I grew up in Upper Darby, PA and received my B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, where I majored in Communication and Sociology. After graduating college, I enrolled in Americorps and moved to Austin, TX, where I worked as a housing counselor and grant writer for United Cerebral Palsy of Texas.
I am currently a doctoral candidate at Annenberg and my focus of study is health communication. At this time, my work with Metamorphosis includes the development of a health literacy measure that is situated within the communication action context. I am also working on a comparison of the advertising landscapes of English and Spanish language television with Christopher Chavez. My dissertation examines the role of social identity and social norms in adolescent health behavior. This project uses interview and survey data as well as experimental research to understand how social identity shapes substance use behaviors and how identity cues can be used in public health campaigns designed to prevent adolescent substance use. I am also interested in how social norms campaigns can be made more effective and how adolescents use identity to negotiate media such as advertisements, branded campaigns, television and music.