Research Project Specialist and Department of Community Development & Applied Economics Lecturer

What type of work do you typically do for CRS?

I work on a variety of projects related to rural affordable housing, disaster resilience, development of community indicators, and conducting of program evaluations. I've also supported research projects related to farmers' markets and migrant labor in Vermont. This work includes developing and conducting surveys and focus groups, qualitative and qualitative data analysis, grant writing, and community outreach.

What are some of your favorite past projects that you've worked on? Why?

A major component of my work is focused on understanding the hazards facing Vermont's mobile home park communities and developing strategies for increasing their resilience to disasters in collaboration with the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity's Mobile Home Program. This work was especially relevant following the Memorial Day flooding and Tropical Storm Irene in 2011 that significantly impacted hundreds of mobile home residents. Working with park communities to develop their emergency plans is one of my favorite aspects of this important work.

Who benefits from the work that you do?

The most rewarding aspect of working for the Center for Rural Studies is that our projects are relevant to the critical issues facing communities in Vermont and other rural states. Whether we're conducting surveys or gathering lessons learned from a program evaluation, the research we do informs decisions made by community leaders, policymakers, organizations, and the public at large.

What else would you like people to know about you professionally?

As a researcher, I am most interested in applied research endeavors that contribute to developing solutions to complex problems facing our communities. More specifically, I am very interested in exploring how communities can become more resilient to disasters in the wake of our recent experiences with devastating flooding events.

What is your favorite thing about Vermont?

There are many things that I love about Vermont but the landscape, no matter the season, always makes me grateful to live and work in such a beautiful state: old barns in open fields juxtaposed with the Green Mountains, our historic villages and downtown centers, and Lake Champlain.

Kelly Hamshaw


  • M.S. University of Vermont
  • B.S. University of Vermont


  • (802) 656-1219
Office Location:

Morrill Hall