The Disaster Research Center

DRC Graduate Students

Mahmoud

Mahmoud Alwidyan
Disaster Science & Management
Ph.D. Student
alwidyan@udel.edu

Bio

Mahmoud Alwidyan is a PhD candidate in the Disaster Science and Management program at the University of Delaware. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST), Jordan. Also, he holds a master’s degree in Emergency Health Services from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), USA. Prior to start his academic studies at the University of Delaware, he worked for more than 10 years in the emergency departments in Jordanian hospitals as a registered nurse and then for two years as a lecturer at JUST. Mahmoud’s research interests include disease outbreaks, disaster health, and EMS/Paramedics roles in disasters.

Sarah Gregory

Sarah Gregory
Disaster Science & Management
Ph.D. Student
athena@udel.edu

Bio

Sarah Gregory is a doctoral student in the Disaster Science and Management program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Emergency Administration and Disaster Planning from the University of North Texas and a Master of Public Policy from Oregon State University, where she worked on a collaborative project on fire management in wildland urban interfaces with the School of Public Policy and the College of Forestry. Sarah’s emergency management experience includes 3 years as a Disaster Action Team volunteer with the American Red Cross and 6 years with FEMA as a reservist in the planning and operations cadres. Sarah’s research interests include organizations and leadership, long-term recovery, and community resilience. Currently, Sarah is Research Assistant at the Disaster Research Center working on a collaborative project with The Johns Hopkins University and the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene that focuses on recovery in New York City after Hurricane Sandy.

 

Zeinab Yahyazadeh Jasour
Civil Engineering – Infrastructure Systems
M.S. Student
zeinabj@udel.edu

Bio

Zeinab Yahyazadeh Jasour a M.S student majoring in Civil Engineering at the University of Delaware. She completed her B.S.E in Industrial Engineering from University of Alzahra in Iran, She is currently working with Prof. Davidson, and her research interests include an interdisciplinary approach to advance the understanding of homeowner insurance purchase and retrofit decision-making to reduce coastal  natural disaster risk.

 Mei Johnson

Mei Johnson
Disaster Science & Management
M.S. Student
mjohn@udel.edu

Bio

Mei Johnson is a doctoral student in the Disaster Science and Management program at the University of Delaware. Mei holds a Master’s degree in Disaster Science and Management from this program. Prior to beginning academic studies at the University of Delaware, she worked with Habitat for Humanity and with a government contractor focused on environmental assessment and monitoring. Mei’s research interests include industrial and man-made events, waste management and post-event investigations and reports.

 Hans Louis-Charles

Hans Louis-Charles
Disaster Science & Management
Ph.D. Student
hanslc@udel.edu

 Valerie Marlowe

Valerie Marlowe
Disaster Science & Management
Ph.D. Student
marlowev@udel.edu

Bio

Valerie Marlowe is a doctoral student in the Disaster Science and Management program at the University of Delaware.  Valerie holds a Master’s degree in Leadership and Organizational Performance from Vanderbilt University, and prior to beginning academic studies at the University of Delaware worked for more than 10 years in the nonprofit sector, including disaster response and volunteer management work with the American Red Cross.  Valerie’s research interests include organizations, sensemaking, organizational culture, and cultural heritage protection in the disaster context.

 

V. Nuno Martins
Disaster Science & Management
Ph.D. Student
nmartins@udel.edu

Bio

V. Nuno Martins is a Ph.D. candidate in the Disaster Science & Management program and a Graduate Research Assistant at the Disaster Research Center. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Physical Geography (University of Lisbon) and a master’s degree in GIS & Science (New University of Lisbon). Before starting his Ph.D. program, Nuno worked 4 years at the Azores University (Portugal) on projects related with disaster risk governance and management. He is currently working on the study “Community Resilience Index – Promoting Community Resilience in New York City after Hurricane Sandy: A Model-based Approach” which is funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services. Nuno has several peer-reviewed publications and has participated in international conferences. His research interests include: social vulnerability assessment, sociocultural adaptations to disasters, disaster preparedness, community- based disaster management, and GIS-based modeling.

 Maggie Nelan

Maggie Nelan
Sociology & Criminal Justice
Ph.D. Student
mnelan@udel.edu

Bio

Maggie is currently a doctoral student in Sociology.  She received her M.A. in Sociology at the University of Texas at El Paso in 2011.  Following a volunteer trip to Haiti in May 2010, Maggie’s thesis research focused on the health and community relationships of disaster volunteers in Haiti following the January 2010 earthquake.  In addition to her research in disasters she has been an active disaster response volunteer with several organizations, participating in both international and domestic disaster events.  Her current research focuses on material convergence following disaster events and the donations supply chain.  Maggie’s other research interests are environmental sociology and deviance.

 

Sam Penta
Sociology & Criminal Justice
Ph.D. Student
spenta@udel.edu

Bio

Samantha Penta is a Ph.D. student in Sociology. She earned a Master of Arts in Sociology at the University of Delaware. Her thesis examined organizational cultures of preparedness in the long term care industry. Much of her work has focused on material convergence and motivations for participating in disaster relief. More recently, she has examined community recovery and the all hazards approach to planning through her involvement in the CoPEWELL Harmonization project. Sam has participated in multiple quick response field research deployments, including to Oklahoma following the May 2013 tornado outbreak, and Nepal after the April 25, 2015 earthquake. Her research interests include medicine, health, and decision-making in the disaster context. In addition to her research, Sam is active in UD’s chapter of the International Association of Emergency Managers.

 Foto Inhotim 2

Flavio Lopes Ribeiro
Disaster Science & Management
Ph.D. Student
fribeiro@udel.edu

Bio

Flavio Ribeiro holds a degree in Psychology at Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie (Brazil) and a Master in International Humanitarian Actions at Uppsala Universitet (Sweden). Prior to joining the University of Delaware for the PhD program in Disaster Science and Management,  Flavio Ribeiro worked with disaster risk management in Latin America as an international consultant for over five years. During this period, he could provide technical assistance to local and federal governments to the design, implementation and management of Disaster Risk Reduction projects and work directly with vulnerable communities to increase their resilience to disasters. His research interests include social impacts of droughts, community resilience and technology for the prevention and mitigation of disasters.

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 Cynthia Rivas
Disaster Science & Management
Ph.D. Student
crivas@udel.edu

Bio

Cynthia H. Rivas is a doctoral student in Disaster Science & Management at the University of Delaware. She holds a Master’s of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning and a Bachelor of Science in Conservation & Resource Studies and Society & Environment from University of California, Berkeley. Her previous work has focused on spatial analysis (GIS) in regards to environmental planning. Specifically using remotely sensed data such as Near Infrared and Lidar to identify high risk fire communities and classification of vegetation. Current interest are many but can be somewhat narrowed down to risk assessment, GIS, risk analysis and community planning.

 

Rachel Slotter
Disaster Science & Management
M.S. Student
rslotter@udel.edu

Bio

Rachel Slotter is a first year Master’s student in the Disaster Science and Management Program. Prior to attending the University of Delaware, she completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Bioethics from the University of Virginia. During college and immediately after graduation, Rachel Slotter worked in the non-profit sector for a local branch of an international human services organization. She is currently a Graduate Research Assistant working on an interdisciplinary project studying insurance as a mitigation tool for hurricanes. Her personal research interests include risk perception, community resilience to disasters, and impacts of disasters on rural communities.

 

Carolina Velasquez
Disaster Science & Management
Ph.D. Student
csvelas@udel.edu

Bio

Carolina Velasquez is currently a doctoral student in the Disaster Science and Management program and research assistant in the Disaster Research Center. She holds a master’s degree in Caribbean Studies, from the National University of Colombia, where she expanded her knowledge about the diverse problems that are facing Caribbean society. Her master thesis was related with risk in the agricultural production system where she focuses in vulnerability studies in hurricanes. Carolina has a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources Management where she focused on learning strategies to solve socio-environmental problems. Her research trajectory is based on contemporary issues about the Caribbean region, such as: disasters, climate change, environmental and risk management, food security, agriculture and tourism. Carolina has both presented at conferences and worked with think tanks on tourism, risk management, environmental urban planning and climate change. Her research interests include droughts, hurricanes, vulnerability on small islands and multi-hazard risk assessment.

 Dong Wang

Dong Wang
Civil Engineering
Ph.D. Student
derawang@udel.edu

Bio

Dong Wang is a Ph.D. student majoring in Civil Engineering at the University of Delaware. After completing her B.S.E. and M.S. from Dalian University of Technology in China, Dong started her Ph.D. program from February 2015. She is now working with Prof. Davidson, and her research interest is about interdisciplinary approach to modeling multiple stakeholder decision-making to reduce regional natural disaster risk. Dong Wang is funded by a research grant from the National Science Foundation.

 

Taylor Williams
Disaster Science & Management
Ph.D. Student
taylorjw@udel.edu

Bio

Taylor Williams is a Ph.D. student in the Disaster Science and Management Program. He holds a Master’s Degree in Protection Management from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Brigham Young University. Prior to his studies at the University of Delaware, Taylor worked as a vounteer EMT and as a crisis management analyst for a prominent company in New York City. His research interests include the practitioner-academic divide in emergency management, severe weather warning systems, and the application of technology in emergency response.

 Kun Yang

Kun Yang
Civil Engineering
Ph.D. Student
kunyang@udel.edu

Bio

Kun Yang obtained his Bachelor degree in Automation at Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) in China, 2014, and came to the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at University of Delaware the following fall as a Ph.D. student. His research interest is about hurricane evacuation and sheltering, and his advisor is Professor Davidson. Kun Yang is funded by a research grant from the National Science Foundation.

 Daryl Yoder-Bontrager

Daryl Yoder-Bontrager
Disaster Science & Management
Ph.D. Student
dyb@udel.edu

Bio

Daryl Yoder-Bontrager is a doctoral student in the Disaster Science and Management program at the University of Delaware. Prior to beginning academic studies he worked for over 20 years in disaster and community development work with Mennonite Central Committee in its Latin America programs, including leading the organization’s response to Hurricane Mitch in Central America and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. He is currently collaborating on a multi-disciplinary National Science Foundation funded study focused on improving tornado warning methods. Yoder-Bontrager’s research interests include international disaster management, NGO coordination, the intersection of disaster and development, and the effect of time and space on hazard response.

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