I have always been passionate about education and the potential it has to transform lives. I have a Ph.D. in sociology, and before I began my current position as the director of the Southern University Research Center, I taught sociology at SOU.
Both of my children have spent their entire K-12 educational experience in the Ashland School District. They have attended Bellview Elementary School, Willow Wind Community Learning Center and Ashland High School. My oldest was an athlete throughout middle and high school and my youngest has been in choir and theater during her time at Ashland High School. I understand firsthand the important role of the arts and athletics, and other extracurricular activities, in our kids’ education.
As the director of the Southern Oregon University Research Center, I have spent the last 12 years conducting research for local non-profit and governmental organizations. My knowledge from these research projects gives me deep insight into our local community and the Rogue Valley. The analytical skills that I have honed as a researcher aid me in making independent and informed decisions on the Ashland School Board.
As a sociologist, my educational background has given me a strong foundational understanding of how race/ethnicity, socioeconomic class, gender, sexual orientation, and ability status affect outcomes in education. As a life-long learner, I continue to address racism, bias, structural inequity, and systems of privilege. I regularly participate in equity, diversity and inclusion training; seek education on the histories and experiences of underrepresented and underserved people, including minoritized peoples; and engage in conversations and meaningful relationships with people who differ from me. The constant work I do in these areas ultimately allows me to create and and vote confidently for policies and procedures to achieve equity and success for all students–especially and including those from diverse backgrounds. I am an ally.