What drew you to the field of education?
My interest in education started as an interest in media production. I was working as an interactive media producer at WNET in New York, on educational programs for PBS and PBS KIDS. It felt good to be using interactive media and digital technologies for a positive purpose. After several years of working in educational media, I decided to go deep and really invest myself in learning about how people learn with technology.
Is there anyone who inspired you to pursue advanced study in the field?
During my master’s degree program, I met Lori Takeuchi from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. She’s also a Stanford GSE alumna from the LSTD program. Meeting her and learning about her work gave me a sense of the possibilities that could be open to me with a degree in learning sciences and technology design.
What’s unusual about the LSTD program?
The students in the LSTD program approach learning in such diverse and interesting ways. I really appreciate the range of perspectives we bring to the table.
Was there some time that you spent with a member of the GSE faculty that is memorable?
I’ve had such great opportunities to travel with my advisor, Shelley Goldman, to work on research and participate in conferences. For example, we’ve frequently visited Utah to work with educators and students as part of her NSF-funded project. Shelley has been such a model of how to do meaningful research, build productive partnerships, and make good friends along the way. These experiences have really shaped my view of what work in academia can be.
I came to Stanford to work with faculty who value learning in informal settings and who are working to understand and design for it. The strength among the LSTD faculty in that area is exceptional.
What do you do to relax and have fun outside of school?
My favorite thing to do to get some space from my work is to go on hikes with my dog in the East Bay hills.
What advice do you have for prospective students on the application process?
Don’t spend your time worrying about the probabilities. Put in the time to learn about the research of GSE faculty members, think about the kind of research you want to conduct, and remember that finding the right match with an advisor is the most important part of graduate school.
Interview conducted August 2015