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.

Samantha Penta

DEGREE: 2017, Ph.D., Sociology
JOB TITLE: 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.
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.