I moved to Ithaca in 2003, and have lived in Fall Creek since 2016, serving as president of the Ithaca Community Gardens from 2017 to 2021. I led ICG through negotiations with the City and the Cayuga Park developers to secure a long-term future for the Gardens, including a complete redesign of its layout and infrastructure. Through that design and development process I learned about the workings of City government, and about how large projects, with diverse stakeholders, get moved from concept to reality.
Before moving downtown, I lived at Ecovillage at Ithaca for 13 years, raising my child there as an only parent. I participated in community governance both at EVI and at White Hawk Ecovillage in Danby. During my time with these communities I worked on visioning, land partnership and development, budgeting, strategic planning, and contract negotiations. Our consensus decision process taught me to listen first when navigating differing perspectives, and seek outcomes that are both fair and inclusive.
I was educated at MIT, where I studied electrical engineering, computer science and computational neuroscience. After getting my PhD, I pursued a career in the biotech pharmaceutical industry. Through those experiences I learned to analyze complex systems, and think clearly about options and impacts as I work to develop practical solutions.
I was raised in Minnesota by a mixed-class family, with a strong sense of social justice and deep political convictions. My father spent his career in public health, documenting and reducing disparities in health care outcomes. My mother taught special ed. As a second-generation Unitarian Universalist, I share a lifelong commitment to honor the inherent worth and dignity of every person; a commitment that plays out in every aspect of my life.