First off, view my CV for the most up-to-date and formal information. Read on for a more colloquial self-description.
I grew up in rural Illinois and did my undergrad studies at Eastern Illinois University, getting degrees in Mathematics and Physics. While there, I completed my honors thesis in the mathematics department under the supervision of Professor Leo Comerford. I also completed research projects with Professors Don Pakey and Jim Conwell in the Physics department. For one summer, I visited the University of Rochester to work with Professor Eric Blackman as part of an NSF-sponsored research experience for undergraduates.
After completing my undergraduate studies in 2010, I moved on to the Astronomy group within the Department of Physics at the University of California Santa Barbara where I completed my dissertation on accreting white dwarfs under the supervision of Lars Bildsten, ultimately receiving my Ph.D. in 2017.
From there, I went on to a postdoctoral scholar position at the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University under the supervision of Frank Timmes. There I continued my research while contributing to the development of the MESA open source software project. I also was an adjunct professor of Astronomy at the Maricopa County Community College District, teaching classes at Chandler-Gilbert and Mesa Community Colleges.
I currently live in Eau Claire, WI and work as an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. In addition to teaching classes for majors and non-majors, I'm extending the work I started as a grad student and postdoc, studying accretion and nuclear burning on white dwarf stars. I continue to use and help develop the open source stellar evolution code Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics, and I have recently begun involving underaduates in my research.
In my spare time, I like playing piano, trying new wines, playing card, board, and video games. Lately I've been enjoying exploring the trail system in Eau Claire and the surrounding areas. On longer breaks, I enjoy snow skiing with family and friends.