Instr Fac AY


College of the Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences


Department of Sociology



Bizzini Hall B211

I am the first in my family to graduate college, which means I got a second degree in “figuring college out on my own.” By the time I was ready to graduate with a B.A., I heard the phrase "graduate school" from my professors. What was that? Once again, I felt like an astronaut visiting an alien planet. Still, I was intrigued. I was always interested in learning new things, so I charged ahead. I never intended to make it this far, but I had really cool mentors and I wanted to be just like them. Well, here I am! I come from a Southern white, working-class, rural family. My grandmother had a 6th-grade education and my parents dropped out of school to work in manual labor. I spent my formative years in Mississippi, also known as “The Deep South,” “The Delta,” and “The Poorest State in the Country.” While many Mississippians normalized the inequality that was everywhere around us, it stood out to me as unjust and wrong. Here, I gained a sociological consciousness at an early age.

Mississippi Delta, Mississippi, Southeast Region

From 2007-2013, I worked in the research division in the Department of Veteran Affairs in the North Florida South Georgia Veteran’s Health System, where I coordinated interventions to increase knowledge and support for family caregivers of veterans.

I moved to California in 2014 and have been a part of the Stan State crew ever since. I live in Modesto with my husband, cat, and fruit trees!

  • 2004, B.A. in Sociology, University of Central Florida 2006
  • M.A. in Applied Sociology, University of Central Florida 2012
  • Ph.D. in Sociology, University of Florida 2013 – 2014
  • Postdoctoral Fellow in Public Health, University of Florida

conspiracy theory beliefs; anti-vaccine beliefs; political polarization expressed in social interactions; disinformation and infodemics Past Research Topics family caregiving; health and life expectancy; older adults and aging; stroke survivorship; disability identities; disability rehabilitation experiences; veteran’s issues

  • rural health
  • the uninsured
  • family caregiving
  • gerontology
  • disability and rehabilitation
  • qualitative methods
  • survey design
  • intervention design

  • Medical Sociology (Spring)
  • Introduction to Gerontology (Spring)
  • Sociological Internship (Spring)
  • Contemporary Theory (Spring)
  • Research Methods (Fall)
  • Disability & Society (Fall)
  • Personality & Society (Summer)

  • Older adults and caregiving
  • Conspiracy beliefs and family conflict
  • Smoke and Vape Free Scholars Initiative

Contact me if you are interested in joining our Qualitative Research Lab! Current and former sociology majors join us in bi-monthly meetings. Students are mentored through the process of collecting their own qualitative data. You also have the opportunity to publish research with faculty and improve your application for graduate school ☺

I am the educational coordinator for the Smoke and Vape Free Scholars Initiative. This is a partnership between Stan State faculty (myself and Dr. José Díaz-Garayúa) and the UC Merced Nicotine and Cannabis Policy Center. This program trains scholars in tobacco control activities place students in internships with local public health agencies in the San Joaquin Valley and offer full-tuition scholarships. Email me if you are interested in applying to the program!