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A native of Bucks County, PA, I have lived in the midwest since leaving home for college.  I fell in love with the discipline of comparative literature my first semester at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (loved it so much that I completed my B.A, M.A and Ph.D in the program there).   At some point along the way, I discovered Nietzsche, then Kafka, then existentialism as a whole (not necessarily in that order)... and things never looked the same to me again. To me, life is about making meaningful connections.  As an author, professor, founder and director of a nonprofit organization, musician, wife, mother and friend, all of my work aims to start conversations about the things we think we know, about how to make meaning and create space for everyone's voices.

Since 1999, I have taught courses in literature and religious studies at DePauw University, in Greencastle, IN, where I have crossed paths with so many extraordinary students.  These students, and my passion for innovative teaching strategies and public education, inspired me to found and direct  The Castle, a nonprofit organization that partners with local public schools to build a culture of high-impact, high-energy, relevant and authentic learning.  It’s all about giving kids the space to learn for themselves what their learning is for.

I have a history of academic publishing (for instance, my first book, Reluctant Theologians:  Kafka, Celan, Jabes and my collection Subverting Scriptures:  Critical Reflections on the Uses of the Bible).  But Ghost Writer  marked a happy crossing-over to writing for a general audience.  My  education blognewest book (co-authored with Steve Volk), and documentary, "North Putnam,"  (with director Joel Fendelman and Dave Eggers as executive producer) have continued in the same vein.  My favorite days usually involve drumming and/or creating new music with my band, Black Market Vinyl.

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