A long time ago, a man much older and wiser than I was then or am now, looked at me over a cup of coffee from across his living room and asked, “What are you building?” He didn’t mean on that particular day, and he wasn’t even asking because he thought I should have an answer to the question; he asked because he wanted to make sure that I was at least trying to connect my activities and coordinate my energies in a way that would allow me to give the question a compelling answer one day. Even today I think it’s the most important question anyone has ever asked me, because it’s the question that I ask myself every day when I think about the work that I am about to do and why – even if I haven’t answered it yet.

Currently, I work as a resource development professional at a cultural organization in Jackson, Mississippi. After leaving academia, I cast the net broadly during my job search, and was attracted to my current role primarily because of the organization and its leadership rather than from any antecedent commitment to a career as a fundraiser. I love working in a field where I am inspired and educated daily, and use the art of storytelling to connect the lives of individuals and institutions.