1.Describe your background, experience, and research as it relates to Quality-of-life studies.
I am a Member of the Faculty (Tenure-Track) for The Evergreen State College MPA program. I focus on three areas in our program-Public and Non Profit Administration, Public Policy and Tribal Governance. My research focus area is local and Tribal economies. I have worked for 20 years in leadership positions with local government, planning, economic development, public policy and Tribal government and our focus was always how can we improve lives for our constituents. Usually this was in the form of public policies supporting economic growth, but the benefits were not always enjoyed by persons throughout the community.
2. What initially attracted you to the field of quality-of-life studies?
I was always interested in the true impact of the economy. As a practitioner for 20 years in local government, planning, policy and economic development I always asked myself if economic development activities were “good” for the community. Through my research, good is defined by the community and is achieved through a balance of multiple systems, in addition to economic capital used by the community.
3. What are some areas of quality-of-life studies you feel are lacking attention? Any advice for future QoL researchers?
Despite the great recession many economic development strategies are still implemented despite sub-optimal financial and quality of life returns. The understanding of the balance of systems in communities and how they impact economic and quality of life outcomes is an incredibly important emerging area of research and I feel ISQOLS would be a great institution to explore these ideals. My advice for future QOL researchers is that the field is very welcoming and there are plenty of intersectional points with existing research. You should feel welcome and open to find how quality of life research will enhance your areas of interest.
4. How long have you been a member of ISQOLS? Why did you choose to be a member of ISQOLS? How has your involvement in ISQOLS impacted your career/research/advancement in your knowledge of QoL studies?
I have been a member of ISQOLS since 2014. My involvement has always supported the concept that certain economic public policies may have unintended consequences unless there is balance of capital/systems within your economy.
5. Feel free to include any other important comments or things you'd like to share with the ISQOLS community.
My transition into academia has been incredibly rewarding and hopefully has helped others find ways to deepen their understanding on how policies and strategy impacts our quality of life.