My road in life took a while to figure out.
I grew up on a farm in South Dakota. My dad, uncles and cousins were all in the Army National Guard.
I joined the South Dakota Air National Guard at 17, a month after 9/11.
I had a pretty 'normal' college experience and didn't deploy until my first year of grad school.
I was sent to Iraq for a few months, then came back and continued with grad school.
The Roadtrip Nation book inspired me to take a few months to explore after finishing grad school.
I volunteered with Team Rubicon in 2010 and have been a volunteer leader within the org since 2013.
Recently, my fiancee and I moved to Santa Barbara; I'm currently in a job I LOVE at AppFolio.
I'm in the process of transitioning to the Channel Islands Air Guard and am currently a captain.
Keep following my journey


User Experience Research Manager

Whether it be AppFolio's software, or a TR Op, I try to leave things better than I found them.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Helping People

Day to Day

On a typical day, I'll get into work and check email and Slack to see what I need to catch up on. Then my UX team will have a "stand-up" meeting to discuss what we're working on and what we need to collaborate on. I'll go on a "discovery call" where I talk to a customer about a particular product pain / need, then share insights from that call with my team members. After multiple calls, I'll share my findings with the engineers via a slide deck.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Take a psychology class: in what I do, it's necessary to understand how the mind works. I'd recommend "Sensation and Perception" and "Learning and Memory" as introductory classes—if those pique your interest, you be interested in this field. I'd also recommend a few fundamental books, such as "The Design of Everyday Things" and "100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People". There are also plenty of online resources if you just Google "human-centered design" or "user experience."

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:


The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"You shouldn't go on this road trip; it could be dangerous for a young woman."