In addition to studying public administration, I enjoy being outdoors and hiking. I grew up in Boone, NC near the Appalachian Trail and other great trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway. I was raised on a small family farm that my parents still own and operate. As an undergraduate student, I served as a broadcaster for university football and basketball games for the college radio station. I still enjoy being able to attend live sporting events. As an MPA student, I worked as an intern with the City of Newton, NC, and for Catawba County, NC. These experiences working in local government inspired me to engage in research that benefits local government practitioners.