the Duluth News Tribune, I’m a proud member of the Minnesota Newspaper and Communications Guild, TNG-CWA Local 37002.