Michael and Teresa current work as college professors in western Virginia. Teresa teaches Spanish and Michael teaches history.
Michael is a Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Ferrum College. He holds a PhD in Russian History and Central Eurasian Studies from Indiana University Bloomington. Michael wrote his dissertation on the Barefooted Flight of the Kazakhs, following a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad fellowship in Kazakhstan.
Teresa is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish at Roanoke College. She holds a PhD in Spanish Literature, also from Indiana University Bloomington. She wrote her dissertation on how early-modern nuns in the hispanophone transatlantic used the Biblical Song of Songs to construct their self-identity and to build their relationships with God.
Michael is from rural Michigan, and Teresa comes from Indianapolis. They both served as Peace Corps Volunteers. Michael served first for six months in Uzbekistan and then another two years in Kazakhstan, while Teresa served a three-year term entirely in Kazakhstan. Michael and Teresa have three daughters: Jansamal, Quralai, and Aqmaral.