Jessica Christon (left), Erin Christon (Right)

Simental Industries Ltd. – Shield Initiative Update: Welcoming Research Fellows Erin & Jessica Christon

Simental Industries Ltd. is excited to welcome our two new Research Fellows Erin & Jessica Christon!

Jessica has diverse experience in the medical field and in emergency management. She brings recent experience supporting Team Rubicon with disaster logistics, planning and mitigation here in Colorado. Jessica is an aspiring emergency manager and is currently pursuing her bachelors degree at Idaho State University in Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Erin recently graduated this summer from the University of Colorado – Denver with a Masters degree in Research and Evaluation Methods. Erin has a education and research background working with diverse populations, minorities, undeserved communities and advancing and advocating work in equity, diversity, inclusion and access. Erin has also been supporting Team Rubicon with wildfire mitigation.

We are excited and honored to welcome both of our new Research Fellows to the Shield Initiative where they will be working to support closing out our FEMA Region 8 Climate Change Adaptation Research Study and further supporting our Homeland Security & Emergency Management Higher Education Flagship Study and other projects part of our Shield Initiative.

You can read more on Jessica and Erin’s Bios below:

Jessica Christon’s Bio:

Over the last nine years I have worked as a Lead Medical Assistant for multiple disciplines in the medical field. In January of 2020 while we were all watching the COVID19 pandemic unfold in China. I had been accepted into Idaho State University’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management program expected completion in August 2023. During my first year at ISU I was tasked with keeping our clinic and patients safe from COVID. I was able to develop a plan to protect our staff by rotating providers and ensuring safe protective personal equipment practices. By doing this we were able to have a zero positivity rate within our clinic until my transition to support another clinic a year and a half later. In May of 2021 I became a member of Team Rubicon a voluntary disaster response organization. I was asked to become part of their volunteer leadership team in September of 2021 and provided logistics leader support during the Marshall fire. In February 2022 I was the Logistics Chief for a wildfire mitigation operation in Franktown, CO. This past month I transitioned to the master planning leadership team. Currently planning wildfire mitigation operations following home ignition zone guidelines for 2023 in underserved communities within Colorado. 

Erin Christon’s Bio:

As a researcher, Erin is committed to understanding the community she supports through education, collaboration, respect, and applying research and evaluation frameworks. Erin is passionate about ensuring that individuals and communities get access to equal and equitable opportunities within an organization’s system.

Within the past three years, she has worked with several organizations in the education, scientific, cultural, and human service sectors. Erin’s experiences have ranged from evaluating survey methodology, using qualitative and quantitative analysis to explore system dynamics, research collaboration, and quantitatively analyzing institutional-level data. Collaborating with the Molly Brown House Museum, she evaluated their survey administration, collection, and analysis approaches to address their goal of widening their audience and reaching underserved minority population within Denver.  Using qualitative methods, Erin took part in a joint project between the University of Colorado Denver’s Inworks and the Commonsense Institute teams to understand how organization’s system dynamics impact homelessness by designing interview protocols, supporting with transcription, and engaging with the local community. In addition to the analysis, she collaborated in developing a list of recommendations that impact allocations of funding and resources. Erin’s quantitative skills include descriptive and inferential statistics, survey research, and measurement validation. She also ran a quantitative analysis on the impact tutoring had on student passing rates and reported these results to the EXCEL Zone’s Director to use as leverage for department funding and services expansion.

Erin is eager to learn and increase her capacity in disaster research to support communities’ risk management, so that the voices of those who are not present can be represented and valued as much as those who are already involved in the work being done. She is ready to take on new challenges by using her skills and past experiences to further her career in disaster research.

Lastly, my interest goal is to utilize my mixed methodology skills to support the communities and organization we work with to focus on being more efficient with their risk management and close the gaps for members of the communities that lack the resources needed to successfully survive a disaster.