I was born and raised in California. I received a BA and MA in Women's Studies from San Francisco State University and a second MA and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California at Santa Barbara. I became active in Latin American politics during the Reagan administration as a result of the intensive U.S. intervention in Central America.
As a solidarity activist I traveled to El Salvador for the first time in 1985. Since then, I have been able to incorporate my political convictions into my intellectual pursuits. My areas of interest include revolution, gender, feminism, exile, and development in Latin America and the diaspora.
I started my academic career at Emory University in Women's Studies and Sociology but after six years in Atlanta, and a very difficult decision, my husband and I decided we had to return to the west coast and I resigned to move to the Seattle area. (For more details about the decision see my essay "Mother's Day".)
I am a Senior Lecturer and Faculty Coordinator of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences at the University of Washington Bothell. I am also Affiliate Associate Professor in Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies and Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and Faculty Associate at the Center for Human Rights at the University of Washington Seattle. When not working, I enjoy the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest with my family - my husband Dave, daughter Barrie, son Aaron, and dog Ruby.