My research focusses on the intersection of natural hazards, international development, and community engagement. In this work, I take an interdisciplinary approach to understanding three areas of academic inquiry: (1) exploring community engagement dynamics in complex settings, such as surrounding natural hazard events and in socially vulnerable communities; (2) understanding training and project activities in organizational and institutional based work in the natural hazard, international development, and community engagement fields; and (3) studying emerging topics in natural hazards and international development planning. 

Peer Reviewed Articles

Peer Reviewed Articles (Under Review)

  • Contreras, S., Niles, S.,* Roudbari, S., Kaminsky, J., & Harrison, J. Bridging the Praxis of Hazards and Development with Resilience. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction (Revision).

  • Niles, S.,* Contreras, S., Roudbari, S., Kaminsky, J., & Harrison, J. Resisting and Assisting Engagement with Public Welfare in Engineering. Journal of Engineering Education (Revision).

Technical Reports and Other Publications

Peer Reviewed Presentations at Meetings and Conferences

  • Contreras, S. Evaluating the Participatory Work of Nongovernmental Organizations in Post-Disaster Haiti. International Research Committee on Disasters Annual Meeting, Broomfield, CO, 2019.

  • Contreras, S. Utilizing Arnstein’s Ladder as an Evaluative Framework for the Assessment of Participatory Work in Post-disaster Haiti. Association of European Schools of Planning Annual Congress, Venice, Italy, 2019.  

  • Contreras, S. & Niles, S. Community Outreach and Post-disaster Medical Care: An Exploration of the Work of Health-care Organizations in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Annual Meeting of the Urban Affairs Association, Los Angeles, CA, 2019.

  • Niles, S.,* Roudbari, S., Contreras, S., Harrison, J., & Kaminsky, J. Health, Hygiene, and Race in International Development. Midwest Sociological Society Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, 2019 (presented by co-author).

  • Niles, S.,* Contreras, S. Health Care and Disaster Governance after Hurricane Maria. Pacific Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Oakland, CA, 2019 (presented by co-author).

  • Niles, S.,* Contreras, S., Roudbari, S., Kaminsky, J., & Harrison, J. Bringing in “The Social” Resisting and Assisting Social Engagement in Engineering Education. World Engineering Education Forum, Albuquerque, NM, 2018 (presented by co-author).

  • Contreras, S. & Roudbari, S. Participation as a Two-way Street: Small Organizations Learning from Communities in International Development. Annual Conference of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, Buffalo, NY, 2018.

  • Contreras, S., Basolo, V., Goodrich, K., Matthew, R., Sanders, B., Feldman, D., Houston, D., & Cheung, W. An Investigation of Urban Development on Hillsides in Tijuana, Mexico. Annual Conference of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, Portland, OR, 2016.

  • Contreras, S. Organizations and Participatory Development: Post-disaster Recovery in Haiti. Annual Meeting of the Urban Affairs Association, San Diego, CA, 2016.

  • Basolo, V. & Contreras, S. Incorporating Sustainability and Resiliency for Housing in Earthquake Prone Areas of Latin America and the Caribbean. Annual Meeting of the Urban Affairs Association, San Antonio, TX, 2014.

  • Basolo, V. & Contreras, S. Urban Housing and Earthquakes in Developing Countries: Vulnerability, Resiliency, and the Goal of Sustainability. Joint Congress of the Association of European Schools of Planning and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, Dublin, Ireland, 2013.

Other Presentations

  • Contreras, S., Campbell, J., Tang, X., & Duke, T. Regenerative Cultures and Resilient Communities (RCx2). Ohio Campus Compact Annual Meeting: Campus, Community, and Student Connections from the Inside Out, Columbus, OH, 2019 (presentation).

  • Contreras, S., Campbell, J., Tang, X., & Duke, T. Regenerative Cultures and Resilient Communities (RCx2). Community Engagement Conference: Partnering for a Resilient and Sustainable Future, Columbus, OH, 2019 (presentation).

  • Tellez, K.**, Contreras, S., & Campbell, J. Regenerative Cultures and Resilient Communities’ Development Process. Workshop on Sustainability Education through Collaborative, Community-Engaged, Problem/Project-Based Learning (PPBL), Columbus, OH, 2018 (presentation).

  • Contreras, S. Towards a More Equitable Recovery and Reconstruction for Post-Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico, Annual Conference of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, Buffalo, NY, 2018 (roundtable participant).

  • Feldman, D., Contreras, S., Karlin, B., Basolo, V., Matthew, R., Sanders, B., Houston, D.,

    Cheung, W., Goodrich, K., Reyes, A., Serrano, K., Schubert, J., & Luke, A. Getting the Message Right – The Challenge of Communicating Flood Risk as a Boundary-Spanning Problem: A Case Study of Newport Estuary, California. Annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop, Broomfield, CO, 2015 (poster).

  • Contreras, S. Organizations and Participatory Development: Post-disaster Recovery in Haiti. Center for Organizational Research Small Grant Recipients Presentation, Irvine, CA 2015 (poster).

  • Goodrich, K. & Contreras, S. Poster presentation Flood Resilient Infrastructure and Sustainable Environment (FloodRISE) Project. Planning for Disaster Resilience Symposium, College Station, TX, 2014 (poster).

* Indicates co-author is a graduate student.

**Indicates co-author is an undergraduate student.