Who am I? Although I have many roles in my life, the ones that are most dear to my heart are wife, mother, friend, traveler, and educator. Relationships are at the epicenter of my world, and the people in my life make it what it is - a beautiful life, and without them, I am nothing. My best friend, counterpart, and husband - the brilliant Dr. Lane Perry - also has a profession in Higher Education. He inspires me to be a better version of myself, and I owe more than many of my accomplishments to him. Together, we have a daughter. She is an exact blend of the two of us... the good and the bad. She is the apple of my eye and has filled my life and heart with an amount of love that I didn't know existed.
I like to joke that I collect people... instead of nick-nacks or antiques. Although it sounds silly, it is true. I believe that my calling - in addition to being an educator and helping to mold the next generation of difference-makers, is to be a community builder. At the heart of this calling is creating and sustaining meaningful relationships. I believe I have been blessed with an ability to make friends easily and help others feel connected to a sense of community. This is why my role of "friend" is of utmost importance to me.
The thing I love most in the world is traveling... and I believe this is rooted in my love of people and desire to learn more about other cultures, religions, food, and homes. I have currently traveled to 29 countries across 5 continents, and I'd like to think that I'm just getting started!
Where have I come from? I grew up in a suburban town outside of Oklahoma City. I had a wonderful childhood with an amount of love that I can only appreciate now that I am a parent myself. I attended the University of Central Oklahoma and received a B.A. in Broadcast Communications. I moved to Los Angeles for a short time period after graduation where I worked for Entertainment Tonight and Disney Buena Vista Marketing. After a year of realizing that life-after-college wasn't what I expected it to be, I returned to my alma mater to start what ended up being my career in Higher Education Student Affairs. During that time, I earned an M.Ed. in Adult Education, and soon realized that I had wanted to pursue this career whole-heartedly. In 2008 as newly-weds, Lane and I headed on an adventure of a lifetime. We sold our house, cars, and all belongings to move to the other side of the world - Christchurch, New Zealand. While there, we both earned PhDs in Higher Education, learned about who we were, who we wanted to become, and what we actually cared about. We walked away with far more than an education - we were in every sense changed forever... for the better. In the summer of 2012, we started a new adventure - life back to America! ...and specifically North Carolina. We live in a majestic part of the Appalachian Mountains and are fully embracing all that mountain life has to offer.
3.) When we lived in New Zealand, we were a part of the community that was devastatingly struck with thousands of earthquakes. I wrote a piece on our experiences that was published in the University of Central Oklahoma Alumni Magazine... here is a copy: