DRC Alumni Profiles

DRC alumni are extraordinary people who carry out the mission and vision of our center each and every day. Click on the pictures below to read the alumni profiles which illustrate the diverse career paths our graduates have taken. Profiles are listed by most current class year, and then alphabetical by last name. Thank you to every DRC alumnus who has helped to develop this resource.

DRC Alumni Profiles: 31


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Colten James Strickland

DEGREE: 2022, Ph.D., Epidemiology

JOB TITLE: COVID-19 Epidemiology and Surveillance Manager, San Francisco Department of Public Health

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Samantha Penta

DEGREE: 2017, Ph.D., Sociology

JOB TITLE: Assistant Professor, University at Albany, State University of New York

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Anthony Cario

DEGREE: 2016, M.S., Disaster Science and Management

JOB TITLE: Project Lead, IT Team, All Hands and Hearts

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Paige Fitzgerald

DEGREE: 2016, M.S., Disaster Science and Managemen

JOB TITLE: Senior Administrator, Delaware Emergency Management Agency

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Juan Camilo Sánchez Gil

DEGREE: 2016, Ph.D., Disaster Science and Management

JOB TITLE: Professor, Universidad de Antioquia

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Mary (Maggie) Nelan

DEGREE: 2016, Ph.D., Sociology

JOB TITLE: Assistant Professor, University of North Texas

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Benjamin D. Wallace

DEGREE: 2016, M.S., Disaster Science and Management

JOB TITLE: International Practice Coordinator, SPIN Global

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Hsien-Ho (Ray) Chang

DEGREE: 2015, Ph.D., Disaster Science and Management

JOB TITLE: Assistant Professor, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide

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Alex Greer

DEGREE: 2015, Ph.D., Disaster Science and Management

JOB TITLE: Assistant Professor, University at Albany, State University of New York

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Danelle Nagele

DEGREE: 2015, Ph.D., Disaster Science and Management

JOB TITLE: Associate Program Officer, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

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James B. Goetschius

DEGREE: 2014, Ph.D., Disaster Science and Management

JOB TITLE: Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Health Facility Planning Agency

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Anne Goodman

DEGREE: 2014, M.S., Disaster Science and Management

JOB TITLE: Workers’ Compensation Claims Representative, Sedgwick Claims Management

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DRC Alumni Profiles: 31


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Thomas E. Drabek

DEGREE: 1965, Ph.D.,

JOB TITLE: 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 Thomas E. Drabek, with the assistance of Ruth A. Drabek, The Sociology of Disaster: Fictional Explorations of Human Experiences, New York: Routledge, 2020.

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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Henry (Hank) Fischer

DEGREE: 1986, Ph.D.,

JOB TITLE: 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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Paige Fitzgerald

DEGREE: 2016, M.S., Disaster Science and Managemen

JOB TITLE: Senior Administrator, Delaware Emergency Management Agency

Paige currently serves on the executive leadership team at DEMA. She previously served as a Planning Supervisor for the Natural Hazards section in which managed 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 a Program Administrator for the DEMA sUAS Program and previously as the Chairwoman 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. She is also an instructor of Emergency Management at Delaware Technical & Community College.
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Juan Camilo Sánchez Gil

DEGREE: 2016, Ph.D., Disaster Science and Management

JOB TITLE: Professor, Universidad de Antioquia

Juan Sánchez is professor at the Department of Industrial Engineering at Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia. Juan obtained his Ph.D. in Disaster Science and Management at University of Delaware (2016), USA, and a M.Sc. in Logistics and transportation at Chalmers University of Technology (2005), Sweden. He is strongly interested in conducting empirical and scientific research involving cross-sector logistics partnerships to better benefit the affected by natural and manmade disasters.
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Angela R. Gladwell

DEGREE: 1998, M.A., Urban Affairs and Public Policy

JOB TITLE: Director, Hazard Mitigation Assistance, FEMA

Angela R. Gladwell serves as the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Director for Hazard Mitigation Assistance in the Mitigation Directorate within the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration. Throughout her more than twenty years of experience in emergency management and environmental policy and over twelve years leading federal programs, Ms. Gladwell has worked to inform public decision-making and improve inter-governmental collaboration, partnership and transparency in reducing the nation’s risk to natural disasters. Ms. Gladwell was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in 2016.

Under Ms. Gladwell’s leadership, the Hazard Mitigation Assistance Division reduces disaster suffering by delivering grant programs that reduce disaster losses. She directs FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Assistance Programs, including the new Building Resilient Infrastructure in Communities (BRIC) Program, the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, and the Flood Mitigation Assistance Program, ensuring the Federal Government is a leader in prioritizing federal investments for mitigation and resilience and catalyzing community partnerships to promote sustained and equitable investments in risk reduction.

Ms. Gladwell co-chairs the inter-agency Mitigation Framework Leadership Group (MitFLG) that coordinates mitigation and resilience efforts across the Federal Government in consultation with state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) governments as well as the private sector. Under her leadership, the MitFLG developed and has begun implementing the National Mitigation Investment Strategy to increase the effectiveness of investments in reducing disaster losses and increasing resilience, and to provide strategic planning considerations for the federal government, as well for SLTT entities and the private sector in making resource allocation decisions.

Before joining the Mitigation Directorate in 2020, Gladwell was the Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Risk Management Directorate since 2016, and spent the previous decade as the Director of FEMA’s Office of Environmental Planning and Historic Preservation. During this time, she significantly matured the Federal Emergency Management Agency’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 holds a Master of Arts in Urban Affairs and Public Policy from University of Delaware, and a Bachelor of Arts in Historic Preservation from Mary Washington College (now the University of Mary Washington).

Alumni Engagement

Alumni are the university’s most valuable resources. By investing your time, talent and treasure, you make a deep impact that increases the value of a University of Delaware degree. View some of the ways we keep engaged below.

DRC 2019 07 NHW Alumni Reception

ABOVE: DRC faculty, students and alums at the Annual DRC Alumni Reception, 2019.

Each year DRC hosts the Annual DRC Alumni Reception at the Natural Hazards Workshop! This is a great opportunity to meet DRC alums and to connect/reconnect with old and new friends.

Share Your Knowledge

Each semester, we welcome our alumni to share their work, research, and experiences with our students. Whether they join us in person or virtually, our current students are always excited to hear from those in the expansive network of DRC alumni from around the world. Reach out to drc-mail@udel.edu! We would love to hear from you.

Inspire the Future

Our alumni value providing hands-on experiences for our students, be it through practicums, internships, and invitations for students to come and share their innovative research with the alum’s organization. Some have even designated awards to support students through assistantships, summer internship stipends, and travel support to attend conferences. Contact us at drc-mail@udel.edu if you have an idea of how you want to support this next generation of scholars and practitioners.

Stay Connected

Stay connected to DRC by following the Disaster Research Center on Facebook and on Twitter, signing up for the DRC Dispatch newsletter, and updating your contact information to help us better communicate with you.