I was born in Kankakee, Illinois on June 30, 1973. I grew up in a small nearby town called Momence. After graduating from Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee, I spent four years at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I graduated from there with a B.S. from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the major of Astronomy in 1995. I started graduate school in the Department of Astronomy at New Mexico State University in the fall of 1996. I received a M.S. in May of 1999 my Ph.D. in 2002. You can grab my thesis here.