Past and Current Community Involvement
PhD, Public Administration and Policy, The University of Georgia
MPA, Arizona State University
BA, Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University
I come from a strong family legacy of public service. Not a political dynasty, not a family of wealthy donors with names on buildings, but from Army, Navy, Air Force, and National Guard Veterans, union stewards, CASA and elections volunteers, and people who see value in the ideals of community before self. As a professor in the public affairs, management, and policy fields for nearly the last decade, I’ve made it my imperative to educate current and future public servants to the best of my ability.
Now, I’m ready to step up.
I love Aurora and the neighborhoods of District 28—it is a microcosm of what the United States truly looks like. It’s a community of grit and passion, a community of diversity and openness, and a community that shows up when change is needed and when progress must be preserved.
As a professor at the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs, I teach and research in the areas of public service ethics and leadership, public management, organizational behavior, and social entrepreneurship. For more on my background, you can read my professional bio here. In this role, I have often engaged with community stakeholders in consulting and advisory capacities on public policy and management matters, and I pride myself on my ability to confront policy issues through the use of data and evidence-based decision-making, and doing so in a collaborative spirit.
Before embarking on my academic career, I worked in applied policy analysis and government relations, including for the company where my parents spent most of their working lives—my father as an industrial painter, materials handler, and tool repairman, and my late mother as a general laborer and secretary. They were both union members with a high school education (and training in the Army National Guard for my dad), but they inspired me to put myself through school with scholarships and loans. That their only child went on to become a PhD educated college professor is nothing short of a miracle. Their hard work ethic instilled in me is the bedrock of everything I do.
More than anything, I believe it demonstrates the right combination of grit, work ethic, and the spirit of perseverance I have to succeed as your next State Senator.
When I’m not working, I enjoy traveling and spending time with friends and family. Other time permitting, I’m usually reading, running in Cherry Creek State Park, or cooking.
I reside in the Crown Point community in Southeast Aurora, where my two sons also attend Sagebrush Elementary School.
If you see me around, say hi! Let’s chat and show up together!