Instructor Spotlight: Brandy Bones
Brandy Bones has 13 years of experience helping states and localities implement disaster recovery, neighborhood stabilization and affordable homeownership and rental programs. She is an expert in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funded programs including Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR). Ms. Bones is experienced in program and project implementation, policy and procedures development, and data tracking, analysis and reporting. She leads ICF’s disaster recovery work with HUD and recently led the development of HUD's CDBG-DR Launch Toolkit and a Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Toolkit for HUD's Office of Housing Counseling. She has worked on disaster recovery and resiliency programs in Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Ms. Bones teaches a number of resiliency courses, including Recovery Planning: Pre and Post Disaster.
What is resiliency and why do you think it’s a topic worth learning about?
Resiliency is the ability to recover quickly and adapt. In an era of increasingly intense and frequent disaster events, communities across the United States need to find better ways to prepare for and recover from these hazards, shocks and stressors. Resiliency is critical to controlling the increasing costs of disasters and protecting people, communities and physical assets from harm. By learning about resiliency, students will understand how communities can face, adapt and overcome the challenges posed by natural disasters.
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
I love the opportunity to learn from the students in my classes and hear their perspectives and thoughts on disaster recovery and resiliency. Disaster recovery and resiliency is a rapidly shifting field. It’s fun to continually incorporate new and emerging best practices into the courses I teach and get the students' insights and ideas about how communities can do recovery and resiliency better. I learn as much from teaching others as I hope they learn from me.
How would a student describe your teaching style?
In my day to day job, I am a practitioner who supports state and local governments implement disaster recovery and resiliency programs and projects. When I teach, I strive to incorporate these real world examples to help students understand the applicability of the concepts that are being taught. Disaster resiliency requires a large amount of coordination and community engagement, so I also always look for opportunities for students to interact with each other and work together to put concepts into practice.
Describe a moment where, as a teacher, you feel like you had an impact on a student’s life. What was the situation? What happened? How did you know you know you had an impact? How did it make you feel?
I teach an undergraduate class on leadership in the context of disaster recovery and resiliency. One of the students that I taught approached me after the class and said she is now thinking about pursuing a career in disaster recovery and resiliency after taking my class. It made me very happy that I could help a student learn about a new field that they had not previously considered as a possible professional pursuit.
In your opinion, what separates the UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education Resiliency program from other programs?
The Resiliency Planning Program provides students with a holistic understanding of disaster recovery and resiliency including how the United States currently approaches recovery and resiliency and how things are changing. Rather than focus on just one aspect or way of approaching disaster recovery and resiliency, it intentionally provides a big picture overview of how different disciplines approach this work and the variety of funding sources and programs available to undertake disaster recovery and resiliency.