Contact Information
Office Location: 428C2 Minard Hall
Office Phone: 701-231-5595
Cell Phone: 859-539-0537
Email Address:

Current Courses

  • EMGT 101: Emergencies, Disasters, and Catastrophes
  • EMGT 281: Disaster Analysis
  • EMGT 364: Disaster Recovery
  • EMGT 425: World Disasters
  • EMGT 764: Recovery Theory and Practice

Research Interests

  • Holistic recovery of communities and individuals in disaster recovery
  • Community volunteers in disaster response and recovery
  • Who emergency managers are and what they do
  • Higher education in emergency management

Why are you passionate about emergency management?
I was in the Coast Guard during Hurricane Katrina. And while my duty station was in Portsmouth, VA, and not on the ground in the Gulf Coast, I was involved in gathering and synthesizing the information about what the Coast Guard was doing in response to the event. Seeing the information coming in from our field units, along with the pictures and video from the impacted area, really drove home to me the amount of human suffering that results from disaster events. And when I came to NDSU to study emergency management, I learned that there are many things we can do to reduce or alleviate that suffering. It is the idea that our actions—as individuals, organizations, and communities—can influence how disasters and other hazard events are experienced that really drives my interest in studying and teaching emergency management.


How do you translate that passion to your students in the classroom?
I think there are two primary ways in which I try to translate this passion. One, I simply bring my enthusiasm for emergency management into the classroom. I am excited about being there and working with students and I make that known. Two, I try to help students develop ways to think about how we can reduce or alleviate that human suffering and make connections between what research suggests about these things and tangible actions that can be done in our communities in keeping with that research.


How would you best describe your teaching style?
I like to think I offer both substance and style, but I guess you’d have to ask my students how well I actually pull that off! My goal is to engage students as much as possible through activities and discussion. That’s not to say I don’t ever lecture. Sometimes there is just information that needs to get out there! But I work hard to get students involved and invested in their learning.

What excites you most about working with students in the emergency management program?
Trying to minimize the impacts of these disaster events on our communities, responding efficiently when events do happen, and helping all facets of our communities recover effectively are not easy things to do. And they involve some tough questions. For example, what does it mean to truly be prepared for a disaster event and how do we make that happen? How do we incorporate concerns related to hazards with other priorities in the community? Who is responsible for helping those impacted by these events get back on their feet and to what level? And these are just a small smattering of the types of questions that exist. It is exciting for me to watch students start to understand the challenges, grapple with the questions, and begin to think about possible solutions and answers. And it excites me to know that It is our students who can go out into the world—whether as emergency management professionals or as citizens in other roles—and begin to positively influence how these disaster events go in our communities.

What should students bring to the table to be successful in emergency management classes?
Enthusiasm and a willingness to learn go a long way! Beyond that, a commitment to being a willing and active participant in the classroom and a desire to think about and try to find solutions to these challenging questions are also important.

Why do you enjoy being on the faculty at NDSU?
My colleagues in the emergency management department are amazing! As a relatively new (I would like to say young, but I am not sure that descriptor fits anymore!) faculty member, I have benefited greatly from their knowledge, insights, and experiences. I truly enjoy getting to work around this group and work together with them to make our program as strong as possible for our students.

What are some things that you enjoy doing beyond the classroom?
The list is long…running, biking, reading non-emergency management or academic books, riding my snowmobile or motorcycle, being at the lake doing lake activities, attending concerts, going to my kids’ activities, playing soccer, visiting with friends and family, and tailgating/watching Bison football. I am a firm believer in balancing work and life. I love emergency management and teaching and give it my best when I am at work. But then I like to head home to play!

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