I graduated from Fort Lewis College in 1999 with a degree in Anthropology and minors in Spanish and Biology. While at Fort Lewis, my interest in Cultural Anthropology was fostered by my experiences both in and out of the classroom. I had the opportunity to work with numerous excellent faculty members and to study abroad in Mexico. My choice to pursue post-graduate education was influenced heavily by my experiences at Fort Lewis and the preparation that I received at FLC. I went on to earn an M.A. in Anthropology from Florida Atlantic University and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Southern Illinois University. My dissertation research focused on community development and identity in Ecuador and I have subsequently continued to conduct research in these areas. I also went on to start a small non-profit that works in Ecuador to promote rural development initiatives with a specific focus on education. I am currently an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Southern Indiana and I have ongoing research projects in coastal Ecuador and Amazonian Peru.