August 25, 2014
When did you come to UGA and what brought you here?
I came to the University of Georgia to pursue a Master's Degree in Public Administration and Policy. I have been here ever since.
Where did you earn your degrees? What did you study there?
I earned my undergraduate degrees in History and Political Science from Converse College in Spartanburg (a women's college!), South Carolina; my MPA with a local government focus from SPIA at UGA, and also my Ph.D. in Public Administration and Policy from the University of Georgia, so I am a "double dawg."
What are your main interests in your field?
The main interests in my field are general social policy issues, among them: poverty, health, low-income families, food security, and obesity, to name a few.
What is the focus of your research at UGA?
The focus of my research at UGA is food assistance policy and obesity policy.
How does your research inspire your teaching and vice versa?
My students are always inspiring me, and I love teaching because I always learn something new from them. My research inspires my teaching through the practical examples I glean from it to illustrate the major policy challenges and potential solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing this generation and the ones to come.
What are some of the highlights of your career or some of your major accomplishments (at UGA or elsewhere)?
I am new in my career, but some of the highlights thus far include joining the HPAM faculty, winning 2014 Professor of the Year in the Department of Public Administration & Policy, and mentoring a team of students to compete and finalize in the 2014 Fels Policy Challenge hosted by the University of Pennsylvania.
What do you hope students will gain from their classroom experience with you?
I hope that my students will gain a general interest in health policy from their experience with me, and that they will go away wanting to know MORE. I also hope to share a passion with them that will give them the tools to understand the important role that health policy plays in their everyday personal and professional lives.
Beyond the UGA campus... what are your interests?
I love spending time with my husband Clayton and my dog Lucy, and to travel to spend time with family and friends.