Our Team

At The K.A.P.S. Disaster Hub, a primary objective is to enhance the capabilities of marginalized communities, particularly those of color and/or low-income. To achieve this, we’ve forged partnerships with a cadre of young innovative consultants proficient in various fields, including environmental toxicology, emergency management, community planning, participatory mapping, grant writing, and qualitative/quantitative analysis, among others.

Recognizing the challenges faced by community leaders in accessing essential resources, we are committed to offering quality services that are not just efficient and reliable but also affordable. We understand the vital role your organization plays in fulfilling its mission, and we aim to empower you and your organization with the tools and support needed for success.

Meet Our Team

Joy Semien is the founder and director of The K.A.P.S. Disaster hub. She is an Interdisciplinary Multi-hazard Research Scientist and Community Capacity Builder. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Dillard University (2015) in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. Joy also holds a Masters’ Degree from Texas Southern University (2017) in Urban Planning and Environmental Policy, where she published the K.A.P.S. framework to train High-Risk Communities. Her research interest focuses on uniquely bridging the gaps across disciplines while exploring the intersectionality of hazards, race, and social justice.

Meet Joy!

Eritrea Jean-Felix is the SETX Outreach Coordinator for The K.A.P.S. Disaster Hub. As one of our top outreach coordinators, Mrs. Jean-Felix is responsible for identifying and engaging potential clients and partners in the public and private sectors. She works collaboratively to develop and implement strategies to deliver disaster preparedness education programs and services.

Meet Jean-Felix!

Dr. Dereka Carroll-Smith is an Environmental Quantitative Data Analyst for the K.A.P.S. Disaster Hub. She currently holds a postdoctoral appointment with the National Institute of Standards and Technology as a research meteorologist for the National Wind Impacts Reduction Program. Dr. Carroll-Smith also holds a joint appointment as a Program Coordinator and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Chemistry, Physics, and Atmospheric Sciences at Jackson State University, and as a Visiting Scientist in the Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Division at the National Center of Atmospheric Research. She has specialized in interdisciplinary research focusing on tropical cyclones, climate change, and societal impacts. Her overall research interests include environmental hazards analysis, extreme weather, and climate modeling, along with severe weather risk and human impacts modeling.

Meet Dr. Carroll-Smith!

Tiffany Cousins Community Participatory GIS Consultant, for the K.A.P.S Disaster Hub. She received her bachelors from the University of Connecticut in Geoscience and Geography with minors in Geophysics and GIS. She then received her Master of Urban Planning from Texas A&M University where her concentration was Environmental Hazards Management and GIS. While at Texas A&M she worked as a Participatory GIS Project Manager where she developed methods to collect field data collection on flooding using mobile applications.

Meet Tiffany!

Melissa Villarreal is a qualitative data consultant for The K.A.P.S. Disaster Hub. Her work primarily centers around the post-disaster recovery process of vulnerable populations. Past projects have included examining women’s experiences during and after disasters, the benefits of mentoring for marginalized doctoral students of color, structural vulnerability, and reproductive health access for Mexican-origin immigrant women.

Meet Melissa!

Kesley Richardson is the emergency management consultant for The K.A.P.S. Disaster Hub. He is also a U.S. Virgin Islands Native, scholar, public speaker, researcher, and practitioner in the field of Emergency Management. Kesley is skilled in the National Incident Management System, Incident Command System Recovery process, and Organizational leadership. He is a member of the international association of emergency managers(IAEM), black emergency managers association (BEMA), principles of responsible management education (PRME) with the United Nations, and Florida emergency preparedness association (FEPA). 

Meet Kesley!

Antionette Fowlkes is the Community Regional Planning Consultant for the K.A.P.S. Disaster Hub. She received her Bachelors of Science degree in environmental science and environmental health from Alabama A&M University. Antionette received her Masters of Science degree in Community and Regional Planning from Iowa State University. She is skilled in administration, community planning, hazard mitigation planning, and community grant writing.

Meet Antionette!

Allen White is an Environmental Health Consultant for The K.A.P.S. Disaster Hub. Allen received is Bachelors degree from Texas Southern University in Environmental Health. He is skilled in environmental records management, reporting, permitting, community environmental program development, environmental collection, monitoring, preparation and analysis. In the past Allen has analyzes samples in laboratory/field for various pollution parameters like pH, TS, DS, TSS, DO, TOC, Oil, Hg, O2, PM, Grease, Turbidity, Conductivity, Heavy Metals, Organics, Ammonical Nitrates, E. Coli, and other constituents.

Meet Allen!

Cassandra Jean, Ph.D. is a sociologist and researcher by trade, Dr. Jean works as a community equity and resilience consultant for The KAPS Disaster Hub. Her work aims to investigate and respond to compounded impacts of barriers and vulnerabilities when understanding the experiences of those often disproportionately impacted by climate change and environmental hazards. She has over ten years of experience working with historically marginalized groups: Tribal communities, public health officials, non-profits, community leaders, students, and young people to examine current risk perceptions of extreme hazardous events. She is also a Climate Resilience Specialist for Adaptation International, if you’d like to contact Dr. Jean, please email her at cassandra@adaptationinternational.com.

Meet Dr. Jean!

Jennifer Blanks M.S., is a historical preservation and community participatory GIS consultant for The K.A.P.S. Disaster Hub. She is the founder of “The Cemetery Sista” a space for highlighting the importance of Black cemeteries. The goal of “The Cemetery Sista” is to fill in the gaps of Black history through storytelling with feature stories of everyday Black people who have transitioned to the afterlife. Her research interests include preservation planning, digital humanities, and black geographies concerning hazards and disasters impacting the existence of Black cultural resources. In addition, she studies the impact natural disasters have on cemetery preservation in historic Black settlements.

Meet Jennifer!

Book a Consultant

Interested in booking a consultant? Great we want to help! Check out our process below!

  1. Click the button below to book your initial consultation! Don’t forget to complete your project needs assessment form before submitting. 
  2. During your initial consultation you will meet with your team coordinator to discuss your needs. 
  3. After, your initial consultation you will receive a MOU along with an estimated invoice. You will have 3 days to review and agree to the terms and agreements
  4. Next you will submit the down payment for your project and the consultants will begin working. 
  5. Draft deliverables will be submitted to you upon completion, you will than have 14 days to request revisions. After 14 days you may be subject to additional revision fees.  

Book Initial Consultation!