About Me

I grew up outside a small town in rural Michigan. In the years leading to my graduation from high school, I was active in Boy Scouts, Band, 4-H, the Envirothon, and Science Olympiad. Fairly nerdy all around. Through these groups, I had the opportunity to travel to Canada’s Boundary Waters, Florida’s Disneyland, Washington D.C., and Maryland.

In the Fall of 2003, I began Army Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. While I did not get to see much of the base or local town, I became intimately familiar with the humid afternoons, chilly nights, and hard clay soil. Mostly from the push-up position. The Army then took me to Fort Huachuca, Arizona, where I trained as a 33W, maintaining military intelligence electronics systems. Once my training was complete, I was stationed in Wurzburg, Germany, in the First Infantry Division. Within 2 years, we had moved the division back to Fort Riley, Kansas, and redistributed my unit into several other units. This redistribution included myself, and soon I was headed to Baghdad, Iraq. I spent 14 months deployed, returned to Kansas, and after a few months left the Army.

While I was deployed, I applied to my only school of choice, Michigan State University. My application essay about international experience was fairly straightforward: I wrote it from a combat zone. Continuing the professional path that I started in the Army, I majored in Computer Engineering. After the first Electrical Engineering and Computer Science courses, I promptly changed my major to Computer Science, with a second major in Criminal Justice. Taking a specialization in Science, Technology, the Environment, and Public Policy, I was able to get into a study abroad to Antarctica. This was an amazing experience, and fuels my love of travel.  I secured internships with USAA and the Michigan State Police, and full time employment as a software developer with USAA.

In my years with USAA, I led a team of developers to build and integrate applications developed in Java, C#, Javascript, and SQL. I also had the fantastic opportunity to recruit at MSU, working to bring additional IT employees to USAA. To develop IT employees, I was on the core team for Nexus – the internal organization for IT new hires.  I have also worked with our Veterans for IT (VetFIT) training program to transform Vets into Java Developers, and DiscoverIT, which recruits skilled employees from other parts of the enterprise.

Moving closer to home, I am now a software development manager at Michigan State University Federal Credit Union.  In this role, I am responsible for hiring, developing, and retaining a great team to build and maintain the Credit Union’s online presence and core system.  I also act as the project manager for larger initiates and as a coach as we adopt agile and scrum development practices.