About Me

moi2My name is Emily.

If you’re looking for information about my skills and work history, go on over to Professional & Academic Info. If you want to know a lot about me, please proceed!

I was born and raised in a small village in rural/rust belt Ohio. I come from a long line of working people–oil drillers, subsistence farmers, factory workers, and small business owners. My parents, who worked in a rubber factory when I was growing up, wanted better opportunities for themselves and their children. They earned associates degrees, entered into new professions, and moved our family to Virginia when I was 12.

In Virginia, I had access to better school libraries and discovered poetry for the first time. Throughout my teenage years, literature became the center of my life and I was determined to get a Ph.D. in literature. The next 15 or so years of my life became dedicated to that end. Upon graduating high school, I attended Piedmont Virginia Community College for two years and finished my undergraduate education in English at the University of Virginia. The year-long experience of writing an honors thesis confirmed that I enjoyed in-depth research and writing, and that I would be a good fit for graduate school.

In September of 2009, I entered the English Language and Literature program at the University of Michigan. While my experience in the program was wholly positive, in the spring of 2014 I came to the conclusion that I was actually interested in my dissertation, not an academic career. The questions that I pursued in my dissertation are about the relationship between the environment and the human mind. Although my work focuses on a fairly obscure set of 18th and 19th century British authors, the further I got into my research the more I realized that it is closely related to the current crisis of human-created environmental degradation and global warming. Although I deeply believe in the academic mission, I ultimately feel more called to work for environmental causes through the nonprofit sector.

During my time at Michigan, I also spent four years volunteering with the Graduate Employees’ Organization–the oldest and most powerful graduate student union in the United States. I spent a year as a rank-and-file member volunteer, then a year as a Communications Committee member, and then spent two years co-leading the Communications Committee and directing the unions internal and external communications. It was during this time that I became interested in pursuing nonprofit communications/marketing as a career, which I hope to bring to environmental nonprofits.

Hobbies and Interests

As you might imagine, my hobbies include reading, especially poetry. I also love  knitting, birdwatching, vegan cooking/baking, vegetable gardening in containers on my back deck, singing, juvenile humor, and teaching myself how to draw and paint with watercolors.