My areas of interest are quite varied and include the broad fields of gender & religion, religions in/of Japan, Buddhism in the West, and the application of ethnographic methods to the study of contemporary religious communities. My background also includes undergraduate and graduate (non-degree) work in Musicology. However, life events part way through my graduate work in Musicology caused me to reevaluate my path. It became clear to me that what I wanted to study is living, practicing religious communities in the United States, with a focus on women and gender. From June 2008 to May 2009, I enrolled in a variety of courses, undergraduate and graduate, in Relgious Studies. The coursework in East Asian religion, Buddhism in the United States, and gender & Buddhism pointed me towards a fusion of the three: researching gender and contemporary Buddhism in the United States. My M.A. thesis – see the Writings & Publications page – examined the insufficiency of existing theoretical models for the study of Buddhism in the United States, proposed a new theoretical model for studying Buddhist communities in the United States, and then applied the model to case studies of two websites from the Buddhist Churches of America. I graduated in May 2012 with a Master's Degree in Religious Studies from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Since graduating, I've presented papers at two conferences which allowed me to explore the combined fields of gender studies and religious studies. In April 2013 I presented a paper on gender and self-representation in The Book of Margery Kempe (AAR Regional Conference), and in August 2013 I presented a paper sutdying the relationship between gender and ethical lessons in certain stories in the Buddhist Dhammapada Commentary (Claremont Graduate University's 2013 Jain Studies Conference).
Between undergraduate and graduate programs, I worked professionally in software training and technical documentation writing, and continue to work as a technical writer and trainer part-time. For more information on this, please see my Instructional Technology Resume.
Baking, crocheting, and reading fiction are my hobbies that balance my academic and technological work.