University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL
Ph.D., Civil (Environmental) Engineering, University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL, 2020
M.S./B.S., Regional & Urban Studies, Environmental Planning/Mathematics, Alabama A&M University, Normal, AL, 2012
Sandra received her Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering (CCEE) graduate program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). In her role as a researcher, she has performed activities in support of the missions of the Department of CCEE. Additionally, Sandra is a strategic research consultant for J. Stewart Educational Services and assist with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ (AIChE) Environmental Division’s (ED) research activities for the ED programming section on Legislation and Regulations. For her research and academics, she was awarded a UAB Blazer Best Fellowship, a Graduate School Dean Scholarship, a Travel Scholarship, and a Graduate Academic Fellowship. Sandra has always been concerned with the environment and has research efforts in the characterization of environmental stressors, e.g., brownfields. She has analyzed redeveloped sites in order to determine factors likely to encourage citizen engagement, stakeholders’ investment, and redevelopment of brownfields. As a result of her research interests, Sandra secured a 2019-2020 National Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship where she continued her environmental work in Washington, DC. She received her Master’s degree in Environmental Planning, from the Urban and Regional Studies program at Alabama A&M University (AAMU) and was also part of Oak Ridge’s Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) program. Her research work included: policy effectiveness, sustainable development, citizens’ participation, hazardous waste, nuclear power plants, and nuclear energy. Her research contributed to the growing need to investigate and justify emerging technologies, citizen engagement, and alternative, clean, and efficient energy sources. In 2014, Sandra was invited and presented her research at the Emerging Researcher National (ERN) Conference in Washington, DC. Additionally, her research on community perceptions of nuclear power plants was awarded second place during a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) conference held at Alabama A&M University which resulted in her being the first STEM award recipient for the Department of Community and Regional Planning.
As a researcher and intern, she has had the opportunity to facilitate, present, review, research, and assist with land use, environmental policies, public engagement, and emerging technologies that supported the process of efficient urban development. Sandra has been interested in man’s carbon footprint on earth and was a former intern with agencies such as the U.S. Corps of Engineers, General Services Administration (GSA), Orange County Planning Division, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Environmental Protection Agency where she was part of a team that investigated integrative approaches to sustainability, i.e., development of a conceptual model for optimal implementation of a light rail system which was in support of the Sustainable Healthy Communities (SHC) program. Sandra is a member of such organizations as Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the Black Graduate Student Association, American Planning Association, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Sandra has a MBA from the University of Chicago and both a M.S. in Environmental Planning and B.S. in Mathematics from AAMU.
Sandra has always been an advocate of social and environmental justice and as a 2019-2020 National Knauss Marine Policy Fellow, Sandra worked on environmental policy issues in the U.S. Senate and will continue environmental research in Greece as a Fulbright Scholar, hosted by Dr. Georgia Pozoukidou in the Department of Spatial Planning and Development at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Her research and teachings will investigate and present results of public perceptions and awareness of environmental systems and their implementation, and will develop strategies to increase meaningful citizen engagement in decision-making in the Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area of Greece.