Congratulations to Hub alumna Nyla Howell, who is the 2023 recipient of the Natural Hazards Center’s Annual Hazards and Disasters Student Paper Competition!

CHEER Hub News Hub Highlights - Nyla Howell Wins Award (02.08.2024)The  University of Colorado’s Natural Hazards Center created this award in 2004 as a way to recognize and promote the next generation of hazards and disaster researchers. Papers are judged based on “originality, writing quality, and knowledge of the topic.” Each awardee  – one undergraduate and one graduate winner – receives $250, publication on the Natural Hazards Center website, and free registration to the Natural Hazards Workshop and the Researchers Meeting.

Howell is passionate about studying inequality in disaster preparedness and using research as an avenue for social change and justice. An undergraduate course, Race, Space, and Gender, is what inspired Howell’s submission. In her paper, titled The Impact of Corporeal Markers on Natural Hazard Preparedness During Hurricane Katrina, she focused on the geographic concept of corporeal markers–the embodiment of physical characteristics to inequality–in disaster preparedness. Howell argued that such markers inhibited an individual’s ability to prepare and evacuate before Hurricane Katrina hit the City of New Orleans in 2005. In the conclusion of her paper, she suggested that researchers and practitioners consider studying disaster inequalities through a corporeal marker to help promote unique avenues to social equity.

Howell, a senior studying Geography and Sociology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), was a member of the CHEER Hub’s first cohort of summer scholars in 2023. After graduating this May, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in geography or sociology with a focus on racial inequality and disasters. Read more about Nyla and her research here.