My Research

I work at the intersection of sociology and urban planning. My dissertation work is focused specifically on how trust (or the lack thereof) impacts community and neighborhood-level outcomes. I am looking into just how we measure trust on the community scale and then how we understand its impact. Taking this one step further, I am also interested in trust repair and what can be done to rebuild trust in order to enhance well-being across the community.

My work is largely qualitative with some mixed-methods work being thrown in when appropriate. But, the foundation of my work is based on public engagement research and key informant interviews.

In addition to my particular dissertation work, I am also interested in all forms of public engagement and the facilitation of effective public meetings. Lastly, my work also includes a keen interest in democratic capacity and how we better improve our civic dialogue practices.



Copenheaver, C. A., Kidd, K. R., Shockey, M. D., & Stephens, B. A. (2014). Environmental and social factors influencing the price of land in southwestern virginia, usa, 1786-1830. Mountain Research and Development34(4), 386–395.

Master’s Research & Thesis