I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. At UC Santa Cruz I earned a BA in Language Studies. I then served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cameroon and Togo. After Peace Corps I went to UCLA, where I earned a Masters in Teaching English as a Second Language and a doctorate in Applied Linguistics. Between graduate degrees I was a visiting scholar in African Languages and Linguistics at Leiden University. After completing my graduate studies, I took up a postdoctoral fellowship in the Center for Informal Learning and Schools, a National Science Foundation Center for Learning and Teaching. I have studied Dutch, French, Fulfulde, Hausa, Somali, Spanish, and Wandala. I am married to a Dutchman and we have two children, whom we are raising in Dutch. We have six chickens and two young cats. The photo shows me with Drentse heideschapen (a heritage breed of sheep from the heath in the Dutch province of Drenthe).