University of Delaware
My decision to nominate myself for the Board stems from my belief in the importance of the Society for Applied Anthropology’s (SfAA) critical role in supporting the advancement of young anthropologists, junior scholars, and developing practitioners. In my own - ongoing - growth as a junior scholar and anthropologist, the SfAA and its members have been crucial in my learning and transformation, and I hope to share in the work of helping the Society continue to offer this support for others. Doing so now, as so many people continue to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, seems like an especially important juncture for understanding member needs and capacities. This also bolsters the values I will help lead the SfAA with, supporting a model open not only to a wider range of perspectives and experiences, but also to questions and discussions, alongside dedicated spaces for mentoring.
I have been fortunate to be involved in the Risk and Disaster Topical Interest group in particular within the SfAA for many years, not only as a member, presenter, and committee member, but also as a Co-Chair from 2017-2019 and as the Social Media Manager since 2014. I have also recently (2022) begun work on the SfAA’s Human Rights & Social Justice Committee (HRSJ). All of this has emerged since my general membership in the SfAA began in 2008. In recent years I have also expanded my service and leadership roles in other spaces, including serving as both an at-large senator and secretary for my college’s Faculty Senate, on a range of college and university interdisciplinary committees, and working as a mentor not only for students, but also for other faculty members at my university. Each of these efforts has allowed me to develop leadership and mentorship skills more fully alongside honing valuable interpersonal skills for work in a range of spaces with people from different backgrounds and perspectives.
My research work is rooted in applied anthropology and disaster research, exploring the cultural and historical contexts of disasters, predominantly in the United States. I currently work as an Assistant Professor in the University of Delaware’s Department of Anthropology where I bring applied perspectives and disaster research into all of my classes, from Introduction to Cultural Anthropology to advanced classes for undergraduate anthropology majors and minors to Disaster Science and Management graduate students. I am also a Core Faculty Member at the Disaster Research Center, bringing an anthropological perspective into interdisciplinary research and working with other social scientists, engineers, and other researchers and stakeholders in a variety of forums to better understand people’s varied perceptions of disasters, responses to them, and recovery efforts from them. I also work to stay engaged with anthropologists across the field, exploring questions of findings, as well as methodology and pedagogy, all of which I bring back into my interdisciplinary work and my classrooms. This work too has helped prepare me for discussing and hearing concerns that have emerged for many out of the pandemic.