I was born and raised in Houston, TX. I was inspired by space and space exploration at an early age and never lost the thrill of it. I was active in music as well as science and academic extracurricular activities during high school. I attended Space Camp three times during high school years. I cemented my desire to be an astronaut. Continued musical involvement (bassoon) throughout college. I moved to California for a 1-year tenure at the NASA Ames Research Center before starting graduate work at Caltech. Performed some of my graduate research at JPL and became familiar with the lab and some of its personnel. I started working at JPL in May, 2008, approximately 6 days after defending my graduate thesis.