I grew up in a suburb of Chicago, IL (Northbrook). Partway through high school, my family moved to Tidewater, Virginia where I snagged my first high school job in "interior design" for a nuclear submarine at Newport News Shipbuilding. After high school, I worked summers at the new Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (now called the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility) and worked the rest of the year towards both my BA in physics and my MA in math at the University of Virginia. For graduate school, I came out to Pasadena, California to attend Caltech in hopes of working someday on a Mars Rover mission. I got my wishtwice so far! During my doctoral thesis work (on robotic path planning), I was a member of the Sojourner rover surface operations team for the Mars Pathfinder missionbecoming one of the first group of "rover drivers" on Mars! After earning my Ph.D. from Caltech, I joined Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and worked on the surface operations team for the ill-fated Mars Polar Lander, and the operations readiness team for Mars Odyssey. Finally, I joined the Mars Exploration Rover team, where once again I got my wish to work with Mars Rovers!