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Person Graduate Students

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Samantha Penta
Graduate Research Assistant, Disaster Research Center
Ph.D. Candidate, Sociology & Criminal Justice
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716


Samantha Penta is a Ph.D. student in Sociology. She earned a Master of Arts in Sociology at the University of Delaware. Her thesis examined organizational cultures of preparedness in the long term care industry. Much of her work has focused on material convergence and motivations for participating in disaster relief. More recently, she has examined community recovery and the all hazards approach to planning through her involvement in the CoPEWELL Harmonization project. Sam has participated in multiple quick response field research deployments, including to Oklahoma following the May 2013 tornado outbreak, and Nepal after the April 25, 2015 earthquake. Her research interests include decision-making and organizational activity in disaster and crisis contexts, with a particular focus on humanitarian relief and medical response. In addition to her research, Sam is active in UD’s chapter of the International Association of Emergency Managers.​



2015 May: Nepal EarthquakePenta, Samantha;Yoder-Bontrager, Darylspenta;dybDisaster Research Center
2013 May: Moore, Oklahoma Tornado Response and RecoveryAguirre, Ben;Wachtendorf, Tricia;Trainor, Joseph;Kendra, James;Penta, Samanthaaguirre;twachten;jtrainor;jmkendra;spentaDisaster Research Center, CASA and the National Science Foundation
2012 October: NYC/NJ Hurricane Sandy ResponseKendra, James;Wachtendorf, Tricia;Penta, Samanthajmkendra;twachten;spentaDisaster Research Center
2015 August: Florida Evacuation Decision-making for the Science, Engineering, Education for SustainabilityWachtendorf, Tricia;Davidson, Rachel;Penta, Samanthatwachten;rdavidso;spentaNational Science Foundation

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  • Disaster Research Center
  • University of Delaware
  • 166 Graham Hall, 111 Academy Street
  • Newark, DE 19716 U.S.A
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  • Phone: 302-831-6618