What is your interest in the Mass. Studies Network?
I see the Mass. Studies Network as an opportunity to connect with colleagues who share my appreciation for the value of collaborative community based initiatives, and my belief that individuals gain a greater appreciation and understanding of social, historical and political processes by examining their influence on people and communities at the local level.
I received my social research training at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, where I received a Master's Degree in Educational Psychology in 1997 and a Ph.D. in Human Ecology in 2006.
While at the University of Wisconsin, I worked with Dr. Stephen Small as the Project Coordinator for the Teen Assessment Project (TAP). TAP is a multifaceted community-based research, education, and coalition building program that unites the expertise of university faculty and extension agents with local educators and community organizations to increase awareness of teen issues and foster community based collaborative efforts in support of positive youth development. Developed at the University of Wisconsin by Dr. Small, the TAP program has since been successfully adopted by multiple University Extension Programs throughout the nation.
Since moving to Massachusetts, I have been actively involved in the support of community organizations in my new home town, including the Stoneham Historical Society, Saint Patrick's Catholic Church, South Elementary School, Stoneham Community Access and the Stoneham Public Library. My involvement with local organizations in Stoneham has provided me with a greater appreciation and understanding of both the great potential and real challenges that exist for organizations and individuals at the community level.
My particular areas of expertise are in both quantitative and qualitative social research methods and the development of multimedia tools and resources that can be used by individuals and organizations to implement project objectives at the local level. I am particularly interested in exploring ways to encourage individuals and local organizations to utilize the resources made available to them by programs such as the Massachusetts Studies Project to benefit their community and further their own goals or mission.