While I am tempted to scribe a short biography, for the sake of time and interest, I'll keep this below 500 words (for all of our sake!). I grew up at the base of the Rocky Mountains, and shortly after high school, I moved to Monterrey, Mexico. Learning the beauty of a new culture and language fundamentally changed me as a person. Upon returning to the U.S., I pursued a bachelor's degree in international business where I continued to gain appreciation for the diversity found across the globe. It was through these experiences and working with faculty members that I fell in love with the challenges, growth, and deep connections fostered within the higher education setting. Although many had encouraged me to become a doctor (in the medical sense), around this time, I discovered that academia was my calling.
Before I could uproot my young family to pursue a PhD, I needed two things: "real world" and research experience. I started working full time as a Senior Accountant of Financial Reporting at a large community bank. While there, I worked alongside the CFO as we grew from $540 million to $1.2 billion in assets. It was an exciting time to work with the top management team and board of directors. Because we had grown so quickly, I was wearing multiple hats and involved in nearly every aspect of the organization. Finally, when I felt my progress had plateaued, I knew it was time to get the research experience that I lacked.
I pursued my interest in organizational diversity and obtained a master's degree in sociology focusing on workplace inequality. My research at this time focused on inequalities in STEM colleges, and the disparity between high achieving female business students' expectations and eventual reality post-graduation. My advisor, Dr. Christy Glass, instilled in me a love for asking big meaningful questions and finding answers through research.
Following my master's degree, I was fortunate to enter a stellar management PhD program at the University of Tennessee where I have been taught by expert researchers like Drs. David Gras, Tim Pollock, Melissa Cardon, Dave Williams, and Tim Munyon. Through their guidance, I have honed in on research areas that excite, energize, and enrapture me--social movements, social entrepreneurship, and Latinx business ownership.
When Dr. Kisha Lashley visited our department, she mentioned that research is actually "me"search. Although my interests have evolved, I see how my past experiences and education have influenced what I study today. Of course, I am still a sapling in my career, so I look forward to the continued growth and maturity as I deepen my roots and extend my branches into this fascinating world we live in.