I was born and raised in rural Minnesota, about an hour southwest of the Twin Cities. I’ve always displayed a natural thirst for knowledge, especially about music, mathematics, and computing, and my parents encouraged the pursuit of education both in and out of the classroom. Living in the country provided opportunities to learn about carpentry (my dad was a hobbyist cabinetmaker, and we also had to do a lot of upkeep on the property) and the outdoors with the Boy Scouts.
My family moved to Michigan in 2005. I completed my Eagle Scout Service Project in 2008, which reïntroduced bluebirds to my local county for the first time in over twenty years. I attended Trine University, originally as a mechanical engineer. When I realized I was much more interested in the programming and machine control than the finished products themselves, I switched to Computer Engineering. My Senior Design project, the construction and programming of a large autonomous vehicle, involved my skills in both disciplines.
In addition to my academic and technical pursuits, I also greatly enjoy music and aquatics. I began learning piano when I was six, and added the trumpet and French horn in middle and high school, respectively. I’ve played in my school bands for ten years and hope to resume playing in a community orchestra after the pandemic. I have been a strong swimmer all my life, and became a Red Cross lifeguard at 14. My passion for aquatic safety has led me to become a BSA lifeguard and PADI Rescue Diver, and I have employed these skills as the aquatics director at my local Boy Scout camp. During my time at Rota-Kiwan, I received excellent reviews and maintained a strong safety record.
I am deeply passionate about achieving safety in risky environments through familiarity, competence, and assistance. I aim to make delivery of such safety benefits a primary goal of my career and personal life.
After university, I lived in Logan, Utah and Albuquerque, New Mexico before moving to Arlington, Virginia for my new job. My friends from camp and college are mostly back in the Great Lakes, and my friends from work are primarily in San Francisco and New England, so the physical distance encourages my strong online social presence.
I have volunteered as a leader and instructor with Scout troops in every area I have lived. Scouting has been a fundamental aspect of my life since I was six years old and I am happy and grateful to be able to stay active in it as an adult.
I believe it is important to be open about harmful experiences as well as the happier and upbeat aspects of our lives. I went through these with a very limited community around me for support.
I hope that my writing about it here can be reässuring, if you need it. Furthermore, please feel free to contact me directly for any reason. I am listing these to establish a common understanding, not to limit scope or compare pains.
I lost my father to brain cancer through the back half of 2018, my grandmother to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 Apr, and both of the family cats in 2020 Sep. I have written on Twitter about the costs of survival in the hopes that my experience can be useful to anyone else going through similar circumstances.
I am a relatively rare figure, at least in my social circles so far, in that I have received violent domestic abuse and written about it publicly. You may read my account if you wish.
I have struggled with suicidal ideation since I was eight years old. I made several attempts in high school and college, all ultimately without effect. I am now recovered and largely beyond it, though lingering intrusive thoughts remain. In my experience, this is a frighteningly common phenomenon across American youth and early adults. You may write to me if you share it.