I am a PhD candidate in Jazz Studies. My academic research is focused on the liturgical music of Mary Lou Williams and its intersections with black suffering, modern jazz, catholic theology, and 20th-century philosophy. A recent paper, “Suffering, Levinas and Modern Jazz: The Liturgical Music of Mary Lou Williams,” has been included in a 2014 Boston University conference anthology, African American Music in World Culture: Art as Refuge and Strength in the Struggle for Freedom (forthcoming). In 2012, I was awarded a grant by the Berger-Carter Jazz Research Fund at Rutgers University's Institute of Jazz Studies to fund my research on Williams. Since then I have presented my research throughout the U.S., U.K., and Europe. I am a composer and jazz pianist, with additional interests in the music of Cuba and performance improvisation. I have an Masters in Arts Management from Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University, and a BFA in Music Composition, with university honors, from the Carnegie Mellon School of Music.