I am working with Dr. Carla Barbieri researching women in agritourism and what challenges and opportunities for success they are facing in their agritourism operations. I am from Louisiana where I was working in agricultural extension for Louisiana State University (Geaux Tigers!). My work in extension was primarily focused on organizing sustainable agriculture trainings, directing a farm to school program linking farm fresh Louisiana produce with LA schools and various other local food systems development projects. Through this work I realized the need and opportunity for sustainable tourism as a development tool in rural communities and as a possible diversification scheme on family farms. This struck a hankering in me to learn more about sustainable tourism and recreation and their opportunities for rural communities.
Who has been most influential to you?
It is hard to pinpoint one person that has been most influential to me. My grandmother is someone that I feel is becoming more and more an influence and inspiration to my work. She served on the National Board of the League of Women Voters and was known to take my young father and his siblings (sometimes to their dismay) door to door with her to talk to voters about important legislation of the time. Currently, my project is focused on women and I feel like I am, to some extent, following in her footsteps.
I would like to work in rural and community development using tourism as a tool for such development with an emphasis in two areas. First, focusing on women in rural and agricultural communities and what specific needs, opportunities and challenges they are facing. Second, working to connect local food systems development work with sustainable tourism.
Previous Degrees and Where I Received these Degrees
B.S. in Geology – Louisiana State University
“Words of Wisdom” for Prospective Students
“Live light, travel light, spread the light, be the light.” – It’s from a yogi tea but it is a mantra that I think fits perfectly for most things and definitely for the grad school life.
My Leisure Interests
Singing in choirs, running, biking, traveling and exploring new places, hiking, hanging out with friends and for stress relief, needle-pointing.