I have always been interested in economic and social inequality. Let’s just say it is hard to grow up in NYC and not be exposed to and become acutely aware of extreme poverty and excessive wealth. My desire to study how economic resource deprivation contributes to inequitable health and wealth outcomes led me to graduate study. I applied and was accepted to the 2005 American Economic Association Pre-Graduate Summer Program at Duke University. I attended the program for two summers, interning at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in between. From there, I enrolled at Cornell University in 2006 and completed my Ph.D. in Policy Analysis and Management in 2012. I received an interdisciplinary education and had the opportunity to supplement my formal economics training with family and social demography and health policy research. Upon finishing my graduate work, I accepted a RWJF Health and Society postdoctoral fellowship at UW-Madison, where I continued my research on wealth and health disparities and family dynamics with a focus on young adults, low-income, racial and ethnic minority women and their families.
I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and am the daughter of a Ghanaian immigrant and a proud Black mother whose parents migrated to NYC from Virginia and North Carolina during the late 1940s.
If I had to describe my childhood I would use the following three words: happy, joyful, loved! I grew up in Brooklyn, NY in the 1980s and 1990s. I was surrounded by my beautiful family, and a tight-knit community at home and at church. I was lucky enough to be exposed to art, music, food, and culture of people from all over the world from a very young age and enjoyed exploring such a fascinating place with all that it had to offer. I’d be remiss if I did not mention that growing up in the birthplace of hip hop/rap defined my childhood.
I love so many things, but especially enjoy travel, food and wine, dessert, 90’s hip hop and R&B, and the arts.
I have both lived and traveled many places, but something that stays the same wherever I go is the quietness of the morning, the beauty of the sunrise, and the sound of the birds chirping (in the summertime). I am definitely a morning person and love being awake to greet the new day.