I graduated as a double major in Mathematics and Spanish from Calvin College in 1996. The following year, I enrolled as a student in the master's program in Spanish at Western Michigan University and received my degree in 1999. I earned my PhD from Washington University in St. Louis in 2005, the same year I began my career with Westminster College.
As a researcher, I principally look at contemporary Central American narratives and look at how their authors interweave inidgenous voice and ecological themes.
One of the exciting ways in which I use my language ability is through volunteering a week of my time each year to serve as an interpreter for a mission partnership between local churches and the Iglesia Evangélica Dominicana in Sabaneta de Yásica, Dominican Republic. During this week, I translate for doctors, construction workers, educators and church officials.