I’m currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at University of North Texas. I was recruited to UNT with the prestigious Robert B. Toulouse Fellowship, a “highly competitive program that was created to recruit the very best graduate students who show promise for conducting important research or creative activity.“
Prior to being at UNT, I completed my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Texas Tech University, and subsequently served as the full time academic advisor for the department of political science at TTU.
My primary teaching interests are centered on Disasters, Development, and Global Stratification. However, I’ve also been really lucky to get to develop and teach a wide range of courses, from First Year Experience courses with political science and global studies majors at Texas Tech, to upper level sociological methods and theory courses.
I just wrapped up my most recent semester teaching UNT’s Sociology Capstone course, where I got to mentor some incredible students toward completing independent projects and beginning research for their masters theses. Fostering their scholarly creativity as they develop their own unique academic identities has been a fantastic privilege.
My ongoing research projects include qualitative research on disaster preparedness and resilience among Native American populations in the United States (see more); econometric analysis of developing country governance and emergency response aid; mixed method analysis of service learning initiatives in the undergraduate classroom.
In my non-academic life, I tend to spend lots of time on the road following Red Raider sportsball teams to wherever they may be, visiting my family in Lubbock, and checking more items off of my travel bucket-list than I really deserve to.
I’m blessed to get to retreat to home in the heart of downtown Dallas (or nestle in, when quarantine-times call for it), where I get to make and hear beautiful choral music and engage in the arts. I also manage to squeeze in trips across the street to the Dallas Farmer’s Market where I get to nurture my passions for cooking, wine, succulent tending, and crafty things.
Lastly, let’s just get these soapboxes out of the way:
- Disasters are not natural. Hazards are natural events (e.g. a hurricane). Disasters are social events (e.g. the fact that a hurricane devastated a community that wasn’t prepared to withstand it). That means that disasters are preventable. #NoNaturalDisasters
- Qualitative and Quantitative methods can not exist without one another. Each method contributes different things to our corpus of knowledge and is appropriate for answering different types of research questions. They are interdependent, and we should all strive to be “double threats” (in a methodological sense).
- Academic community is vital. Tightly knit student cohorts that celebrate and support one another can be make-or-break. We should seek to collaborate with scholars ranging from undergrads to emerita, from all disciplines, institutions, and regions of the world. It makes us all a little smarter and better at what we do.
- Students need us to admit ignorance, failures, and flaws. First — if we show willingness to admit when we don’t know something, we’re more trustworthy when we do know something. Second — perfectionism in college students is linked to serious mental illness, and both are at record levels. Admitting our flaws is a way to model how to accept one’s own imperfection.
- Lubbock, TX is beautiful. Texas Tech fandom and strong family ties may have something to do with it, but I’ll fight for this one. Every day I am a Red Raider (and a Dent). Bonus fact: Mac Davis’s famous song “Lubbock in My Rearview Mirror” ends with the line “I guessed happiness was Lubbock Texas in my rearview mirror, But now happiness was Lubbock Texas growing nearer and dearer.” It’s true.