I am a Ph.D. candidate in twentieth-century U.S. history at the University of California, Irvine, specializing in gender, sexuality, and medicine. My primary research focus is HIV/AIDS activism, which I have been studying, in one form or another, since my senior year of college. My dissertation examines the emotional, intellectual, and political labor performed by the nurses who constructed San Francisco General Hospital’s Ward 5B—the first AIDS ward in the world. I have also done significant research on activism by women who were interned at the Carville National Leprosarium from 1940-1960. Across my career, I have consistently been fascinated by forms of activism that are underappreciated because of their gendered valance. I was honored to receive an AAUW American Dissertation Fellowship for the 2016-2017 academic year, and—thanks to their generous support—am on track to receive my doctorate in June 2017.
I believe that the best scholarship is accessible and public-facing, and have accordingly worked throughout my career to engage non-academics in the humanities. To see my published work, click here. I also maintain a blog on this website called “The Six Million Dollar Scholar.” To find out why I started SMDS, click here. For the story behind the name, click here. Most recently, I was honored to become the Research Assistant for Nate DiMeo’s Peabody Award-nominated history podcast, The Memory Palace.
I decided to pursue a graduate education because I loved writing and research. While those passions have only grown with time, they are now joined by an equally strong passion for teaching. I have acquired over four years’ worth of teaching experience during my graduate school career, during which time I served as sole instructor for three courses: an upper-division class called Sex in U.S. History (Summer 2013); an upper-division composition class called The History of AIDS (Spring 2016); and UC Irvine’s twentieth-century U.S. history survey course, Modern America: Culture and Power (Summer 2016). I also served as a teaching assistant and composition instructor in the First-Year Integrated Program for two years. I was honored to be named a Pedagogical Fellow at the UCI Center for Engaged Instruction in 2015, and am currently serving as a Senior Pedagogical Fellow. You can learn more about the program here.
I believe service is a way of life, and central to both my emotional and intellectual wellbeing. Accordingly, I have endeavored throughout my graduate career to work on behalf not only of my department and profession, but on behalf of the social and political causes that brought me to academia. I’m currently serving on the executive boards of both the Western Association for Women Historians and the Coordinating Council of Women Historians, and mentoring historians at both the undergraduate and graduate level. In response to multiple instances of hate speech on my campus this past year, I co-founded The Feminist Illuminati of UC Irvine with three colleagues. Our fledgling organization brings together undergraduates, grad students, faculty, and alumni committed to using critical thinking to dismantle hate and elevate campus discourse around issues of gender and sexuality.
When I’m not working, you’ll probably find me listening to podcasts, watching movies, cooking, or a doing a clever combination of all three. Or napping… I might be napping. I love napping.