I am a Greek/Sicilian-American born in New York, although most of my childhood was spent in New Jersey with my parents and two younger sisters, Cassandra and Sydney, all of which are now financial planners. Growing up I played the piano competitively for over a decade, before surprising everyone and deciding to study astronomy instead. I was very inspired by the Carl Sagan's Cosmos series and popular science books, which led me into the astrophysics program at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, and later into the astronomy PhD program at Cornell University in upstate New York.
Aside from being a scientist at Cornell University, I also work with their institution's student mental health counseling program, EARS, and enjoy being one of the trainers for new counselors each semester. I also am the facilitator for the university's depression support group, and occasionally give talks about how to listen and empathize better with others across campus at teaching and diversity conferences.
Inline with my original passion for playing the piano, music is still very much an important part of my life with dancing! I am currently studying Turkish and Egyptian dance, and have the pleasure of being able to perform with Ithaca's Chandani Dance Troupe.
As many of those who know me well, I am incredibly fond of animals, and volunteer at the SPCA in Ithaca, which was the first ever no-kill animal shelter in the United States! I also am very fortunate enough to be able to spend lots of time with my parents' two amazing dogs, Charlie (an English pointer) and Zoey (a yellow lab), and my fellow Cornell astronomer Victoria Calafult's cat, who are featured below.