As a first-generation college graduate, I have always been interested in how our environments and experiences interact to shape our educational and life trajectories. This interest led me to major in psychology as an undergraduate at the University of Pittsburgh, where my experience as a research assistant inspired me pursue a PhD in Developmental Psychology at City University of New York. To complete my dissertation, I studied how school climates protect children against the impacts of experiencing violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Currently, I continue to explore how school climates foster student well-being and success as Research Director of the National School Climate Center. I believe that with this understanding, schools can become institutions by which true equality of opportunity is achieved.
I have authored and co-authored peer-reviewed publications appearing in the Journal of Education in Emergencies, Annals of Behavioral Medicine, and the Journal for Research on Educational Effectiveness.