BAF Alumni News
The BAF Alumni Network inaugural executive board and organization was established in Spring 2020. The group continues to expand with the current number of alums almost at 30 current professionals in academia, public and private sector. The group is led by Mosi London, PhD, Transportation Planning Project Manager at AECOM as Chair; Asia Dowtin, Phd, Assistant Professor of Urban and Community Forestry at Michigan State University as Vice Chair; Hans Louis Charles, PhD, Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University as Treasurer; Lucy Ampaw-Asiedu, EI, LEED, Engineer at Olsson as Secretary/Historian; and Donta Council, PhD, Research Advisor at Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta as Membership Chair.
The mission of the BAF Alumni Network is to ensure a continuum of support for historically underrepresented professionals in the field of disaster and hazard research and practice through:
- Fellowship and Mentorship
- Funding and Professional Development
- Research Advancement and Sponsorship
- Hazard and Disaster Community Support
- Mental and Cultural Awareness
The main efforts to date by the BAF Alumni Network have been discussions related to the African American agenda; in the context of disaster research and response in the wake of 2020 Black Lives Matter movement and emergency events; development of BAF Scientific Journal to publish and promote work and research for alumni as well as encourage collaboration; increasing virtual presence and engagement of group with online communities; as well as planning events and participating in the upcoming 2021 Annual Natural Hazards Workshop. The BAF Alumni Network also continues to develop and increase ties with current fellows by supporting their programmatic activities as well as offering academic and professional career insights.
BAF Fellows News
The spring is in full swing already for the current BAF Fellows! We’re excited to share some stellar updates from two of our Fellows:
Antoine Richards – Jacksonville State – Emergency Management Department
Antoine shares three outstanding achievements which are examples of the kind of engagmeent and leadership our Fellows exhibit even as they work towards completing their degrees:
- Recently named the 2021 Co-Chair of the Emerging Leaders of Tampa Bay Inclusion Group with the Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce
- Selected Core Initiative Co-Leader for Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Equity with the Association of Healthcare Emergency Preparedness Professionals (AHEPP)
- Completed the final Qualifying Exam / Transition to Doctoral Candidate
Melissa Villarreal – University of Colorado, Boulder – Department of Sociology
Melissa has a full plate as a Doctoral Candidate within the University of Colorado, Boulder’s Department of Sociology and as a Graduate Research Assistant with the Natural Hazards Center. Melissa is happy to share that she:
- Received the American Sociological Association (previously National Science Foundation) Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant—receiving funds to dedicate to her dissertation research costs and
- Passed her comprehensive exams this month!