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KC Ted talk

“The art of being present and moving from stillness, at the heart of the wayfinder’s way, creates the extraordinary experience of slowing down. Instead of moving out of haste, we move with purpose and clarity. An experience of awe brings us into the present, and our perception of time changes.”


–Dr. Chellie Spiller, Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr, & John Panoho, “Wayfinding Leadership: Ground-breaking Wisdom for Developing Leaders.”

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As an undergraduate student at the University of Washington I co-founded an after-school tutoring center at Gatzert Elementary for under resourced youth and assisted in the development of a community center in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa during a semester abroad. I went on to get my master’s in teaching at the University of Pittsburgh and received the Laura Fruchs Award for Excellence in Teaching. While completing my Ph.D. in Cognitive Studies in Education, I designed and taught geography content methods courses to local teachers and served as a school evaluation consultant. I also conducted national level research (one project brought me back to South Africa), published papers, worked as a consultant for the College Board, reviewed grant proposals for Learn and Serve America, and helped create the AP Human Geography course and test.  I received several awards including the national AERA/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship and the Dissertation of the Year award from the National Council for Geographic Education.

As a consultant with Griffin Outreach International, I leveraged organizational funds to create lasting positive impacts for high need communities all over the world. ROI was measured in lives saved and futures improved.  During graduate school, I learned about the mental models wayfinders use to “pull islands” out of thousands of miles of open ocean by visualizing their boat as stationary and the islands as “swimming to them.” As part of my position with Griffin Outreach, I was given the incredible opportunity to live briefly in New Zealand where I met Master Navigator Sir Hekenukumai Busby as the wakas (boats) were completing the journey from Easter Island back to New Zealand.  Sir Hekenukumai Busby confirmed that Polynesian navigation is rooted in quantum physics and a deep interconnectedness with the natural world.

In 2018, my daughter and her friends started the college admission process, and I realized the talent I have for helping students make this transition. As a member of the Grown and Flown College Admissions Facebook group, I participated in numerous webinars hosted by national experts on the college admission process.  I also enrolled in the UCLA College Counseling Certificate program and will finish by June 2023. I am a student member of IECA (Independent Educational Consultants Association), a member of PNACAC (Pacific Northwest Association for College Admission Counseling) and a provisional member of SACC (Seattle Area College Consultants) organization. I stay up to date on the latest in college admissions trends, tour college campuses, and attend college fairs.