GK-12 Fellow (Partnered with Tim Bollin, Toledo Early College)
I received my B.S. of Science in exercise science with a concentration of athletic training from the University of Toledo (UT) in 2004. Once I became certified as an athletic trainer, I worked as a corporate wellness manager in the automotive industry. I also served as a mediator between the United Auto Workers and management to ensure the health and safety of factory workers. Through my work, I learned that people have a vested interest in their health and wellness but find the barriers to living a healthful life insurmountable. My interactions with the people I encountered inspired me to find ways to reduce environmental barriers to health. I studied active living while taking classes towards a M.A. in recreation and became interested in the links between environmental sustainability, public health, and land-use policy. That ultimately led me to the Ph.D. program in spatially integrated social sciences at UT. My research interests include active living, storm water management, and epidemiology. I am passionate about empowering community members to use scientific findings for advocacy which results in the betterment of their neighborhoods. When I complete my Ph.D. I hope to work at the federal level on policy issues pertaining to health and environmental sustainability. I also hope to continue disseminating research findings via community education and outreach.