Dr. Dean Kyne
Associate Professor of Sociology

“Dr. Dean Kyne and his students in SOCI 3348 Disaster and Society presented their study’s findings in the Engaged Scholar Symposium 2019 at UTRGV held on April 17, 2019.”

We are super proud of our undergraduate students in SOCI 3348 Disaster and Society who presented their research findings at the Engaged Scholar Symposium held on April 17, 2019. During this semester, the students were guided by their instructor Dr. Dean Kyne to conduct a research study on disaster preparedness of individuals with a disability and their health conditions in the Rio Grande Valley as part of a service-learning component. The students in four groups presented their findings in four posters. They will also share their findings with the key stakeholders in the valley in their oral presentation before the end of semester. The Department of Sociology offers Disaster Studies MA Program which is one of the finest graduate degree programs at UTRGV. If you need additional information please visit the link at  https://www.utrgv.edu/sociology/graduate/disaster-studies-ma/index.htm    #engagedUTRGV #ES22019 #IMadeThis #DisasterStudiesMA #disaster #disability #health @UTRGV @UTRGV_CLA @enggedUTRGV

A Service-Learning Component in Disaster Studies for Meaningful Engagement, Greater Impact, and Self-Reflection

Authors: Dean Kyne*, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Keywords: Experiential learning, disaster studies, higher education, faculty
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/17/2019 (Wednesday)
Start / End Time: 1:00 PM / 1:45 PM
Room: 8210, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level

This presentation will discuss on how a service-learning component could be designed to provide meaningful engagement with community members, to have greater impacts on disaster and emergency the valley and beyond, and to provide opportunities for self-reflection of service learning activities in the context of disaster and emergency management.


Disaster Preparedness of Individuals with Disabilities and their Health Conditions in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas
Rolando Garza, Brandon Martell, Constantino Hernandez, Kira Casares, Clarissa Recio, Juan Sanchez, Kayla Navarro, Linda Garcia, Oscar Lee Ramirez, Shyla De La Garza, Dean Kyne

The Rio Grande Valley which consists of four counties, Starr, Hidalgo, Willacy, and Cameron Counties host about 1.3 million individuals. There are about 155,000 ( 12%) of the total population who are aged 18 years and older living with a disability (Census Bureau, 2015). The valley is prone to natural disasters including hurricanes and floods. In the history, the valley was hard hit by a few hurricanes with strong categories. However, studies (e.g., Kyne, et al., 2018) showed that the valley’s residents were not prepared for a disaster event. Their low level of preparedness was observed low. During disaster event, individuals with disability are more vulnerable (Al-rousan,Rubenstein and Wallace, 2015, Bethel, Foreman and Burke, 2011). This study empirically investigates the states of disaster preparedness of individuals living with a disability.


Understanding Disaster Preparedness of Individuals with Disabilities and their Health Condition in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas
Michael Dimas, Abigail Villarreal, Alejandra Guzman, Amanda Hut, Angelica Bustos, Bianca Pena, Fernando Flores, Karen Grimaldo, Kimberly Olvera, Luis Guerra, Mariela Ramirez, Stacey Lopez,  Dean Kyne

The Rio Grande Valley is a region of closely related and interconnected individuals where several generations of families have called this area home. Unfortunately, it is one of the parts of our country with the highest levels of poverty, yet we exhibit some of the fastest rates of relative growth. This growth has brought improved infrastructure and other improvements, especially progressive strides in improvements have been seen mainly in city infrastructure and other aspects of foundational security. However, the valley is prone to natural disasters with a historical records of badly hit hurricanes (Kyne, et al., 2018). The disasters caused deaths, and damaged properties and crops in the impact areas leading to negatively impact the economic development. During the disasters, the individuals with a disability are vulnerable because their disabilities limit them to prepare and response to a natural disaster effectively.  There are  154,808 (11%) of the 1.3 million people who live with a disability who resides in the valley (Census Bureau, 2015).  The purpose for this study was to understand the levels of disaster preparedness of individuals with a disability who live in the Rio Grande Valley.


Enhancing Disaster Preparedness of Individuals with Disabilities in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas
Lisa Tresnicky, Homer Garcia, Alondra Sanchez, Isaiah Garcia, Jennifer Quezada, Kayla Mora, Rosalind Reyes, Sierra Almaguer, Dean Kyne

Deep in South Texas, lies the Rio Grande Valley, often the pathway for hurricanes to enter due to it being so close to the Gulf of Mexico. The RGV which consists of Hidalgo, Cameron, Willacy, and Starr county is a home to more than 1.3 million people. Although the RGV has suffered many floods and hurricanes, many occupants still lack adequate disaster preparedness (Kyne, 2018). There are four steps in managing a disaster, namely mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Among them, the preparedness includes buying disaster kits and making specific plans for evacuation, participating in training or drills and learning about what to do in a disaster. During a disaster event, individuals especially without a proper preparedness, they would not be effectively responding to a disaster event including a mandatory evacuation if there is any. During the disasters, individuals with disability are more vulnerable (Bethel, J.W., Foreman, A.N. and Burke, S.C., 2011).
To enhance their disaster preparedness, understanding the reasons for not evacuating during a disaster event is essential. Our study examines the  the challenges faced by those with disabilities so that proper measures may be taken to minimize damage and facilitate resilience.


Perceived Risk and Disaster Preparedness of the Disabled Individuals in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas

Naomi Cortez, Adalberto Medina, Alexis Pruneda, Dulce Moreno, Ithalia Garza, Lucero Rodea, Thais Cantu, Dean Kyne


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