What you are currently doing for work and what was your path?
I am currently a research postdoc. My work is entirely focused on expanding my research agenda through peer-reviewed publications and collaborations. I have also had the opportunity to learn some advanced statistical techniques. My postdoc work builds off the skills and research experience I gained at UNH! I started studying bullying and peer harassment with Dr. Finkelhor during my M.A. and continued with this focus in my Ph.D. My current research focuses on peer harassment, child maltreatment and the intersection between them. I entered my postdoc in 2020, a few months after I defended my dissertation. I knew I wanted to pursue an academic career, so my postdoc mentor and I worked to make sure that my postdoc helped me achieve that goal. In fall 2022, I will start a tenure track assistant professor position at East Carolina University in their School of Social Work.
What person or course most influenced you while at UNH?
I would say that many of my courses, faculty and peers influenced my time at UNH and my career trajectory, but without a doubt, David Finkelhor, my advisor during my M.A. and Ph.D. at UNH, was the most influential. Dr. Finkelhor is an amazing mentor. He was able to guide me through the development of my research ideas and help me turn them into an actuality. I intend to continue to collaborate with Dr. Finkelhor at my position at ECU.
What advice do you have for students interested in your field?
There are several pieces of advice I would like to impart on future sociology majors, M.A.s and Ph.D.s, as well as grad students in general. First is to make sure that your area of research is something that you are truly interested in studying. You will be spending a lot of time with this topic, so make sure it is something that interests you. Second, make sure to maintain a work/life balance. Getting a graduate degree can be an all consuming endeavor and it is vitally important to make sure to carve time out for yourself. In grad school, I started treating my research and course work like a job, with specific work hours. I have continued to do this in my postdoc and will do this in my assistant professor position as well. By doing this, I was able to carve out time for myself and my family. Work/life balance looks differently for everyone, so figure out what it looks like for you. Third, if you would like to pursue a career in academia and are able to pursue a postdoc, then I would suggest doing it. The academic job market is incredibly competitive, so anything to help set you apart, such as additional time for publications and your research agenda, is worthwhile (my activity during my postdoc definitely helped me get a tenure track job). Finally, learn every statistical and analysis skill you can!