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I grew up near Menlo Park, New Jersey, which is named after the city in California and which was home to Thomas Edison’s laboratory. I’m not quite the wizard Edison was, but I share his curiosity for learning. I earned my bachelor’s degree in business from American University in Washington, DC, a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University, and a PhD in sociology, also from Columbia. Throughout the years, my quest for knowledge exposed me to many educational opportunities outside the United States, including studying at Sciences Po in Paris, conducting research at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, Germany, and learning the Chinese language at Peking University.
I have brought my expansive knowledge in foreign affairs, business, history, and social science to many different organizations. I worked in commercial and investment banking in New York. I helped produce policies that reduce poverty at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and at the World Bank. As a Congressional fellow for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, I investigated tax fraud and white-collar crime for the United States Senate. I have also managed a research center at Cornell University and advised undergraduates at Stanford University.
Throughout all of my work experiences, teaching has remained a passion. I have taught English at the Université Paris-Dauphine, international politics to graduate students, and sociology to undergraduates at Cornell and Stanford.
For me, social science informs a wide array of problems on different levels of abstraction and in various historical and cultural contexts. My teaching aims to enlist students as responsible citizens who can view their biographies as linked with collective history. In any session, I like students to balance scope of subject with its depth.
Although I have taught large lectures and small seminars, my favorite format for learning is one-on-one. My goal in tutoring is to prepare students for college—not just admissions—but also for success throughout college. I do this by helping students grasp difficult concepts and in doing so improve their learning abilities. I hope that knowledge will be developed, questioned, deconstructed, then put back together again and refined in college and beyond!
I also enjoy reading (especially history and contemporary fiction), painting (mostly oils), running (about twenty miles a week), and cooking (California wins for best ingredients I can find).