About Me

Visiting the Institute for Friendship with the Peoples with students in Havana, Cuba. May 2015.
Visiting the Institute for Friendship with the Peoples with students in Havana, Cuba. May 2015.

I am an Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Southeastern Louisiana University. My research interests include community sociology, disaster vulnerability, and social inequality. My dissertation is titled “When There’s No Home to Prepare: Understanding Natural Hazards Vulnerability Among the Homeless in Central Florida,” and examines the risks that severe and inclement weather pose to the homeless and identifies strategies the homeless use to mitigate their risks.  In March 2013, I received a grant from the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado – Boulder to study the effects of Hurricane Sandy on the homeless in New Jersey.  I have published my research on homelessness in the context of disaster in the Journal of Emergency Management, the International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, the Natural Hazards Review, and the Natural Hazards Observer.

More recently, I have shifted my interest to queering disaster research. This project involves studying the experiences of LGBTQ identified individuals throughout all stages of the disaster lifecycle, and also challenging our normative assumptions about “disasters.” In 2014, I conducted a web-based survey examine the relationship between sexual orientation, gender-identity, and perceived hurricane risk and preparedness.  I recently began a qualitative up study which examines hurricane preparedness and evacuation plans among LGBTQ people living in Florida and Louisiana.

I earned my Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Central Florida in August 2013. I have also earned Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Sociology from the University of South Florida.