I was born in the United States and have interested in living abroad for as long as I can remember, and since 2012 I have been doing so. In my life I have visited 35 countries and have lived for extended periods in Norway, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and the Republic of Moldova.
Through my travels and life I have become interested in how we as people adjust to cultural and environmental changes, using my own experiences as a framework, and some years ago I decided to go back to school to learn how to help others overcome common issues related to adjustment. I received a Master's degree in Social Work (MSW) from Hunter College in New York City in 2012, focusing my training on clinical practice with adults and families with specializations in mental health, substance abuse, and global practice. I passed the licensing (LMSW) exam in New York State that same year, and since then I have studied independently to gain new skills and expand upon my knowledge base, particularly in how people adjust in new environments. Learn more about the common issues I work with.
In 2012 I moved to the Republic of Moldova to bring American social work skills and values to a region where they are sorely needed. I am the in-country mental health provider for Peace Corps - Moldova and regularly counsel volunteers on difficulties with adjustment. On a broader level I have worked to legitimize and professionalize social workers in Moldova through an NGO I co-founded called Project Casa Mare. Our largest project has been the launch of an updated master-level social work program at the Free International University of Moldova, and I have taught there and helped to administer that program. I have also organized and presented at related conferences; advocated for better conditions for social workers to government ministries and to local organizations in Moldova; worked with teams to conduct original research in social work; and anything else I can do to help further the profession in this country.
Prior to becoming a social worker I worked around the United States as a Web entrepreneur, arts administrator, and radio, print, and photo journalist. I earned my Bachelor's degree in both journalism and agriculture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln before earning a MS in management from Marlboro College in Brattleboro, VT.