I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from McDaniel College in 2009. I earned my Masters of Social Work from Salisbury University in 2010. I earned my PhD in Social Work from Widener University in 2019.
My current research interests are primarily in the area of immigration with specific focus on the relationship between national identity and attitudes towards immigrants and the United States. I also engage in research regarding evidence-based teaching approaches in higher education, as well as, child welfare and foster care. In the past I have focused my research in the area of refugees in the United States and the specific policies and practices that impact this vulnerable group.
The philosophy of social reconstructionism provides a framework through which I attempt to guide students through the process of identifying social problems, operationalizing the terms relevant to that problem, formalizing the formulation of the problem, and then structuring possible solutions. This process, which engages students in critical thinking, mirrors the process by which a social work practitioner partners with individuals, groups, and communities for the purpose of social care, social treatment, and social justice. Additionally, social reconstructionism emphasizes that students and faculty should challenge the current cultural design and develop ideas about new and better ways society can function in the future. As an educator it is important that I try to impress upon my students a sense of urgency to bring about social change when necessary, and consider the best ways to respond to the question, “Where do we as a people want to go?” It is my belief that engaging students in a critical discussion of this question is fundamental to the process of social work education.
I am the faculty adviser as well as the chapter adviser for the Phi Delta chapter of Phi Mu fraternity at Salisbury University. I am the coordinator of the Social Justice Living and Learning Community (formerly the Human Service LLC). I am currently serving as the CHHS representative on the University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.
I am currently collaborating with Brianne Kramer and Jennifer McKenzie from Southern Utah University who are the editors for a book called "Children and Trauma Critical Perspectives for Meeting the Needs of Diverse Educational Communities" to be published in April, 2022.