I was born in D.C., raised in southern California and have been slowing moving northwest ever since I graduated from high school. I earned my associate degree from Orange Coast College, my B.A. in Liberal Studies and Masters of Social Work (MSW) from Chico State and Ph.D. (expected graduation fall 2013) in Human Development and Family Sciences (HDFS) from Oregon State University.
I was attracted to HSU’s reputation for excellence in research regarding alternative energy and sustainability and the Department of Social Work’s central purpose to improve the well-being of individuals, families, organizations and communities, particularly for rural and indigenous populations. I enjoy engaging students in critical dialogue by getting them to talk to each other about social and environmental justice issues and how to translate what we are learning in class to their fields of practice. One way I do that is to get them to work together to find solutions to real-world problems witnessed in their social work internships where none appear possible.
Lately, in my free time I have been having fun exploring the local beaches and forests with my husband and three children.
Broadly speaking, my research uses ethnographic and qualitative methods to examine interventions designed to optimize the health and development of rural families experiencing poverty. My current research focuses on sustainable home-energy relief service implementation. It has relevance at both policy and program level efforts aimed to move families who live and work in rural economically vulnerable communities beyond the heat or eat dilemma.
Areas of focus:
Rural poverty, home energy policy, social inequality, food/housing/energy security, program development, evaluation and implementation, and qualitative and ethnographic research methodologies