I was born and raised in Scranton, PA. I attended the University of Scranton in Scranton, PA from 1990 to 1994. I earned a B.S. in Biochemistry and a B.S. in Biophysics. My college career started as a biology major and my desires were to become a veterinarian. Let's just say, I faint when I see blood and injections...I knew surgery was not a career for me. After two years as a biology major I switched to chemistry and physics. Because I wanted to graduate in fours years, I defaulted to the Biochemistry and Biophysics degrees (although my undergraduate Chemistry courses qualify for a chemistry degree in themselves!).
Then it was off to graduate school. I came here, to UF in 1994 to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry. I chose to qualify as a member of the physical chemistry division and chose Daniel R. Talham as my PhD advisor. My graduate work was in the area of studying the physical and structural properties of metal phosphonate solids and langmuir-blodgett films.
After finishing graduate work, in the summer of 1999, I went to the University of Pennsylvania (PENN) to study solid state NMR of membrane proteins with Stanley J. Opella. I worked in that lab for nearly 1.5 years. Stan left PENN to go to UCSD, so I left PENN and Stan to finish post-doctoral work at the University of Virginia with David S. Cafiso studying site-directed spin labeling and EPR spectroscopy of membrane proteins.