Sociology faculty Jennifer Carrera awarded the Distinguished Partnership Award for Community-Engaged Research at MSU

November 30, 2022 - Karessa Weir

MSU Sociology Assistant Professor Jennifer Carrera has been given the Distinguished Partnership Award for Community-Engaged Research from MSU’s Outreach & Engagement.

Jennifer CarreraThis award is for her project “Engaging Community in the Development of Low-Cost Technologies for Environmental Monitoring to Promote Environmental Health Literacy in a Low-Trust Setting: The Community-Driven Flint Project” that she has been working on with two Flint-based organizations (Community Based Organization Partners and Community Driven Flint Action Council).

"I'm very excited to receive this recognition for the hard work of our team in Flint.  I am humbled to be invited to work alongside folks that are leading important directions in the advancement of community-driven research and action," Dr. Carrera said.

Dr. Carrera, who has a joint appointment between the Department of Sociology and the Environmental Science and Policy Program, will be recognized at the University Outreach and Engagement Awards Ceremony on March 2, 2023.

Dr. Carrera’s research uses an environmental justice perspective, grounded in Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) methods, to examine the differential impacts of access to environmental resources on distributions of power in marginalized communities. Her area of research focuses on environmental justice issues of access to clean water and sanitation in low-income communities.

As part of MSU’s Global Water Initiative, Dr. Carrera was lead PI for a WaterCube research team which conducted a CBPR citizen science study investigating water quality associated with water shutoffs in Detroit.  This work was featured in MSU’s The Engaged Scholar Magazine.
In 2018 Dr. Carrera was awarded a Transition to Independent Environmental Health Research Career Award (K01) from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), to work with community partners in Flint, Michigan to develop low-cost technologies for understanding environmental risks and protecting public health.  She aims to establish evidence-based pathways for engaging with communities to enhance public health through the co-development of low-cost technologies to address unmet community scientific needs.