She has most recently served as Outreach Coordinator for Duke University’s Asian/Pacific Studies Institute (then the only federally funded East Asia Resource Center for the southeastern United States). From 2006 through 2009, she was Program Director of the Asian Educational Media Service at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a national outreach program facilitating the use of film and media resources for teaching and learning about Asia in K–16 education. She has also collected acquisitions for the Full Frame Archive of documentary film at Duke University’s Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library; and coordinated a Mellon-funded project at the Associated Colleges of the Midwest, synthesizing the efforts of 41 liberal arts colleges in international education.
Earlier, she taught English for two years at Yunnan University’s Foreign Language Secondary School in Kunming, China. She has also taught English as a Second Language in Seoul, Korea; Taipei, Taiwan; and Seattle, Washington.
She completed her Ph.D. in ethnomusicology in 2011 from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with specializations in American folk music and East Asian music. Her dissertation, a history and ethnography of a major community music school in Chicago (Music as a Birthright: Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music and Participatory Music Making in the 21st Century), studies the meanings of music in the lives of amateur music-makers, in the context of the American folk music revival. She is currently rewriting it as a book for a general readership.
She earned an M.A. in ethnomusicology from the University of Washington, a Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies from Oberlin College, and a Bachelor of Music in Music History from Oberlin Conservatory of Music.