Owner • Coder • Musicker
Despite such photographic evidence from my youth (and a music major in college), I was never destined for the concert hall. I took quickly to computers and video games (in the Atari boom of the early ’80s) as a kid, and was fortunate enough to have a lot of spare time my senior year of college (1995–96), just as a strange new phenomenon called the “World Wide Web” was catching on. (Yes, I remember when Netscape was the hot new thing, and for a time I said, “No thank you, I’ll stick to NCSA Mosaic.”)
The web has come a long way since then, and I’ve been there through it all… from the frontier days of the mid-’90s, to the dot-com boom and bust in 1999–2000, to the “Web 2.0” phenomenon that has gone from nebulous concept, to essential feature of any decent website, to… OK, what’s next?
What’s next for me is Room 34 Creative Services, an independent web development and technology consulting business, started as a side project in late 2000 and my full-time occupation since July 2008. I bring the skills and experience I’ve gained over the past decade and a half as a web professional to small- to mid-sized businesses and non-profits located throughout the U.S., including Minneapolis/St. Paul, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Tampa.
P.S. I still do music.
Developer • Drummer • Stand-up Bystander
Although I wouldn't consider myself an avid collector of hats, I have literally and figuratively worn many throughout my life. Unsure of my professional aspirations, I took on jobs in a variety of different fields, from healthcare to software and food service to financial. Somehow, I'd gotten this idea that my extracurricular interests (playing music, building websites, telling dumb jokes) had to maintain an isolated existence from my professional life.
As a musician, I had been building static websites for my own bands and those of others since 2003, but it hadn't occurred to me yet just how much I enjoyed working with the web. Thankfully, in 2011 a light went on that provided me with direction after I took a Database Management course at St. Paul College. Interested in learning more about the breadth and depth of web technologies available to me, I enrolled full-time at the college following my first semester.
I joined Room 34 in a part-time capacity at the beginning of my final semester, and in May 2013, I was awarded my Associate in Applied Science degree in Computer Programming. Today, I'm ecstatic to work at the company full-time and help build awesome, cutting-edge websites for our clients and partners. And, given my colleagues' love of music and appreciation for a good laugh, my extracurricular interests have another home as well.
Content Specialist • Educator • Troublemaker
Little did I know that my first teaching job, as a media specialist training students on how to use the web, including a new search engine named Google, would be the start of a passion for using and teaching with online technologies, like blogs and Twitter.
Since that first job, way back in 1999, I earned a PhD in Women’s Studies (2006) and have researched and taught at the University of Minnesota in the Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies Department (2006-2011).
Much of my recent teaching and current research involves exploring the critical, creative and subversive potential of new social media. I’m particularly interested in issues of access, the digital divide and providing new and less experienced users with the tools for not only effectively navigating the web but for carving out their own spaces for creation, expression, connection and promotion.