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October 2022 Update ——————————————

Welcome to the next stage of my journey. I started writing this blog in December of 2016 to document my travels to my motherland India and then my doctoral studies. Along the way, I wrote sporadically and avoided documenting the grief and the anguish I experienced as I discovered what it meant to be an Indian outside of India, an emergency management practitioner getting a doctorate, and a brown woman in the domain of white folks, researchers and practitioners alike, unwilling to acknowledge their privilege and power.

When I started the doctorate, I did not have the language to describe what I experienced during my time as a practitioner or even what I experienced during my first meeting as a PhD student. It took several years, several classes, and several supportive professors and colleagues who helped me find the words and the fortitude to speak truth — all my truths. When I started my doctoral studies, my prior lived experiences and my current experiences at the university were invalidated by those professors who were not comfortable with qualitative or nuanced data they were not able to control or change. Now I am an adjunct professor and can focus solely on the needs of my students and their education.

My voice, my experience, and my presence are important for my leadership students of color who look for professors like themselves. During my studies, I did not have any professors who looked like me or shared my background. I teach them that no one should invalidate them or their voices simply because they do not belong to the majority group.

Going forward, I will write about leadership with respect to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. Much of my focus in the past has been around disaster human services coordination, but my most recent research and teaching is on decision making and discretion. Who has power and who does not? Who has access and who does not?

If I am feeling spicy, I might even post a short video instead of a written post.

Thanks for sticking with me,

Susamma Seeley

@seeleysue

May 2021 – Update———————————————————————–

I now live in Maryland but right down the road from UD.  I am finished with my course work and working on my dissertation proposal.  My area of focus is the role of bureaucratic discretion on the implementation and delivery of disaster relief or recovery programs. I am particularly interested in understanding if there is a relationship between state-level bureaucrats, their past experiences with disasters and the choices they make for their states.  In addition to this, I teach leadership and try to better understand the role of power and privilege in our lives.  

Welcome.  I am an Indian American woman who left India as a small girl. For most of my adult life, I lived in the United States but I was stationed in Landstuhl, Germany for a few years as well.  In 2016 I was waiting to start a doctoral program,  so I decided to take some time to travel and explore the world.  From January to May of 2017, I lived in India. I originally started this blog to share my experience and observations as I rediscovered India through my 40+ eyes and heart.  Now I am living in Delaware and have started the Disaster Science and Management Ph.D. program at University of Delaware.  I will continue to write about my life and my thoughts will certainly be a reflection of the world as I see  and hear it.

Please note that my posts will vary in frequency and length according to where we are in the academic year.  For those of you who have been following me so far, I thank you. This space allows me to share my thoughts and observations in a respectful and civil manner  that encourages dialogue. I hope to hear from my readers with their comments and feedback, particularly as I start sharing some of my research.

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