Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management, Penn State

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I am a Ph.D. candidate at Penn State in the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management. My research focuses on social equity and environmental justice issues related to urban parks and public spaces. I will be on the job market for the 2019-2020 cycle.


Research Overview

How do we fund, build, and manage parks equitably?

My research is at the intersection of critical urban geography, leisure sciences, and urban studies. I theorize and test environmental and social justice outcomes of urban park development, financing, management, and use.  

Within this arena, I study such topics as environmental (or green) gentrification, community engagement, and residents’ perspectives on and experiences with urban parks.

Projects in this line of work include the development of an instrument to measure people’s gentrification beliefs, which I used to predict their support of park development; demonstrating the benefits of community engagement with park nonprofits; understanding the public’s opinions on parks and homelessness; and examining the relationships between private park spending and social equity.

Teaching Overview

Core to my teaching is helping students develop an understanding of the social impacts of parks and recreation on communities. I do this in part by using examples from my research. I believe keeping research and teaching closely tied helps students become more compassionate and engaged professionals.

I have taught an undergraduate course in nonprofit management of parks and recreation and an online section of our department’s introductory general education course.

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