I grew up in Minnesota and went to school at Grinnell College in Iowa, majoring in Religious Studies and German. After graduation I moved to Germany where I lived and worked for several years selling equipment in the television broadcast industry. Eventually, I moved back to the U.S. and worked for a regional non-profit organization in Florida as its head of fundraising.
Later, I relocated to New York so that I could pursue a master's degree in religion at Columbia University. I then continued my studies in the doctoral program in sociology at the University of Chicago. For several years, I spent most of my time in Oklahoma teaching and writing my dissertation. After finishing the PhD I worked at Cornell Universityas a Postdoctoral Associate in the Active Learning Initiative and the Department of Sociology.
I recently moved to St. Louis for my current position at Washington University.