I was born and raised in Northfield, Minnesota, which is about one hour south of Minneapolis/St. Paul. I stayed in Northfield to attend St. Olaf College, where I received my B.S. in Mathematics and Physics with a concentration in Statistics in 2004. During my time at St. Olaf, I played football all four years, volunteered with local youth organizations, and participated in various internship and practicum projects. During my senior year I joined the St. Olaf swimming team, where I met my wife, Emily.

Emily and I got married on July 25th 2009 in Kansas City, Missouri. Emily received her B.S. degree in Psychology and Family Studies from St. Olaf College in May 2006. She then volunteered for AmeriCorps for one year in Indianapolis, before returning to school and receiving her M.S. in School Counseling from Purdue University in May 2009. For the past two years Emily has worked for the Greater Lafayette Area Special Services as a Parent/School/Community liaison.

My mother Karen Achberger and sister Erika Achberger remain in the Northfield area. Karen is the chair of the German Department at St. Olaf College where she has worked for over 30 years. Erika is the proud owner of a beautiful 17 acre farm outside of Northfield where (at last check) she has 12 horses, 11 chickens, 2 goats, 3 dogs and 4 cats. Erika runs her own business called Erika's Equine which focuses on natural healing practices for horses, with particular emphasis on hoof trimming.

When I am not pursuing my research interests, I enjoy cooking with my wife, participating in triathlons and cheering on my favorite sports teams.