I am the Director of Communications for Claremont School of Theology, a twenty-year church leadership veteran having served in religious education and youth and children’s ministries in United Methodist Churches in Missouri and California; and I am currently seeking a PhD in Practical Theology and Interreligious Education at Claremont School of Theology. Before moving to California in 2011, I lived most of my life in north, south and western Missouri. Born in Kansas City and growing up in one of its suburbs, I am a mid-westerner who was quite surprised to find myself at home on the west coast. I earned a BA in Communications and an MA in Interreligious Studies. My present research interests include interreligious education, interreligious engagement, narrative pedagogy, postcolonial studies, religious practices, Christian history, and American Islam.
My dissertation employs autoethnographic research to expand the conversation on Islamophobia within the United Methodist Church. I also serve as an adjunct professor for Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles teaching World Religions and Christian Ethics, and serving on the National Council of Churches (NCC) Committee on Interreligious Relations and Collaboration. I am deeply committed to peace-building, interreligious education, and to creating learning spaces where people are free to be fully and wholly themselves. I also fancy myself as a crafter, a scrapbooker, and a small furniture up-cycler.
I live in Rancho Cucamonga, CA with my husband Monta, a compassionate and adventurous, soccer-loving Tunisian, who speaks three languages; my mother Linda, a courageous and strong, book-loving Gemini, who never met a stranger; and my niece Ariel, a great cook and life-loving rock star, who plays drums in a Norwalk-based band called El Chisme.