Local Governance and Sustainability
Why does the process of creating social sustainability differ across local geographies? My dissertation, which I plan to defend in 2020, analyzes three dimensions of the production process- policy adoption, administrative efforts, and coproduction- to determine how and why these processes play out differently between cities and suburbs. My research draws on theories related to institutional and individual decision making, the impact of spatial form on social processes, and the systemic nature of social and spatial inequalities.
Social Equity, Social Justice and Sub-National Governance
Outside of my doctoral dissertation research, I’ve studied the intersection between social equity/social justice and public administration. My co-authored article on the role of equity in governmental process improvement trainings is forthcoming at Public Integrity. Additionally, several other pieces on social equity and social justice within public processes are under review at various public administration journals.
Interdisciplinary and Engaged Public Scholarship
While pursuing my graduate studies, I have been involved in a number of public endeavors to the bridge academics, practitioners, and residents to pursue better outcomes for Northeast Ohio. These efforts include: a service-learning project that lead to increased access to quality child care, the creation of reports and non-academic publications on housing and foreclosure trends, and my current role as a contributor to a local media outlet where I cover issues related to metropolitan policy and governance.
Public scholarship is not only an important vehicle to publicize the work of an academic institution, it is an opportunity for a scholar to embed themselves within the public sphere, provide expert analysis and commentary and generate community engaged research and service projects. In a forthcoming piece at the Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs, my co-author and I created a framework to use service-learning to cultivate a democratic and social justice-oriented mindset in MPA students.
Aside from journal publications, however, my public scholarship efforts have resulted in increased attention to social issues as well as monetary support, and additional research opportunities. My insight into a charter review process resulted in a research paper, currently under review, and my dedication to additional media coverage of regional environmental justice concerns helped me to earn a grant that will allow me to purchase valuable data sets, share stories that have not previously been told, and impact the policy landscape in the Northeast Ohio region.
In addition to my core areas listed above, I am working on several projects in the areas of public finance; methodological choices in public administration research; and state-local relationships in declining regions.