I was born and (mostly) raised in southern New Mexico. My fourth grade year was spent living in Venezuela, where I was one of four English speakers in my school (and the other three were German citizens!). This experience as an out-group member sparked my interest in other cultures and ways of life, and I later earned a BA in Anthropology at New Mexico State University (NMSU). After several years living in a small mountain town and operating my own stained glass studio, I went back to NMSU to study how mind and body create each other, and earned an interdisciplinary MS in Psychology and Biology. Later, I moved to the Department of Psychology at Arizona State University, where I earned a PhD in 1994 from the Behavioral Neuroscience program and became even more fascinated with how body and mind interact.
After graduating from ASU, I completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Ohio State University, in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology and the Department of Psychology. There, I was able to participate in ground-breaking studies of how psychological and social processes influence and are influenced by the immune, endocrine, and autonomic nervous systems. Because of my love for the desert and the western United States, I jumped at the chance to join the faculty of ASU in 1997. I was promoted from assistant to associate professor in 2003. These days, I teach Physiological Psychology, Biology of Human Sexuality, and Drugs, Pleasure, and Craving, and conduct multiple collaborative research projects with students in the lab I share with Nicole A. Roberts, my colleague who is the director of the Emotion, Culture, and Psychophysiology Laboratory.
When I'm not working, I enjoy spending time with my partner, Michael Todd (a spectacular cook), and our three dogs. We grow mass quantities of vegetables, herbs, flowers, and desert plants at our place in midtown Phoenix. I also enjoy drawing and singing whenever I get a chance.