What brings all my work together — research, writing, and editing — is language. I come at language from a lot of angles. I’m a linguistic anthropologist, a fiction and non-fiction writer, a language learner and teacher, and an editor.
My central focus is making the principles of linguistic anthropology useful for everyday communication. Language isn’t just for “talking about things.” We also use language to include and exclude others and to indirectly communicate how we feel about the things we’re talking about. My research explores what that looks like on the ground, and I help individuals and companies be more deliberate in their use of language.
I also think a lot about impact – what makes communication effective? As a fundraiser, I’ve fine-tuned appeal letters to maximize donor response. In my field research, I’ve explained how Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world use media to create community. As a software developer, I’ve figured out how to make video game content effective for education. As a teacher of classes with anywhere from 20 to over 300 students, I’ve experimented with multimedia and learned how to optimize a single presentation for a diverse audience. And in my work as a strategy consultant, I transform detailed insights gleaned from rigorous research into formats that are brief, relevant, and accessible.
My Spanish and French language skills are particularly helpful to my work. Using multiple languages on a regular basis means I’m more attuned to the subtleties of different languages and dialects. As a lifelong language learner, it also means I’m conscious of the particular challenges of non-native speakers.
Put all of this together, and you have a researcher and analyst who takes a broad range of perspectives on language, a writer who can get a point across effectively to a wide range of audiences, and an editor who’s passionate about empowering others as writers.