Born and raised in small town Texas, I left after high school for Memphis, where I was able to pursue my interest in international relations and Russian politics at Rhodes College. I then pursued graduate work in Providence at Brown University to hone my skills and interest in development and migration. Through work at the Watson Institute and the Population Studies and Training Center, I found joy in interdisciplinary spaces and putting the post-Soviet space in a comparative context. After my graduate work, I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Russia, East European, and Eurasian Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, which gave me the support to grow as an instructor and scholar, while offering the chance to love yet another great American city. Now at Idaho State University, I am proud to work as part of a scholarly community here in Pocatello.