After graduating with my BA in History (minor Anthropology) from HSU in 2007, I applied to several graduate schools in Middle East Studies. I knew I wanted to go into conflict resolution, and I saw that the Middle East would be a critical region of the world for the foreseeable future. In 2008 I traveled to Tunisia to study Arabic, and lived there for one month. Upon receiving the news that I had gotten into the MA program at the University of Utah, I flew home and made the move to Salt Lake City.
I spent two wonderful years in the Middle East Center at the University of Utah, taking a wide range of history, anthropology, political science, and language classes. The excellent faculty and staff in the center made my graduate career a wonderful experience, and I made many good friends and contacts there (including my future wife).
After graduating with my MA in Middle East Studies in the spring of 2010, I traveled to Egypt and lived in Alexandria for 4 months while studying Arabic and teaching English for a non-profit organization called Amideast. It was a challenging time, running between teaching my classes and seeing my Arabic tutor. But I survived. Upon finishing my teaching contract I started an internship at Search For Common Ground, a non-profit organization in Washington DC dedicated to finding peaceful solutions to conflicts around the world.