Matthew Van is in his third year of the PhD in the disaster science and management program at the University of Delaware.
Originally from California, he is currently working as a teaching assistant for the disaster science and management graduate program as well as in the Enrico Quarantelli Resource Collection at the University of Delaware’s Disaster Research Center and is involved in several research groups including the COVID Collections Project with New York University, the Homelessness, Housing Precarity, and Disasters Network group, the Federal Emergency Management Agency Higher Education Program’s International Special Interest Group, and the COVID-19 Policies and Epidemiology group. Matthew has found that these disciplines align with his wide-ranging academic interests. His primary current research topics are social isolation and loneliness of older adults in disaster contexts as well as differing perceptions of disaster preparedness of congregate care facilities. Some of his research interests include the effects of social isolation on populations in the recovery and preparedness stages of the disaster cycle, particularly for seniors as well as new engineering advances in hazard resistance infrastructure.
His previous educational background includes studying biology and public affairs at University of California, Los Angeles, medical sciences at Boston University, and emergency services administration at California State University, Long Beach.