I know several lives worth living.

Mary Oliver

I was born in Transylvania, the Hungarian region of Romania. I spent most of my childhood and early teen years under the shadow of a communist dictator. I arrived to the United States as a political refugee, and tried my hand at multiple occupations while completing my high school and undergraduate degrees. Some of my favorites were working in a bookstore and as a counselor of foster youth, though I also think fondly of the years I worked as a night security guard, house cleaner, Chinese herbal pharmacist, emergency room coordinator, factory worker, acupuncturist and martial arts instructor. I also spent nearly 10 years in various leadership positions in the non-profit sector.

Through all my adventures in work and life, I found myself turning to the social sciences in an effort to understand the larger structural forces that shaped my world. My experiences working with marginalized populations led to the realization that my passion lies in socially responsible research and education.


After a foray into Traditional Chinese Medicine, I found my academic home in the joint PhD Program in Sociology and Demography at the University of California, Berkeley.

When not pondering the minutia of time, I love traveling, hiking, photography, painting, rollerblading, playing the didgeridoo and practicing internal martial arts.

Every life is inexplicable... 

No matter how many facts are told, no matter how many details are given, the essential thing resists telling.

Paul Auster

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