ExCom Positions: Treasurer
At-Large Board Member: Advocacy for Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Based in: Beijing
I earned a doctorate in Art History and a second master's degree in Chinese Language and Literature from the University of Iowa. My dissertation takes an interdisciplinary approach to discuss contemporary Chinese art and culture. For ten years I have studied, research, and taught in China. In 2012, I met Ambassador Gary Locke and contributed a photo essay for the embassy’s publication New Communication.
During graduate school, I successfully wrote grants proposals for symposia held by my department. I also assisted an artist in Iowa City to draft a grant proposal for which she awarded a grant in 2007. For my own research, I wrote proposals for several grants and fellowships that facilitated my research.
I have canvassed across Iowa for the Democratic Party since the general election in 2004 covering areas of divergent socioeconomic conditions and political beliefs. I have participated in the Iowa Caucus whenever residing in Iowa and voted in primaries with Democrats Abroad while overseas. In 2014, I canvassed for the Iowa Democratic Party in Johnson County. My coordinator called me a 'rock star canvasser’ then for my ability to sign up people for early voting and then collect their ballots.
Aside from academics and politics, I have been an advocate for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities since I was a teenager: volunteering at Mosaic Bethphage Mission near my hometown in rural Nebraska, helping with the Special Olympics as an undergraduate at Creighton University, and then as a full-time advocate at the Arc of Southeast Iowa while I defended my dissertation. Last year, I spent ten months teaching in a school district outside of Tokyo that had a disproportionate number of students facing the challenges of such disabilities.
Moreover, I lived in the tsunami disaster zone for a year after the Great East Japan earthquake of 2011. I volunteered, taught English in schools that served as temporary shelters, and researched the effects of the disaster on the spiritual lives of people during the recovery phase. My research was published in a scholarly anthology in 2013.
I am also the secretary of my family's farm and have a keen interest in financial and commodities markets. I am honored to have these experiences, and I hope to complement the executive leadership of Democrats Abroad China. Thank you for considering my candidacy. EMAIL