Honorary:, PhD, MS
Watching students connect the dots between course work/theory and their own research interests always reignites my passion for teaching.
I am an epidemiologist with expertise in applying spatial statistics to study geographic context of risk and access to care for drug misuse and infectious diseases.
What are your research interests and why did you choose to pursue them?
My interest in spatial epidemiology was initially sparked while classifying high risk habitats for tickborne diseases at a Tennessee field research center. I left medical entomology to pursue public health with the desire to focus on use of spatial statistics and epidemiology to study health disparities. It is because of the overwhelming support I received from the School of Public Health and the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute that I have been able to start my own research program.
Currently, my lab is developing novel GPS monitoring technologies, and using spatial epidemiology to describe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, substance misuse and cardiovascular diseases in West Virginia and nationally.
What is something you love about teaching?
Teaching and mentoring are two of my favorite responsibilities. I am a strong believer in fostering student driven innovation. My favorite mentoring experiences have been to see the student “AHA Moments” (defined by Merriam Webster dictionary and explained by Oprah Winfrey as “a moment of sudden inspiration”). Watching students connect the dots between course work/theory and their own research interests always reignites my passion for teaching.
What is a career milestone or achievement of which you’re most proud?
My proudest moments thus far have been in sharing co-authorship on publications with students working in my lab. Publications are the currency of science. Helping mentees succeed and build credentials for post-graduation employment is a milestone all mentors strive toward.
What's your favorite...
- Book: I don’t have a favorite author or book series, but the book which inspired me in high school to pursue science as a career was Silent Spring by Rachel Carson.
- TV Series and/or Movie: Syfy and Scary movies are my favorite genres. There is nothing like going to a movie theatre (as permitted given COVID-19 restrictions) with family and friends and laughing at scenes that make everyone jump in their seats.
- Music Genre: Today’s Hits and 80’s Hits and Dance Mix
- Place You’ve Visited: My favorite place was Anchorage, Alaska. Flying over the snow-capped mountains and seeing glaciers firsthand was exciting.
- Local Restaurant: Iron Horse (homemade perogies!)
- Thing To Do When You're Not Working: I am DIY (Do-It-Yourself) -er in training and a pet parent