At a young age, I noticed my tendencies toward perceiving things differently than those around me. I was the kid who would be playing kickball, but become totally disengaged by a leaf blowing across the ground. I was constantly taking things apart just to see how they worked.
In 2008, I enrolled in The Florida State University Interior Design program. Two years later, during my final semester of undergraduate course work, I found myself wanting more. I immediately applied for and was accepted to the MFA program. In order to supplement the cost of attendance, I also applied for and was granted a teaching assistantship. During my first year I assisted with furniture design, a class I had taken and was familiar with. During my second year I was given the incredibly rare opportunity of becoming a graduate teacher of record for furniture design. A graduate teacher of record is a fancy title for a currently enrolled graduate student who is the primary instructor of an undergraduate class. Throughout my college career I took on multiple odd jobs and endeavors that allowed me to focus on school and have peace of mind that I could make money later. This included:
• Building a printing press, teaching myself how to screen print, and selling novelty as
well as custom t-shirts.
• Building and selling custom furniture for friends and family, as well as refurbishing
items found on the side of the road to sell on Craigslist.