About Me

I’m a disaster sociologist working to promote equity and justice in the ways we think about disasters and the ways we “do resilience.”  Throughout my research, and as a non-native scholar, I have been granted the phenomenal privilege to learn from leaders and colleagues in Tribal Nations from coast to coast.  Above all, my work seeks to center the voices and knowledges of these colleagues and friends, and learn from them as long as they are willing to teach me. 

Some news from the job market! I am very excited to have been selected for a research sociologist position in the Mendenhall Research Fellowship Program at the United States Geological Survey, where my research will focus on promoting partnerships between Tribal leaders and USGS scientists.  I’m looking forward to joining the incredible team of scientists leading the Strategic Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (SHIRA) project, as we push toward equitable hazard resilience.  

I am currently a Research Scientist at the University of Washington in the Collaborative for Extreme Events Resilience (CEER) and the Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHanGE) in the School of Public Health.  My current project at UW is a collaborative effort between the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, Washington Department of Public Health, and CEER, where we explore Tribal partnerships that promote environmental health equity. 

As a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of North Texas, I am completing my dissertation that focuses on Tribal emergency management throughout the United States. After several semesters developing and teaching upper level undergraduate courses at UNT, I now serve as an adjunct faculty member teaching sociology at the University of Texas-Arlington.

I am also passionate about my work with the Disaster Justice Network, a collaborative of passionate individuals who have come together to seek justice for residents of Southwest Louisiana who, in addition to joining the nation’s struggle against COVID-19, have seen cascading disasters that include two devastating hurricanes and deadly winter storms in just the past 12 months.  My work with DJN includes coordinating communications efforts to promote the network’s advocacy goals, and working on a number of projects to bring needed resources to the area. 

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. 
    • 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.