Emily McKendry-Smith is an Assistant Professor in the Sociology Department at the University of West Georgia. She received her PhD from the University of North Carolina. Dr. McKendry-Smith teaches courses in social theory, research methods, religion, and global families. Her research centers on interconnections between religion and family, the ways individuals use religion to define their identities, and the meanings they attach to place. She has made multiple grant-funded research trips to the Chitwan district in Nepal, where she worked with the Institute for Social and Environmental Research to study a local new religious movement, and recently, a religious pilgrimage site that provides housing to widows and other elderly Nepalis. She has also recently begun collaborating on a mixed-methods interdisciplinary study of a bike-pedestrian trail in the American South.