I began my public service career as a case manager within the foster care system in Atlanta, Ga. In that job, I was responsible for children who were living in foster homes because they had been removed from their families. To advocate for these children on my caseload, I learned to navigate a bureaucratic system while also managing everything from educational schedules to medical appointments to complicated visitation plans.
The longer I worked as a case manager, the more I discovered new questions about my job—about the system, the people I met within the system, the children and, most of all, how to make things better. Eventually, I became so curious about these questions that I decided to go back to school to try to get some answers. This led me to earn first a master’s degree from Georgia State University and then a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Public Administration from George Washington University.
Now, as a professor at the University of Baltimore, I get to continue exploring the ever-expanding number of questions I have about human services delivery and to create environments in the classroom for students to ask their own questions and to develop new knowledge about the field.
When I’m not in the classroom or doing research, I like to make things.
My 2016 Project
This year I’m (finally) setting out to make my own clothes…like, a whole wardrobe of handmade stuff. I’ve been wanting to do it for many years but didn’t have the know-how. In August 2015, I attended a pattern drafting class with the amazing Cal Patch and I learned a lot of sewing tricks that boosted my confidence. And then all I could think about was making a wardrobe that fits, is comfortable and functional, has pockets (!!!), and manifests my style. We’ll see what happens!