1984 An eccentric red-haired baby was born.
1986 Watched “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage” hosted by Carl Sagan, according to parents. The memory has faded, but that must have been pretty awesome.
1986-1992 The quiet years. Listened a lot. Learned to read.
1992 Decided being super shy was counterproductive and became more talkative.
1996 Signed on to American Online for the first time. THE INTERNET!
1997 Taught self HTML, memorized a few dozen digits of pi, played Nurse in “Romeo and Juliet,” played text-base role-playing game Gemstone III and tried to start a literary magazine on an America Online webpage.
2001 Attended Harvard Summer School and made long-lasting friendships. Published editorial cartoons in the “Harvard Crimson” and a personal essay in the “Harvard Summer Review.”
2002-2006 Attended Princeton University. Founded “The Prism” magazine celebrating diversity. Was editor-in-chief of student science magazine “Innovation.” Was campus stringer for the Times of Trenton through the University Press Club.
2003 Took freshman seminar “Life on Mars! (Or Maybe Not)” from Michael Lemonick and learned science journalism could be a great career.
2004 Attended University of Seville study abroad, learned to dance sevillanas. Joined Facebook when it was called “The Facebook.”
2005 Won second place in Princeton’s pi memorization content on March 14. Attended University of Leon study abroad, researched senior thesis on legacy of the expulsion of Spain’s Jews in 1492. Became fluent in Spanish. Took influential Psychology of Decision Making and Judgment course from Daniel Kahneman and Eldar Shafir.
2006 Wrote novel under advisor Joyce Carol Oates and anthropology thesis under advisor Isabelle Clark-Deces (who sadly died in June 2017). Took second place again in Princeton’s Pi Day competition. Enjoyed course taught by the famous Dr. Ruth Westheimer.
2006-2007 Attended Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, graduated with M.A. and random scholarship to study Russian in Russia.
2008 Worked at Law360 for six weeks. Moved back to Atlanta to work at CNN full-time. Promoted to Writer/Producer for CNN Health. Tried to learn Russian in Moscow, lost it upon return.
2009 Wrote songs for and performed in CNN band “Fact vs. Fiction.”
2011 Launched the CNN Light Years blog.
2012 Played keyboard accompaniment for improv shows, took improv stage acting class, joined band “The Sweetdick Jane,” formed second group “The Southern Transplants.”
2013 Fulfilled dream of visiting the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland, and wrote about it for CNN.
2014 Moved to Los Angeles to become press officer for technologies at NASA JPL. Started freelancing for various publications. Went to Germany twice on fellowships. Joined JPL band “The RTGs” and performed at holiday party.
2016 Became press officer for astrophysics at JPL. Saw “Hamilton” on Broadway before Lin-Manuel Miranda left. Annoyed people by quoting “Hamilton” all year.
2017 Won an award for homemade strawberry pie on Pi Day at JPL. Joined JPL’s Cassini Virtual Singers (CVS) so “Hamilton” parody songs written by self could be sung. Saw total solar eclipse. Performed with RTGs and CVS.
2018 Began new role of Senior Storyteller at JPL in January. Spoke at OWN IT 2018 Summit at the University of Southern California. Led discussion at SoCal Science Writing Symposium at the University of California, Los Angeles. Performed “TRAPPIST-Wonderful Worlds” at exoplanet conference in Pasadena and a science comedy night in Washington, D.C. Traveled to Spain, Poland and Lithuania. Helped produce JPL’s “On a Mission” podcast. Began temporary position at NASA HQ as press officer for astrophysics in Washington.
2019 Led NASA astrophysics communications during the government shutdown. Produced NASA’s “Gravity Assist” podcast. Performed at Open Mic Night at the American Astronomical Society conference in Seattle. Performed and spoke at Astronomy on Tap in Pasadena. Ate astronaut ice cream for the first time at Yuri’s Night. Went on speaking tour of eastern Australia and gave public talks about space and storytelling at:
• Australian National University, Canberra
• Queensland Museum, Brisbane
• Museum of Tropical Queensland, Townsville
• Townsville State High School