I serve as the 2017 President of the Board of Directors. I have been connected to Hilltop since 2011 when my son, Galen, started as a Tree Frog. He was then a Chipmunk, Dragonfly, Bobcat and Jayhawk before moving on to the after-school program at Cordley. I was elected to the Board as a parent member in 2014, hoping to contribute to maintaining and enhancing the place that was such a good fit for our family. These days, since Galen is no longer at Hilltop, I serve as a public member on the Board.
I’m on staff at KU, working as the Assistant Director of the Public Management Center (PMC), the professional development arm of the School of Public Affairs and Administration. We provide training and other services to individuals and teams working in government and public service organizations. I am passionate about building positive, supportive work cultures in organizations and helping individuals find and create roles in which they can thrive.
Though I’ve always had family in Kansas, I grew up in Michigan. After high school I spent a year in Brazil as an exchange student and then attended the University of Michigan, earning a B.A. in American culture. I worked for the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C., for several years before landing at KU for graduate school in 1998. My master’s degree is in urban planning, and I pursued a Ph.D. in American studies. I made it to the level of ABD before recognizing that I was spinning my wheels on the dissertation because I am truly not a researcher at heart. But I love that this background enables me to ground my professional work in a solid, academic foundation.
On the Board, I currently serve on the Teacher Support Committee and was part of developing the strategic plan in 2016. My strengths are in big-picture and creative thinking, facilitation, and in fostering relationships and fun among individuals who find themselves working on common goals or in shared spaces.