A current doctoral student in Educational Linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania, I originally began learning Manding in 2009 as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Burkina Faso. Upon departing in 2011, I was certified as Advanced High in Jula during my final Language Proficiency Interview.
In 2011-2012 as a Fulbright scholar I attended l'Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales in Paris where I was a student of Manding linguistics and Bambara under Professor Valentin Vydrin.
Since beginning my PhD in 2012, I have been conducting linguistic, historical and qualitative research on speech and literacy practices in the Eastern Manding varieties of Burkina Faso, Mali and Guinea. During my studies I also benefitted from two academic-year Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships for studying Maninka through the N'ko writing system and one summer 2013 FLAS for Maninka to attend the Université de Julius Nyerere in Kankan, Guinea.
A contracted author of a textbook/app for learning Bambara, I began to teach and promote Manding via private lesson and conversation groups in 2011.
When I am not working on my dissertation I chip away as a co-author of a trilingual English-French-Bambara/Jula pocket dictionary project with Antoine Fenayon of the French group Association Donniyakadi which offers annual classes in Bambara.