I have no children, but I do have two nieces that I love dearly. My brother’s daughter, Shannon, is my eldest niece. Shannon has been featured on this site many times, especially in the ‘Vacations’ posts because Shannon has participated in 6 of my annual vacations. Shannon also spends a lot of time at my house. My sister’s daughter, Natalie, is one year younger than Shannon. Natalie hasn’t had the pleasure, or the dread, of traveling with me during my annual vacations. Natalie hasn’t spent nearly as much time at my house as Shannon has. I don’t get to see Natalie as often as I’d like, so I’ll take the opportunity now to do some bragging about Natalie.

Natalie has always been quite bright. Here. as a young child 20 years ago, she was already working on her academic expression – with the help of a few accessories.

Natalie is a Master of Social Work student at the University of Iowa. Natalie’s website provides an excellent summary of her studies and her socially active work experience.

Natalie also works for the Iowa Policy Project, which is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization that provides research and analysis to engage Iowans in state policy decisions. For a small sample of Natalie’s work, check out her recent article on the Iowa Policy Project web site.

I couldn’t be more proud of Natalie.

Obviously, Natalie has grown up to be an impressive young lady. Maybe it is a good thing that she didn’t spend a lot of time around me during her formative years. I might have polluted the academic environment for her!