At the age of 10, my family moved from rural Wisconsin to Chandler, Arizona. In many ways this moment marked my first introduction to sociology. At the time, I found myself puzzled by the differences between rural and urban life and was first introduced to cultural diversity. For years my curiosity about “difference” simmered, until I took an introduction to sociology class at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. It took me one semester to develop an addiction to sociology and my time in Flagstaff still influences my intellectual pursuits. While living in Flagstaff, I became interested in the local issues relevant to the management of environmental resources in Northern Arizona. Issues of drought, wildfire, and resource extraction often created conflict in the community and often these conflicts involved questions of environmental justice.
In graduate school I remained focused on environment and conflict and most of my research focused on the social impacts of natural disasters. I received my Ph.D. from Colorado State University in 2012 and began teaching at SHSU in the spring of 2013. My current research involves an examination of crime patterns following disasters, with a special focus on hate crime and racial conflict following disaster. I am also utilizing quantitative methods and geographic information systems to develop socially relevant measures of disaster impact.
I have taught a variety of courses in sociology at the undergraduate level. These include Introduction to Sociology, Quantitative Methodology, Social Research Methods, Classical Sociological Theory, Sociology of Law, Sociology of Deviance, and the Sociology of Disaster.