Nancy grew up in Los Angeles and received an A.B. in comparative literature from Occidental College; she spent her junior year at Barnard studying Russian and learning to love New York. She earned a Ph.D. in Russian literature from Columbia University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1998. She has taught Literature Humanities since 1999, which inspired her to start studying Latin and Greek. Some of her favorite things are theatre, film, Japanese language and culture, and cooking. She has two kids and two cats.