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Disaster Research Center

  • Coastal retreat
    A study of buyout programs in which homeowners moved from at-risk areas built a roadmap for future research on equity, race and other topics.
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  • Adapting to climate change
    Moving people and development away from areas that are at risk for climate-related disasters can be, not a defeat, but a smart strategy, researchers say.
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  • A celebration of success
    The College honored five outstanding alumni and recognized the accomplishments of faculty and students at its annual Celebration of Achievement and Success.
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  • In Memoriam: DRC Co-Founder Russell Dynes
    Dear DRC Family, We are writing with some very sad news: Dr. Russell Dynes, co-founder of DRC, passed away on Feb. 10th, 2019. He was 95.
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  • Alex Greer
    Assistant Professor, Oklahoma State University

    Alex Greer (M.S. '15) is an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at Oklahoma State University. Alex received his B.S. in Sociology and Geology from East Tennessee State University in 2010, his M.S. in Disaster Science and Management from the University of Delaware in 2012, and his PhD in Disaster Science and Management from the University of Delaware in 2015. During his time at the University of Delaware, Alex worked as a Research Assistant at the Disaster Research Center, where he was a member of a number of research projects and field experiences that prepared him for his current position. He was recognized as a University Graduate Fellow in 2012 and was the recipient of the Marvin B. Sussman Prize for his dissertation in 2015. Alex currently teaches in the Fire and Emergency Management Program, primarily focusing on the four phases of emergency management.

    Alex conducts interdisciplinary, mixed methods research on a number of elements of disaster science. Recent projects focused on: the relationship between issue framing and oil spill policy, household residential decision-making following disasters and the role infrastructure plays in this process, archival disaster research on mental health response, and the development of a community resilience index. Alex has engaged in quick response fieldwork after a number of events, including the Moore tornado of 2013, Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.​

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  • Chunjing Liu
    Chief of Staff, Department of Marine Forecast and Disaster Mitigation, State Oceanic Administration, China

    Chunjing Liu (M.S. '14) is the Chief of Staff for the Department of Marine Forecastand Disaster Mitigation in China's State Oceanic Administration. Her responsibilities include formulating effective policy, planning and maintaining technical standards for marine disaster mitigation, guiding and coordinating emergency response to coastal natural hazards at the national and local level, managing and organizing marine disaster risk assessment and investigation programs, enhancing public awareness of marine disaster mitigation and prevention, and participating in international programs for marine disaster mitigation.

    Chunjing was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Delaware. The knowledge and skills around disaster management she honed in her study in the M.S. program and working in the Disaster Research Center (DRC) have provided strong support to both her work and career development. Before she joined SOA China, she had worked as marketing and strategic product manager in Advantech and Siemens companies for six years. Her bachelor's degree in Automation was from the Wuhan University of Technology in 2010.​

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  • Ray Chang
    Assistant Professor, Oklahoma State University

    Dr. Ray Chang is an assistant professor in the department of political science at the Oklahoma State University. Dr. Chang spent six years in the New Taipei City Fire Department in Taiwan as a fire battalion captain. He was in charge of developing emergency plans for a 13-kilometer tunnel (the longest tunnel in Taiwan) and organizing an urban search and rescue team. Dr. Chang also wrote several chapters of the 2005 Taiwan National Firefighter’s Handbook.


    Dr. Chang earned his Ph.D. from University of Delaware in Disaster Science and Management, and his master’s degree from Arizona State University in fire service administration. During his studies in Arizona, he spent a year working with the Phoenix Fire Department to develop technology to locate new fire stations and collecting and analyzing data from major disaster drills.


    Dr. Chang is interested in disaster response and his doctoral dissertation focuses on the Incident Command System. His goal is to develop the theoretical foundation for the ICS that incorporates his experience from Taiwanese and American fire departments and strengthens the practical applications of this system. Dr. Chang hopes his practical background and postgraduate studies will bridge the gap between academics and practitioners in the future and believes his Asian heritage and cross-cultural training will benefit disaster management systems in the United States and around the world.

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  • James B. Goetschius
    Director, Project Execution Division, U.S. Army Health Facility Planning Agency

    Lieutenant Colonel Jim Goetschius (Ph.D. '14) leads a global team of professionals in executing the U.S. Army's $6.6 billion medical facility capital investment program serving more than 3.9 million beneficiaries.  He is also responsible for the execution of $1.8 billion in initial outfitting and transition requirements.  His other duties include serving as the Army's representative for the revision of the Military Health System's standards for medical facility construction and consulting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the planning and design of contingency health facilities for overseas, austere environments.

    Jim is a veteran of the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kosovo, where his responsibilities included the design-build of the theater hospital at Balad Airbase in Iraq and the construction of the multinational hospital at Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo. He is certified an urban planner by the American Institute of Certified Planners and designated a Level II Certified Acquisition Professional in Facilities Engineering by the Army Acquisition Corps.

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  • Zack Adinoff
    Emergency Planner, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff, Emergency Services Division

    Zack Adinoff (M.S. '13) is an Emergency Planner for Contra Costa County in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to the general responsibilities of public safety, planning, and general disaster continuity; he is the liaison for cities within the central part of the county as well as specializing in logistics and continuity of operations/government planning. He has developed a Point of Distribution Plan and collaborated on various other projects including a Catastrophic Earthquake Plan. Prior to this, he was the Emergency Management Project Coordinator for the California Resiliency Alliance, a non-profit focused on bridging the gap between Private and Public Sector emergency managers. In this role, he developed a Disaster Legislative Waiver process and Disaster Access to Travel program along with managing many others. Before this as part of his degree and for six months afterward, he worked for the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management. While there, he developed a three day functional tsunami exercise, did a comparative analysis of San Francisco and nearby San Mateo mass casualty incident plans, and assisted with numerous other projects and plans.

    During his time as a student in the University of Delaware Disaster Science and Management Program, Zack specialized in High Reliability Organizations and network response theory. He has applied these concepts and others taught in the DISA program across his numerous positions. The most important lesson he learned was that disasters are less about management and more about coordination.​

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  • Angela Gladwell
    Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Risk Management Directorate in the Federal Emergency Management Agency

    Ms. Angela Gladwell (MA '98) is the Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Risk Management Directorate in the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  The Risk Management Directorate leverages partnerships across the public and private sector to compel the public to manage the impacts of high consequence events.  Specifically, the Directorate analyzes hazards, assesses impacts, and communicates and manages risks to all hazards, and includes programs such as RiskMAP, Mitigation Planning, Levee and Dam Safety, the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program, and HAZUS, among others.  ​

    Ms. Gladwell is in her 18th year with FEMA.  Before joining the Risk Management Directorate this year, she spent the last decade as the Director of the Office of Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation (OEHP). During this time, she significantly matured FEMA’s environmental compliance function to meet the rapidly evolving nature of emergency management programs and operations as a result of major disaster events, including 9/11, and Hurricanes Katrina, Ike and Sandy, and subsequent legislative change.  Ms. Gladwell has a Master of Art’s Degree in Urban Affairs and Public Policy, and a Bachelor of Art’s Degree in Historic Preservation.

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  • Quinten Johnson
    Aviation Security Consultant

    Quinten retired in 2006 as a Federal Security Director with the Transportation Security Administration.  His career with the US Government spanned over thirty years, nearly all involving transportation safety or security.

    During graduate studies at OSU, Quinten was the DRC's project manager of the Hazardous Materials Planning and Response Project.

    Following OSU, Quinten was selected as a Presidential Management Intern sponsored by the US Coast Guard.  During that time, he was also a staff investigator on the President's Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island.  

    Following the internship, he joined the National Transportation Safety Board first as a hazardous materials accident investigator, and later as a member of the executive staff.

    Prior to joining the Transportation Security Administration, QuintenQuinten Johnon 1979.jpg held several security positions with the Federal Aviation Administration including Director of its Office of Policy and Planning, Manager of the Civil Aviation Security Division, Manager of the foreign airport assessment program, and Manager of the Research and Development requirements program.  Primarily, he was responsible for all security regulations imposed on US carriers, foreign carriers operating in the US, as well as all commercial airports in the US.

    Throughout his career in the federal government and as a consultant, Quinten has traveled to over 50 countries, been interviewed by ABC, NBC, CBS, NPR, CNN and several print media including the Washington Post, and testified before Congress.  He has also been an expert witness in several cases involving aviation security.

    Quinten is married and resides near the Gulf Coast in southern Alabama.  He is an avid fisherman and boater.  He is eternally grateful to his mentors at the DRC and OSU.

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  • Marti Worth
    Senior Planner with ERP&M


    M.A. in Sociology, 1976, The Ohio State University. Research Associate for three years with DRC.  After previously receiving a B.A. in Journalism from OSU, was a reporter for three years at the morning newspaper in Columbus prior to grad school. From 1977 to 1994 worked in the Ohio Department of Mental Health, first as a Community Evaluation Specialist/Research Administrator; a hospital Director of Community Relations, Staff Education and Program Development in Cleveland, and back in Columbus as an Assistant Area Director for 20 rural counties, as well as Disaster Services Coordinator for ODMH.  I provided technical assistance and administration of two FEMA-funded crisis counseling grants and was a reviewer for Missouri’s FEMA grant application in 1993.

    After moving to Orlando, I was a Senior Planner with ERP&M, Inc, from 1998 to 2009, consulting in seven Florida counties and Kansas to develop Local Mitigation Strategy plans for State and FEMA review and subsequent adoption.  I also assisted in developing Continuity of Operations (COOP) plans. This was the most fulfilling and relevant work of all, assisting local governments to plan and develop approaches in order to minimize the potential effects of disasters.  I returned to Columbus in 2007 and “retired” in 2009, where I now volunteer with a couple organizations.

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  • Thomas E. Drabek
    John Evans Professor and Professor Emeritus, University of Denver

    Thomas E. Drabek (MA ’62, Ph.D. ’65) retired from the University of Denver after 39 years of service including Departmental Chair (1974-79; 1985-87).  He served as Editor of the International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters and President of the International Research Committee on Disasters (1990-1994).  He has published over 100 research articles and book chapters and 28 books including the second edition of The Human Side of Disaster (2013, Boca Raton, FL:  CRC Press).  Other book titles include:  Strategies for Coordinating Disaster Responses (2003), Disaster Evacuation Behavior:  Tourists and Other Transients (1996), and Human System Responses to Disaster:  An Inventory of Sociological Findings (1986). 

    In August 2007, Drabek was the third recipient of the E.L. Quarantelli Award for contributions to social science disaster theory by the International Research Committee on Disasters and in June 2008, he received the first Dr. B. Wayne Blanchard Award for Academic Excellence in Emergency Management Higher Education.  Since his retirement from the University of Denver (DU) he has continued his writing and conference addresses with the assistance of his wife and research collaborator, Ruth Ann Drabek. During his multi-decade career, he has remained dedicated to a vision of implementing disaster research for the common good.

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  • Michael B. Clark
    Director of Data Science, Well & LIghthouse

    ​After my days at UD and the Disaster Research Center came to an end, I moved to Washington, DC to work for the American Institutes for Research then the National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council (within the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education). After completing my masters degree in Predictive Analytics from Northwestern University in 2014 I took on the role of Director of Data Science for a digital marketing firm that specializes in major U.S. political campaigns. However, I moved to Mexico in 2015, so I perform this role remotely.​

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  • Jennifer Deborah Lazo, CEM
    Emergency Services Coordinator, City of Berkeley, CA

    As an Emergency Services Coordinator in the City of Berkeley, Jennifer is responsible for emergency management planning and preparedness, focusing on people with disabilities and seniors.  Her work includes providing inclusive emergency planning and shelter training to City staff and the formation and management of BEACON, a network of organizations that work with people with disabilities and engage in disaster preparedness and planning.  She is also managing the launch of the Community Resilience Center program, which gives community organizations in the City of Berkeley the tools, resources, and training needed to serve as hubs for assistance and information during and following disasters.

    She serves as the secretary of the IAEM Emerging Technology Caucus and as a Digital Volunteer Lead for the American Red Cross Northern California Coastal Region. Jennifer’s Master’s thesis at the University of Delaware was titled “Framing Disaster Planning for People with Disabilities: Analyzing the CALIF V. City of Los Angeles Lawsuit.”  As a graduate research assistant at the Disaster Research Center she worked on projects including studying nursing home disaster preparedness in Delaware, assisting in the development of the Community Resilience Index with Johns Hopkins University, and performing quick response research following Superstorm Sandy. ​

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  • Danelle Nagele
    Associate Program Officer, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

    Danielle Nagele currently serves as an associate program officer in the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. She works with Resilient America Roundtable members and fellow staff to build community resilience through partnerships, research, and engagement. Before joining the National Academies, Dr. Nagele worked in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). She served as a social scientist in the Program Planning and Integration (PPI) office and a risk communication specialist in the National Ocean Service (NOS). 

    Dr. Nagele received her B.S. in meteorology from Millersville University and her M.S. in atmospheric science from Texas Tech University. In May 2015 she graduated from University of Delaware with a Ph.D. in Disaster Science and Management. Her research focus areas were public response to severe weather warnings and organizational culture among warning system organizations.​

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  • Gary Kreps
    Retired Vice Provost and Professor of Sociology, College of William and Mary

    Gary Kreps is a retired Vice Provost and Professor of Sociology at the College of William and Mary. Following completion of his PhD in Sociology (1971) at the Ohio State University, he began his career as a faculty member (1972-to retirement) and administrator (1994-to retirement) at William and Mary. During his long career Kreps had long-standing research interests in organizational and role theories as both relate to structural analyses of community, regional, and societal responses to natural, technological, and willful hazards and disasters. Following work as a staff office and consultant at the National Research Council during the late 1970s, for over twenty years Kreps' archival studies of disaster events were supported by grants from the National Science Foundation. Over the course of these two decades, Kreps and his colleagues and students developed taxonomies and theories of organizing and role enactment during the emergency periods of disasters. Major findings from Kreps' research program were reported in two books and articles in Sociological Theory, Annual Review of Sociology, American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, and many other basic and applied publications. Kreps also collaborated with Thomas Drabek on resolving venerable issues in the definition of disasters as physical and sociological events. His 2001 entry in the International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (Disaster, Sociology of) emphasized the need to reconcile functionalist and constructivist conceptions of disasters as acute systemic events. In 2008, Kreps received the E.L. Quarantelli award for contributions to social science disaster theory.

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  • Sarah DeYoung
    Assistant Professor, University of Georgia in the Institute for Disaster Management

    ​Dr. Sarah DeYoung is an Assistant Professor at the University of Georgia in the Institute for Disaster Management. Dr. DeYoung recently served as the Guest Editor for the International Journal of Mass Emergencies & Disasters, for a Special Issue for the Nepal Earthquake. Before her current position, Dr. DeYoung spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher at the Disaster Research Center. Her PhD is in applied Social and Community Psychology from North Carolina State University. She also holds a Master's degree in Experimental Psychology with a concentration in Social Psychology from Saint Joseph's University, as well as a Bachelor's in Psychology from North Carolina State University. Her main areas of research are decision-making for evacuations, IYCFE (Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies), and community-based disaster mitigation (especially seismic mitigation). She is an advocate for safe infant feeding in disaster and conflict settings and works as a volunteer for Infant Feeding Support for Refugee Children ( 

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  • Gary Webb
    Professor and Chair of Emergency Management and Disaster Science, University of North Texas

    Gary Webb is Professor and Chair of the Department of Emergency Management and Disaster Science at the University of North Texas.  The department houses the Emergency Administration and Planning program (EADP), which was established in 1983 as the nation's first bachelor's degree program in emergency management.   Prior to UNT, he spent the early part of his career (2000-2011) at Oklahoma State University, where he received the Regents Distinguished Teaching Award and the Arts and Sciences Junior Faculty Award for Scholarly Excellence.  While his primary appointment was in sociology, he was also a core member of the Center for the Study of Disasters and Extreme Events and an affiliate of the Fire and Emergency Management Program.  Before starting his academic career at OSU, Gary served as a graduate research assistant and later as a post-doctoral fellow at DRC (1994-2000), and during that time he also had the opportunity to work closely with DRC alumnus Gary Kreps at the College of William and Mary.

    Gary is primarily interested in studying organizational and community preparedness for and response to large-scale disasters.  His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and published in a wide variety of journals, including the International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, International Journal of Emergency Management, Natural Hazards Review, Environmental Hazards, and others.  Most recently, along with fellow DRC alumni Brenda Phillips and Dave Neal, he co-authored a new edition of Introduction to Emergency Management.  He has taught and presented his research internationally in The Netherlands, Denmark, France, South Korea, and Turkey.

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  • Jasmin R. Ruback
    CEO of Ruback Associates

    Dr. Jasmin Ruback, is the CEO of Ruback Associates, an independent consulting firm specializing in the areas of disaster research, resolution, and management. Because disaster prevention, response, and recovery are complex, fast-paced, and adaptive, she takes an evidence-based systems approach to help communities and organizations design, align, and improve their overall resilience, disaster programs, and outcomes.

    For 16+ years, Dr. Ruback has worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a national program consultant on program development, evaluations, recovery operations, community preparedness, and mitigation. For FEMA, she works with complex concepts of federal doctrine, mission areas, core capabilities, and operational plans. The work she enjoys most involves interacting with communities, organizations, and government officials at the local, state, and regional levels. She often fulfills special projects and deployments planning, preparing for, mitigating, and recovering from large, complex, and often resource-intensive crisis situations.

    Dr. Ruback has worked at the DRC twice; once as a graduate student fulfilling a practicum degree requirement, and then, as the first Post-Doctoral Research Fellow of the Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware. In this role she managed the multi-year evaluation of the Disaster Resistant Community Initiative: Project Impact. Dr. Ruback has authored or co-authored 10 peer-reviewed articles, 6 book chapters, 27 technical reports, 3 recovery plans, and 11 government publications. Dr. Ruback received her Ph.D. in Social and Community Psychology from Georgia State University and focused on post-disaster trauma, evacuation, and relocation and is a Subject Matter Expert in community dynamics, planning for catastrophes, disaster stress, methodology, and metrics. 

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  • Kenneth E. Green
    Provost, University of Fredericton

    Ken received his Ph.D. degree in Rural Sociology at Ohio State University, and served as a graduate research associate (field research supervisor) affiliated with the “Emergent Citizen Groups in Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Activities” project conducted at the OSU-DRC.  Although his resume does not reflect a specialization or expertise in the field of disasters, his experiences at DRC most certainly contributed significantly to his accomplishments.  After graduation he served jointly as the Assistant Director and Research Professor at the Agricultural Experiment Station of University of the Virgin Islands. While there he was the principal investigator for four USDA and USDI sponsored Eastern Caribbean research projects. He left the Caribbean to assume an Executive Director position within a multi-jurisdictional district of the Appalachian Regional Commission; and due to his unique residential location was able to maintain constant classroom practices as an adjunct professor of sociology at Frostburg State University, Shepherd University and Shenandoah University; as well as serve on appointments with West Virginia University and Marshall University.

    Two years after retiring in 2002 and moving to Canada; Ken came out of retirement and helped establish an accredited and government approved online university, which he now serves as its “virtual” Provost from his one of his three homes (depending on the weather) in Canada, France, and Spain.

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  • Brenda Phillips
    Dean, Indiana University South Bend

    Brenda Phillips, Ph.D., is the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Indiana University South Bend, where she will be guest lecturing on gender and disasters in the Women and Gender Studies program, and on socio-behavioral response and recovery in our Natural Disasters course. She is an author of Disaster Recovery, Introduction to Emergency Management, Qualitative Disaster Research and Mennonite Disaster Service.   She has co-edited Social Vulnerability to Disasters and Women and Disasters.  Her published research, funded by the National Science Foundation, can be found in a variety of journals including the International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, Disaster Prevention, Disasters, Humanity and Society, the Journal of Emergency Management, Natural Hazards Review, and Environmental Hazards. 

    Dr. Phillips has been invited to teach, consult, or present in New Zealand, Australia, Germany, India, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, El Salvador, Venezuela, Canada, Sweden, and the People’s Republic of China.  Dr. Phillips earned the Blanchard Award for excellence in emergency management education and the Myers Award for work on the effects of disasters on women.  She was inducted into the International Women’s Hall of Fame for Emergency Management and Homeland Security in 2013.

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  • Mary (Maggie) Nelan
    Assistant Professor, University of North Texas

    Mary Nelan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Management and Disaster Science at the University of North Texas. She earned her MA in Sociology from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) in 2011, and in May 2010 she traveled to Haiti to volunteer as a relief worker after the earthquake 4 months earlier. It was this experience that drew her to disaster research and informed her Master’s Thesis on international disaster volunteers. During her Ph.D. studies at the University of Delaware, Mary worked as a Research Assistant at the Disaster Research Center where she was a member of several projects funded by the National Science Foundation. As part of her research, she conducted quick response fieldwork following Hurricane Sandy and the May 2013 Oklahoma tornadoes. Her time at the Disaster Research Center provided experiences and training that she continues to use in her current position.

    Mary’s current research focuses on convergence behavior in the response phase of disasters. Her research has addressed international disaster volunteers, and donation behaviors in the United States.

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  • Henry (Hank) Fischer
    Professor Emeritus, Millersville University of Pennsylvania

    Thirty years conducting research into behavioral and organizational response to disaster, have resulted in the production of a body of work that includes the following: designing and teaching ten different graduate and undergraduate courses, mentoring students who are now colleagues in the discipline, presentation of more than three dozen papers at professional conferences, the publication of two dozen scholarly journal articles, three books, two monographs, consulting for Research Planning, Inc./Department of Defense, consulting for the Office of Emergency Management/Justice Department on TOPOFF2, appearances on CNN and MS-NBC to discuss high consequence event issues. Professional memberships have been held in the International Sociological Association, the International Research Committee on Disasters (IRCD), the European Sociological Association, the American Sociological Association and the International Association of Emergency Managers. Service positions include: editor of IRCD’s official newsletter, UnScheduled Events, 1998-2008, editor of IRCD’s online journal of reviews Contemporary Disaster Review 2002-2007, as well as webmaster for the internet version of International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 2004-2007). Creation of a multi-disciplinary minor in Environmental Hazards & Emergency Management, an online master’s degree in emergency management, and the founding director of the Center for Disaster Research & Education (CDRE); all of which involved 18 faculty from across the university as well as many student research assistants. Funding sources included the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, the Natural Hazards Center (University of Colorado), and the National Science Foundation. 

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  • Anthony Cario
    Emergency Management Specialist,

    Anthony Cario is an Emergency Management Specialist in the Research and Analytics Division at FEMA Headquarters - Washington, D.C.  In this position, he serves on a deployable analytic field team and provides guidance on the delivery of disaster recovery programs and services.  Anthony extracts, compiles, and interprets quantitative and qualitative data from many types of source materials for strategic decision making.  In addition, he uses data for presenting and delivering reports in a number of interactive formats.

    Anthony received a B.S. in Management and a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Delaware in 2010.  In 2016, he received a M.S. in Disaster Science and Management from the University of Delaware.  While completing his graduate degree, Anthony worked as a Research Assistant at the Disaster Research Center, assisted emergency management activities with the University of Delaware Office of Campus; Public Safety, and interned with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) in Geneva, Switzerland.  Following graduation, Anthony worked as a Technical Assistance Specialist for IMPAQ International (2016-2017).  In this role, he supported the Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program, a federally funded program that responds to behavioral health needs of disaster survivors.

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  • Anne Goodman
    Conscious Impact Nepal: Administration Volunteer

    Anne is a Newark, DE native currently working with a sustainable, earthquake-resistant building organization in rural Nepal. She earned her undergraduate degrees in Interpersonal Communications and Sociology with an Emergency and Environmental Management concentration from the University of Delaware in 2012. Since graduating from the DISA program Anne served a year as an Americorps VISTA supporting New Jersey Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster recovery efforts 2 years after Hurricane Sandy. On the side, she worked with the Hillsborough Township Engineering Department to build a cohesive GIS-mapping compatible data set for their storm water management locations. After that she spent 4 months in 2016 with Conscious Impact Nepal doing administration, outreach and sustainable earthquake-resistant construction in a rural village during the aftermath of the April 2014 earthquake. In 2017 she returned to Newark for 6 months co-managing the Newark Bike Project before flying back to Asia to work with Global Vision International (GVI) managing their Asian-elephant conservation and Alternative livelihoods project in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Since then she has returned to working in administration at Conscious Impact Nepal, ensuring effective volunteer management, smooth internal operations and appropriate communications with partners. From there, she hopes to move into a career in risk analysis and management in higher education study abroad programs.

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  • Marcia Deppen
    Training and Exercise Branch Manager, Maryland Emergency Management Agency

    ​At the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), Marcia serves as the Training and Exercise Branch Manager and the State Exercise Officer, providing exercise design and facilitation for 23 counties and two cities.  Marcia has designed and conducted over 50 tabletop exercises and multiple Functional and Full-Scale Exercises for various Maryland jurisdictions.  Marcia also teaches courses throughout the State of Maryland and across the country.

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  • Samantha Penta
    Assistant Professor, University at Albany, State University of New York

    ​Samantha Penta is an Assistant Professor in the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity at the University at Albany, State University of New York. She received her B.A. in Sociology and History in 2011, her M.A. in Sociology in 2014, and her Ph.D. in Sociology in 2017, all from the University of Delaware. While at UD, Sam worked as a research assistant at the Disaster Research Center working on projects examining evacuation and preparedness challenges for long-term care facilities, disaster donations behavior, and community recovery and resilience to disasters and epidemics.  Sam's research focuses on health and medical issues in crises, decision-making in preparedness and response, and humanitarian logistics. Her most recent work examines the processes involved in planning and implementing international crisis medical relief efforts, focusing on health and medical responses to the 2015 Nepal earthquake and the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic in West Africa. She specializes in qualitative research, and has participated in multiple quick response field research deployments, including to New York City following Superstorm Sandy, the Oklahoma City area following the May 2013 tornadoes, Florida leading up to Tropical Storm Erika, and Nepal after the 2015 earthquake.

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  • Robert A. Stallings, Ph.D.
    Professor Emeritus, University of Southern California

    ​University of Evansville, 1971-1975 (Chair, Department of Sociology)

    University of Southern California, 1975-2004 (Professor, now named the Price School of Public Policy with joint appointment in the Department of Sociology)

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  • Benjamin D Wallace
    Mid-level planner, FEMA

    Since graduating from the DRC, Benjamin has worked in several consulting positions writing disaster response plans for Ebola, nuclear terrorism, and hurricanes. He started his career working at the state level, and has been doing consulting work for FEMA since then. His current role is rewriting FEMA Region III's hurricane response plan, after which he intends to look for work in Europe. His professional interests include climate change adaptation, emergency management technology (e.g., GIS, UAVs, social media), organizational management/leadership, and policy development. For more information, visit

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  • Josh Kelly
    Operational Planner, Delaware Emergency Management Agency

    Josh is an Operational Planner, the Long-term Recovery Program Manager, and a Continuity of Operations Officer for the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA). He is also a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM), a CFR107 certified drone pilot, an Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) A-Team Member, and serves as the Deputy Planning Section Chief during State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) activations. He has worked on five federally declared major disasters, including mutual-aid deployments to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria and Florida following Hurricane Irma. Previously, he was the State Public Assistance Officer at DEMA, a Senior Emergency Management Specialist for the City of Garland, Texas, and a Research Assistant at both the Disaster Research Center and the University of North Texas. As a Research Assistant, he worked on four National Science Foundation funded projects and was a co-author on seven disaster-related publications - including a book chapter and several academic journal and magazine articles. He received a B.A. from the University of Delaware where he majored in Sociology and Criminal Justice.

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  • Lisa M Reshaur, PhD
    Senior Director, Governance, Risk, Continuity and Compliance at Microsoft

    Lisa Reshaur, Ph.D. is the Senior Director of Microsoft’s Governance, Risk, Continuity and Compliance Program.  She coordinates the Company’s Information Risk Management Council, Microsoft’s security governance program.  Lisa leads the Company’s Enterprise Business Continuity Management program which includes continuity, recovery and resiliency.   She also runs compliance, risk management, risk remediation and privacy for Core Services Engineering.  Lisa earned a Ph.D. from the Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware where she focused on studying businesses in disasters.  Prior to joining Microsoft, Lisa worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers where she spent 14 years working with companies around the world to help them build, improve and sustain risk and compliance programs.  Lisa earned a Six Sigma Black Belt, is a Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP) and a Certified Risk Manager (CRM).

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  • Paige Fitzgerald
    Planning Supervisor/UAS Program Administrator, Delaware Emergency Management Agency

    Paige is currently supervising the Natural Hazards section at the Delaware Emergency Management Agency. In this role, she oversees the state disaster recovery and mitigation planning efforts, including the state Public Assistance program, Individual Assistance program, and Long Term Recovery efforts.

    She has also supervised the Terrorism Preparedness section, during which time she oversaw the strategic purchases of equipment, training, exercises, and programs throughout the state to help reduce risk and increase readiness and resiliency across the state. She has also served as the Exercise Coordinator in the Training & Exercise section, in which she planned and coordinated HSEEP-compliant state-level exercises in support of Homeland Security Grant Program objectives.

    Finally, Paige serves as the Program Administrator for the DEMA sUAS Program and is the Chairwomen of the State UAS Training and Certification Steering Committee. In these roles, she sets training standards and teaches flight courses for public safety agencies throughout Delaware.

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  • Ziqiang Han
    Shandong University
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