I attended St. Ignatius High School and John Carroll University in Ohio; both are Jesuit schools. Upon graduation, I used my finance BA degree to take my first job as a financial accountant at Avery Dennison Company in Ohio. Very quickly, I became bored and decided to seek more exciting and fulfilling work. Toward that end, I applied for a position in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC); my JVC placement was as a teacher and coach at Sacred Heart Elementary School in inner-city Camden, New Jersey. After my year working with under-served students in Camden, I decided that I should pursue a line of work that would allow me to attempt to better the educational opportunities for low-income students. My strategy was to seek a graduate degree in education policy. Then, in the mid-1990s, I first earned a degree in social policy from the University of Manchester in the UK. This degree heightened my interest in social and education policy. Thus, I attended University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia to pursue a PhD in education policy. Upon graduation in 1999, I took a faculty position at the University of Arkansas. While at Arkansas, I proceeded through the faculty ranks and managed a couple of research centers until 2018. My favorite work at Arkansas was evaluating and building programs that served low-income students. In 2017, although I continued to fully enjoy my work at Arkansas, I responded to an opportunity at Saint Louis University to take on the role of Dean of the School of Education and have been there since August 2018.