I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and completed a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Messiah College. It was through my senior project (building hand pumps for irrigating small vegetable gardens in Burkina Faso) that I became interested in agriculture. I approached it with one main question: what are some things (non capital-intensive) that can be done to improve production in rural communities in Africa? After undergrad I pursued an internship in Ft. Myers, FL, learning about tropical agricultural development. After a yearlong internship I had the privilege of spending a year and a half in Mozambique and Zimbabwe, living in community and working with small scale farmers.
The last 8 years have been pursuing a mix of different jobs and learning opportunities in hopes to return to southern Africa. I had the desire to return to school, but knew I would have to find a program that would provide me interdisciplinary training around plant health. When the timing was right for our family to make a move and doors opened to go to grad school, I stumbled upon the DPM program. I immediately I knew it was right for me. I arrived summer of 2016 am currently working on a MS in Horticultural Sciences. My research is analyzing high tunnel and open field organic production systems for both tomato and spinach, including the post-harvest effects of each system. I’m excited to have my research in fruit and vegetable production in order to give me a strong foundation on which the DPM program will build.
My dreams are to return to southern Africa in order to develop best management practices for rural farmers. Partnering with local organizations such as Foundations for Farming, Ebenezer Agricultural Training Center and New Horizons, our vision remains the same as it was when we returned 8 years ago: to bring glory to God by living in community with rural farmers, while taking part in an agricultural business ministry.