Philosophy

I am a storyteller.

I believe in the intrinsic value of human connection, through which we lay the foundation of a system that supports us all equally. That connection is made only through the exchange of experiences and ideas that help us understand our differences in order to bridge the gap between cultures and continents.

I’m here to do my part in facilitating that exchange, for the sake of our global community.

Story

stella taking picture of dog
Meet my childhood pup, Sugar Magnolia. She was always so camera shy—but just look at that pretty face.

I grew up in a tiny rural town called Alachua, just outside of Gainesville, Florida. We recently broke into the big leagues when we got a Publix and a Racetrack gas station.

For years, I’ve told people that my home was in Alachua and my life was in Gainesville. My parents, my brother, and all of our scaled and furry pets were in Alachua; but my school, my piano lessons, my soccer team, and my friends were in Gainesville. The bus rides to and from my middle school took a collective 3-4 hours of every weekday, but I admit that I rarely spent that precious time chipping away at homework. More often than not, I buried my nose in whatever sci-fi novel my father had just handed me; on two separate but equally shameful occasions, I finished my book earlier than expected and resorted to reading the pocket dictionary that I kept tucked in my backpack at all times. Little has changed since then.

I no longer keep a pocket dictionary on me 24/7, but I still fill every spare moment with a book, a news piece, a podcast, or something of that nature. I no longer play piano, but music is still a critical part of my life. Despite the decrepit ukulele that’s been collecting cobwebs in the corner of my dining room for almost a year now, I still believe I’ll learn a new instrument soon. And this one will be portable. Like an iPod, but better.

I don’t know how long I’ll stay in Florida, or even the United States at all. But wherever my life goes from here, home will always be home.

Education & Experience

In May of 2019, I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Philosophy and Photojournalism, as well as a minor in Cognitive Science. Altogether, I consider this an interdisciplinary approach to the study of humanity and why we do what we do.

In the summer of 2017, I studied abroad with the University of Florida through a program called UF in India: NGOs and Development, led by Dr. Muthusami Kumaran. Over approximately 40 days, we traveled to five cities and carefully studied close to 20 nonprofits of varying scales, with a full range of causes. I couldn’t pick a favorite, but it was this experience that helped ground me in the four cardinal directions that I honor today: compassion, courage, creativity, and empathy.

Lifting from this foundation, I have used both camera and pen to cover a wide breadth of subject matter. I have photographed protests, performances, sports, lectures, and feature stories. I’ve written about immigration, modern art, and school dress codes. Some of these have been personal, while others have been on assignment for class or UNC’s independent student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel.

 You can find more information about my work history on LinkedIn and more samples of my work on The Daily Tar Heel website.

With regard to extracurricular activities throughout my college career, I was a consistent member of the Carolina Neuroscience Club and a weekly volunteer and adult GED tutor at Orange Literacy Council. I also served 1.5 years as the President of the Secular Students of Carolina.

Since graduation, I’ve taken a part-time job as a page at the Micanopy Branch of the Alachua County Library District. Outside of work, I spend most of my time working on a legal research project that has carried over from my last year in school, and volunteering with the Legal Empowerment & Advocacy Hub of Gainesville.

Vision

I hope to carry my educational background, in combination with my passions for activism and embracing the global community, into a career in nonprofit communications and advocacy work.

I’m also considering pursuing a degree in international human rights law and/or exploring options for a career in diplomacy as a Foreign Service Officer.

Ultimately, wherever I end up, I hope to be bringing people together a little more each day, and to be serving this planet and everyone on it with everything I have.

Next Steps…

If you’d like my help with a project of your own, head to my contact page and shoot me a proposal. From graduation photos to in-depth narratives, I look forward to connecting with you.