I spent the first 18 years of my life in Colorado, the place I still love more than any other and will always consider home. As a young adult, I took advantage of the opportunity to engage in an educational experience where I would be a part of the racial majority, choosing to leave Colorado and move to Louisiana to attend the historically black university, Grambling State University. This experience has largely contributed to my personal development and remains one of the best decisions of my life. While there, I was a member of the World Famed Tiger Marching Band and concert bands, and I joined Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority. I also became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a public service organization in which I am still active.
During my sophomore year in 2005, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita made landfall along the US Gulf Coast, devastating the cities that were home to many of my peers. Until that time, I was unaware of the impacts of these natural disasters. These events piqued my interest in hurricanes and atmospheric science, and the following summer I participated in the SOARS summer research program at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. I worked with scientist John Braun and studied the relationships between atmospheric water vapor and hurricane intensity. In 2008, I began my graduate studies in the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin, and studied hurricane storm surge modeling under the direction of Professor Clint Dawson. Upon the completion of my doctoral thesis, I joined the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at Princeton University, where I continued to study hurricane storm surge and analyze storm surge risk alongside Professor Ning Lin. I joined the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering at the University of Central Florida in Fall 2015.
When I am away from the office, I enjoy long-distance running. The half marathon is my favorite distance to race, but there is something quite special about completing a marathon and so I take on that challenge 1-2 (or 3) times each season. Additionally, I am a big fan of hip hop, Cabernets, my dogs Kitty and Schwester Em, and their smallest person, Denver Kay.
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