Occupation: Data analyst
Education: PhD, sociolinguistics,
University of Virginia
Currently lives in New York City
As a linguist, I have a scientific understanding of social interaction and can provide insights into the connections and instances of miscommunication that occur among individuals and groups. Such insights are invaluable to building more effective businesses, governments, organizations, supporting causes, and movements, and shaping the cultural and idiosyncratic identities and relationships of human society.
My first full-time job after college was as a bilingual victim-witness advocate in Boston. For a year I listened to and translated peoples' experiences of crimes, during which time I was made aware of the intricacies of language. I gained a heightened awareness of the seemingly endless possibilities for miscommunications as well as an appreciation for the influence of communicative goals on the shape of a story. Who is conveying the "facts" and how they acquired this knowledge is paramount, as are the assumptions a hearer brings to the interpretation of the story.
While completing a Master's degree in sociolinguistics at Georgetown University, I conducted multiple ethnographies – many in collaboration with peers – in diverse populations, including a group of business school students, a class of immigrant ESL students, and a small community in Washington, DC. One ethnography – known as The Talking Business Project (headed by Anna Marie Trester) – involved a team of researchers with various backgrounds. During my involvement as senior researcher, I collected data in the form of recordings and field notes, and was the ethnographer sent with the business students on their capstone trip to South Africa in 2011 as a participant-observer during the students' projects on leadership in developing markets.