||Graduated with a BA from the University of South Florida in Tampa, with a dual major in journalism and sociology. Spent two months in the summer of my senior year backpacking around Western Europe, a life-changing event.
||Worked for six months for the Tampa Tribune as a news clerk, then left for 18 months of travel to Europe. Did odd jobs along the way, including picking straweberries in England and grapes in Germany, hotel work in Austria for the winter, and farmwork in Norway the following summer. When I returned Stateside, I started writing freelance travel articles.
Lessons/skills learned: Independence, self-reliance, cross-cultural survival
||Got my old job back at the Tampa Tribune as a bureau news clerk, and wrote columns and articles each week, both news and features. Conducted dozens of interviews with all kinds of people, and volunteered with an exchange student organization. In the summer of 1986 this organization, Youth For Understanding, hired me on a temporary contract, and I moved to Washington, DC.
Lessons/skills learned: Interpersonal skills, writing on a deadline
||When my contract term expired I got a brief job with the National Coucil for International Visitors in Washington, before taking a position of program associate with the Experiment in International Living in Vermont.
Lessons/skills learned: Volunteer management, creative marketing, program management
||The travel bug returned again and I spent the next four years traveling through Europe, both east and west, the Near East, then on to Australia and New Zealand. I finished the journey with a six-month trek through Southeast Asia.
Lessons/skills learned: Languages, cultural norms, adaptation
||Home again, and enrolled in a graduate program in applied anthropology at the University of South Florida. Continued to write freelance articles when possible, although studies left little time. Renovated a house and worked as a carpenter/contruction worker (interior commercial buildouts) to pay for everything. I managed to work in a small trip here or there, as well as a four-month trip to South America in 1995.
Lessons/skills learned: research, technical writing, editing, construction
||Obtained my applied anthropology MA, with a focus on anthropology and communications, especially how applied anthropologists can harness the then-emerging Internet. Moved back to Washington and got a job with Omega World Travel, performing research and writing, and managing the development of a new company web site, Top9.com.
Lessons/skills learned: Project management, web development, editing
||Worked as an information resources specialist for LTG Associates on the POPTECH Project, a five-year USAID-funded population technical assistance project. At the same time I bought and renovated an old townhouse in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, the protoypical reemerging community of the District.
Lessons/skills learned: Technical editing and writing, government contracting
||After POPTECH, two colleagues approached me to be a part of a fledgling contracting firm, known now as Beta Research Associates. I provide web and writing expertise, along with project development and management. At the same time I started a small home improvement firm, Redding Services, to utilize one of my other skill sets.
Lessons/skills learned: Organizational management, grant and proposal writing, ongoing research