I was born and raised in pre-gentrified downtown Atlanta. These days, I use that qualifier because the names of the neighborhoods that raised me don’t carry the same weight that they did 20 years ago. For the majority of my life I’ve lived in poor minority communities, all the products of White-Flight, long neglected by the powers that be. My elementary school had a large immigrant population, and it wasn’t until middle school that I was really exposed to and socialized with members of the white middle class. When I was young I couldn’t understand why I felt so out of place. As I got older, I realized that my life experiences were not very similar to those of people who looked like me. This caused some amount of stress, and perhaps even a minor identity crisis. However, Atlanta is still quite diverse and I easily surrounded myself with people from all walks of life.
Most of my time in school I thought I wanted to be a biologist or a veterinarian. In my senior year of high school I took an introductory psychology class and my passions changed instantly. At Georgia State I majored in psychology and filled my credits hours with social and multicultural studies. My passion was further developed after taking an introductory anthropology class. I made it my minor, and soaked up all I could from classes like The Anthropology of Violence and Modernity and Identity.
Upon graduation, I began working as a research assistant in the Behavioral Science Lab and remained there for three years. The experience was invaluable, and while I chose not to pursue a clinical degree, the importance of research has become ingrained in my mind. By summer of 2013 I began to get antsy. I had been out of school for long enough, and I was desperate to find a higher education program that spoke to me. For a while, all I knew was what I didn’t want to do. After some recommendations from mentors, my search became narrowed, and I discovered the Community and Social Change program in Miami.
I read the mission statement repeatedly to myself, “to prepare globally aware leaders, researchers, and agents of change who create, inspire, and engage community organizations to foster well-being in diverse community settings”. It struck me as a calling. Something that I could excel at, something I could find meaning in. When I first applied to the program, I wasn’t sure what I would do with the degree. I didn’t know how to explain it to family members, or my colleagues in the lab. All I really knew was that my life experiences had prepared me for this program, and that it would help me turn those experiences into skills that would allow me to do good in the world.
The Town Hall Meeting Hosted by Urgent, Inc
An introduction to community based participatory research
When to Make Someone a Bowl of Ice Cream
An age appropriate way to discuss consent with young children without talking about sex
A public art project in Northern Iceland for which I am providing community research and project implementation consultation
Course History and Products
Exploring the skills necessary to become proficient at finding eligible grants and writing proposals. Accumulating into a project wherein the student will work with one nonprofit to assist in grant writing training and skill development based on the needs of the organization. Boot Camp Jr Survey Boot Camp Jr Assessment Summary of Final Project
Social and psychological factors affecting susceptibility to illness, health related beliefs and behaviors: the doctorpatient relationship: evaluation of health care systems and patient compliance. The Minority Experience and Smoking Rates: An Investigation of the Intersection of Race, Gender and Sexual Orientation
Interrelationship between psychology and sociology in understanding development of diversity in human social systems. Implications for counseling and therapy. Week 4 Response
This course is designed to develop leadership skills for individuals engaged with community-based organizations. Topics will include administrative, management, and fiscal issues. Grant writing, fundraising, organizational communication, program planning, marketing, innovation, strategic planning, and accountability issues will be examined from a non profit organizational perspective. One Page Plan
Urgent Inc. Practicum
Terminology, models, standards, practices, and common problems associated with program evaluation in ducational and Social Service settings. Prerequisite: EPS 670 and 553 or equivalents. Health Information Project Evaluation
This course examines the relationship between multiculturalism and globalization and how these concepts impact education and the world at large. Topics include dimensions of human diversity, identities and acculturation; race and class; gender and power; children and youth; social inclusion and social justice; health disparities; poverty and work; racism and inequality. Building a Space for Freirian Dialogue in[…]
This course focuses on the unique role of nonprofit, communitybased organizations in promoting human and community development. Students will engage in an analysis of the range of functions that organizations serve and the various organizational strategies used in community settings.
Study of the standards methods and techniques of research in the behavioral and social sciences. Brief orientation to quantitative and qualitative procedures used in the analysis and interpretation of research data are emphasized. Chipping Away at Inequality: The Issue of Public Education Funding Policies
This course is designed to promote an understanding of the factors associated with healthy communities. It provides a comprehensive overview of the relevant skills and theories including: ecological/systems theory/models; community theories (sense of community, social capital, environmental psychology); and critical social theory, social justice, and social determinants of wellbeing. Florida’s High School Dropouts: The Issues[…]