In 2004, with a scholarship from the Federation of German American Clubs (VDAC) in hand, I moved from Germany to Flagstaff, Arizona, in order to attend Northern Arizona University (NAU). During my first year as an exchange student, I took several classes with an extraordinarily inspiring professor in Political Science and decided that this is the field in which I wanted to earn my graduate degrees. I applied to NAU’s Political Science graduate program and was accepted to begin in Fall 2005.
In 2007, I graduated from NAU with my Master’s degree and a decade later, in 2017, with my PhD in Political Science. During the seven years between my graduate programs, I pursued full-time employment at the Coconino County Board of Supervisors, at a local non-profit, and at The W. A. Franke College of Business. Yet another great professor, who ultimately became my mentor and the chair of my dissertation committee, inspired my return to the PhD program at NAU in 2014.
I stayed for my graduate programs in Flagstaff and at NAU based on the incredible academic support and inspiration that I experienced at NAU and because of my desire to be near the outdoors. Flagstaff is a beautiful, fast-growing mountain town that promotes a healthy work-life balance.