Upon graduating from WMU in December 2006 with a major in history and a minor in comparative religion, I joined the Peace Corps and served as an education volunteer in Kardjali, Bulgaria from April 2007 to July 2010. During my service I taught English at a local high school, helped my colleagues to develop and write grants through the European Union aimed at teacher training and development of the school’s physical infrastructure, and organized after school activities for local school children. The knowledge I gained at WMU of the history and culture of the Balkans region provided a solid foundation for my work in Bulgaria.
After completing my Peace Corps service in 2010 I returned to Michigan and began a Masters in Public Policy degree at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. My focus has been foreign policy, an area I developed a passion for at WMU while studying modern American history under Professor Ed Martini. As part of my current studies I completed a three month summer internship at The Center for the Study of Democracy, a policy research organization in Sofia, Bulgaria. My work at the center focused on the intertwined issues of economic development and corruption.