I grew up in a small, blue collar town in the Midwest built on old fashioned hard work and good family values. My granddad and father were attorneys and as a child they instilled in me a few simple things: help those in need, know the value of a dollar, and invest in the precious gift of a good education.
Those important childhood lessons helped me become who I am today: a mother, wife, educator, public servant, leader, and a consensus builder committed to making Orange County a better place for our families to live, work, and thrive.
I took my education seriously and my family’s values led me to a career in teaching and research. I have been a professor and academic researcher for 25 years specializing in the areas of communication, health, and aging, and have been internationally ranked in my field. My work in health care communication has allowed me to help individuals and families make more informed significant life decisions by improving provider-patient interactions and family decision-making related to health care.
In 2016, I helped establish the School of Communication at Chapman University. As the inaugural Dean, I lead the School of Communication by overseeing the faculty, managing the curriculum and budget, and implementing a vision that seeks to more positively impact students and better prepare them for the workforce.
As a mother, I had three children go through the Orange County public school system, and I saw first-hand how broken our education system is. Our classrooms are too full, the curricula is often not innovative with a one size fits all approach that is failing, and our schools lack the necessary resources our students need to succeed.
As my girls grew up, I often heard my daughters say “if anyone can fix this it’s mom”.
I knew I needed to do something about our failing education system, so I decided to run for public office.
I ran and was elected to the Orange County Board of Education last year where I have demonstrated my full commitment every day to ensure Orange County families have school choice, improve the quality of our education, modernize our schools and provide innovative classrooms, and hold our administrators accountable for student performance.
I’m a consensus builder, leader, and someone who has a strong vision for the future of our beloved county and our amazing and resilient country. I’ve worked hard and sacrificed to make positive changes in my community and now I want to give back on a larger scale.
I’m running for Congress because Orange County needs a leader who understands our issues, has the courage to stand up to our leaders, and fights for us.
If anyone can help fix the direction of this country, I believe it’s me, and I would be honored to have your support.