I was born in Coral Springs, Florida. I attended the University of Florida as an undergraduate where I majored in Botany. After graduation I worked at a Botanical garden where my interest in insects and plants flourished. I had an opportunity while working for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services– Division of Plant Industry to see the tremendous importance the field of plant health has on protecting our state and nation’s economy, and improving the quality of life for growers, homeowners and everyday plant lovers. Having been fortunate enough to work with talented researchers at FDACS-DPI and to be exposed to a variety of plant-pest issues facing the state, the need for further education became apparent. By enrolling in the DPM program I expect to have a broad understanding of the various aspects of plant health, and by co-enrolling as a graduate student in entomology I will be able to develop an area of specialization related to insect-plant relationships while studying the pentatomid pest complex.