When I'm not in the lab, in class, or teaching, I enjoy staying active as a freelance cellist and composer. I began writing music at the age of 5 and began studying the cello at the age of 9. At 14, I began to publish my compositions online and perform as a hired soloist and chamber musician at weddings, at formal banquets, and with professional ensembles such as orchestras and string quartets. As a performer, I have appeared professionally with the Shippensburg University Orchestra, Harrisburg "El Shaddai" Choir, Undercroft Opera, Classic Sounds string quartet, Allegro string quartet, and Trinity string ensemble. As a composer, I wrote and recorded original cello music for independent filmmaker Stephanie Trainer's documentary Wood & String (in development) and singer-songwriter Sarah (Adams) Galloway's debut album, At the Gate (released December 2014), and composed an original liturgical setting to be used in worship services at the Lutheran University Center in Pittsburgh, PA. I have also enjoyed teaching private lessons to young music students since I was in high school.
During my undergraduate years at Carnegie Mellon University, I performed with the All University Orchestra (co-principal) and String Theory chamber ensemble (principal). Currently, I am exploring opportunities to continue my musical involvement in the Duke community, and I have done some initial collaboration with Sarah Galloway on the production of a second studio album, To Whom It May Concern. I also wrote and produced the theme music for the Gastronauts podcast at Duke.
In addition to my educational outreach efforts related to STEM, I am also passionate about general community service beyond academic topics. As a child, I was a Girl Scout for 13 years and earned the Gold Award (the highest achievement in Girl Scouting, similar to the Boy Scout Eagle Award) by founding the Early Childhood Read-to-Me Library at LeTort Elementary School at the age of 15.
As an undergraduate at Carnegie Mellon University, I continued to participate in community service through my leadership in Pittsburgh Alt Break (formerly Alternative Spring Break), for which I coordinated two annual week-long service experiences in which students worked with nonprofit organizations in Pittsburgh and reflected on the importance of civic engagement in topic areas such as homelessness and food insecurity. I was also a member of several other community service groups, such as the Emerging Leaders program, Lambda Sigma honor society, Mortar Board honor society, and Pittsburgh Students Active in Lutheran Ministry (PSALM). As a reflection of my leadership in civic engagement, I was awarded the "Pawsitive" Influence Award, the Gelfand Student Award for Educational Outreach and Service Learning, and the Alpha Epsilon Pi Scholarship for "significant social and cultural engagement."