I am committed to service in my community. I genuinely enjoy service and I strongly believe that in order to effectively conduct research and teach I must be engaged in the community through partnerships with local and state agencies. I have been actively engaged in collaboration with community organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association, American Red Cross, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and Age Friendly Lexington. Previously I have served in a leadership capacity with the Gerontological Society of America’s Older Adults and Disasters special interest group as a co-convener (2016-18) and the Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia special interest group as a co-convener (2019-2022). Currently, I serve as a co-chair for the Rural Health Disparities workgroup (2021- ) and I am an executive committee member for the newly formed for Professional Interest Area (PIA)- Partnering with Research Participants (2022- ) with the Alzheimer's Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer's Research and Treatment (ISTAART) group. I have enjoyed these partnerships as a way to stay up-to-date with current ADRD practices and policies, but also as an avenue to meet wonderful colleagues for collaborations. I look forward to the opportunity to continue to develop new relationships and collaborate with local Lexington, Eastern Kentucky, and Kentucky state agencies.
Student research mentorship, particularly for undergraduate students, is incredibly important to me because it was through that experience that I developed my own interest in social work research. One of the projects I am proudest of (at least to date) is the work I did in the summer of 2015 with the Catawba Indian Nation Senior Center. I led a team of fifteen students on a short-term evaluation project where students went door-to-door to interview 400 of the reservation seniors. In addition to being responsible for student training and project implementation, I felt the experience provided an avenue for me to build rapport with each of the students and help them grow their professional skill sets. If you are interested in pursuing an independent study as part of your time as a social work student at the University of Kentucky, I hope you will reach out to me.