AS in Computer Network Administration from Lake Land Community College (2000)
BA in Political Science from Eastern Illinois University (2004)
MS in Public Administration from University of Illinois at Springfield (2007)
Advisor: Gale Summerfield and Stephen Gasteyer
Professional/Research Interests: I am interested in community and political studies with an emphasis on applied research. Specifically, I am interested in the study of community resiliency/sustainability, utilizing the Community Capitals Framework, and the implementation of the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) approach. Additionally I am interested in the social impacts of energy generation, food production, and water sourcing.
Honors and Awards:
Jonathan Baldwin Turner Fellow (2007-present)
Susan Kahl Funkhouser Leadership Award (Fall 2008)
Graduate College Conference Travel Award (Spring 2008)
Assistantships held as a Graduate Student at Illinois:
Research Assistantships with Dr. Gale Summerfield
Community Resiliency and the Emerging Alternative Energy Sector, current
Research Assistantships with Dr. Stephen Gasteyer
Southern Illinois Regional Assessment Project (SIRAP), 2007 - 2008
Small Water System Board Management Capacity (MTAC), 2008
Research Assistant with Peggy Boyer-Long
Illinois Issues Magazine at the University of Illinois at Springfield, 2005 – 2006
As a graduate student in CSO:
I have had many wonderful experiences due in part to the amazing advisors I have had in Gale Summerfield and Stephen Gasteyer and their willingness to include me in their research. Additionally, the program has other wonderful faculty, and my fellow students are becoming more and more like family everyday.
I chose Illinois because it is my home state. I am deeply rooted here, coming from Mattoon, Illinois. Illinois is a state of extreme dynamism that has a great deal of unrecognized potential. It is my hope to awaken that latent capacity.
What I like best about Illinois is the people. For all the talk of people being "stuck in their ways," I have recognized that if you have a good idea, people will listen, and indeed they will act.
As an HCD graduate student, I am exposed to a broad array of Interests as they narrowly apply to community and family studies. The program offers an abundant array of opportunities.
I am professionally involved in:
American Water Works Association
Community Development Society
Rural Sociological Society
American Water Works Association, Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia 2008. “MAKING CHANGE HAPPEN: COMPARING WATER BOARD TRAINING AND IMPACTS” Joint presention with Dr. Stephen Gasteyer.
Community Development Society 40th Annual International Conference, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada 2008. “NEW INHABBITANTS, INMIGRANTS, AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT”
Rural Sociological Society, 2008 Annual Meeting. “CRACKS IN DEPENDENCY? ENDOGENOUS SUPPORT FOR ENTREPRENEURIAL SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE IN A REGION DEFINED BY CHRONIC POVERTY.”
Hometown: Mattoon, Illinois (proudly)
Food! Cooking, growing, canning, dehydrating…
Health and Fitness
Oh! And Community Development!
Fun Fact: I worked for a Member of Congress within a year of quitting my job at Wal-Mart. I still don't know how that happened.