I received my PhD in Intercultural Communication from the University of New Mexico where I also worked as a Research Fellow at the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. My academic career has mostly been spent at Washington State University where I focused on the intersection between health, communication, and culture. In my early career, I investigated the creation, utilization and dissemination of both science-based research and “habit-based” public health practice (on such topics as the diffusion of clean indoor air ordinances and the utility of drunk driving recidivism programs to name two). More recently, I have applied community-based and culturally-centered approaches to investigate how communities themselves perceive, prioritize, and potentially engage in efforts to address health issues. Over the course of my career, I have worked with the urban homeless as well as Hispanic farm workers (on issues related to home stability), Latina pregnant or parenting teens (a digital storytelling project focused on sexuality and stigma), American Indian populations (on mental health and substance abuse), with transgender sex workers in Singapore (on access to standard social services), and other often vulnerable and marginalized populations.
I will be affiliated with the PIRE-Southwest office, but I am based in beautiful Northwest Montana where I live on our family cattle ranch.