My life and my work
I was born in Boston and raised in New York City. I left the city for college and completed my BA in History with Honors at Yale University. Four years later, I accepted an offer to attend graduate school in California. Eager to explore new cultures and climates, I packed up my car and headed west. The University of California, Berkeley became my new home and the place where I earned both my MA and PhD in History.
I began my career as a professor of History working at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles in 2007. But when I was just beginning to think that California might become my permanent home, my home state beckoned, and I answered. For the last eight years, I have worked at the University at Buffalo as an assistant professor of History, Associate Director of UB’s Masters Program in Caribbean, Latin American and Latino Studies, and, now, Director of the Honors College and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education.
My life experience has shaped my work as a scholar, teacher and director. Born to a Swiss mother and Puerto Rican father, I navigate the world as a biracial and multicultural individual living at the intersection of many contexts, cultures and languages. As the child of immigrant and itinerant parents for whom the idea of “home” was ever elusive, I have always been fascinated with people in motion. This fascination has deeply informed my research and scholarly projects on the movement of people and ideas across borders in the Caribbean/circum-Caribbean and “Gulf World” in the 19th and 20th centuries.
As a historian, I trace the often surprising, cross-border itineraries of intrepid individuals. As a teacher, I challenge my students to think across borders rather than be contained by them. As the Director of the Honors College, I am excited to continue to break down barriers, encouraging and supporting our students to exceed themselves in the pursuit of excellence while becoming the well-rounded, civic-minded, brilliant leaders of tomorrow that I know they can be.
Last updated: October 16, 2018 11:22 am EST