Assistant Professor of Practice, Child, Youth, and Family Studies program, Portland State University
I’m an assistant professor of practice in Portland State University’s Child, Youth, and Family Studies program. Prior to completing my Ph.D. in 2016, most of my research was focused on the experiences of young people aging out of foster care. I’m currently conducting interviews to expand one of these articles (“Aging out: Youths’ perspectives on foster care and the transition to independence”) into a book.
While completing my Ph.D. I began a second strand of research, focused on the relational experiences of first-generation college students in a school of social work. I’ve argued that rather than “breaking away” (London, 1989) from family and other members of home communities, first-generation students are often working to stay integrated in these communities while adjusting to the culture of the communities they encounter in higher education.
I teach courses focused on families of origin and early socialization, the gendered history (and present) of professions serving children, youth, and families, and families in life-course perspective. I also volunteer with a youth-led policy advocacy group composed of current and former foster youth. A first-generation student myself, I have worked to include students in research, as it was my own undergraduate experience with research that brought me to this work.