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Simmons Community Read: What The Eyes Don't See: Simmons Research

A guide for the Fall 2020 Simmons Community Read
simmons community read: what the eyes don't see

Interested in connecting with a faculty member about their research? Here is a list of projects related to environmental justice, public health, and other adjacent areas. 

Public Health and Environmental Justice Research

Public Health & Environmental Science Research

These faculty members teach primarily in the sciences and health.

Public Health

  • Felipe Agudelo
  • Lisa Brown, currently focuses on a variety of topics that impact delivery of nutrition interventions in both community and clinical settings
  • Elizabeth Donovan, research centers around empowering people to manage their health; collaborates with medical schools to create and evaluate technology-based, psychosocial interventions for families living with painful chronic diseases
  • Valerie Leiter, research on U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s regulation of women’s health medical devices
  • Elizabeth Metallinos-Katsaras, research on the nutrition and health of low income women and children

  • John Quattrochi, research on interventions to improve population health in low-income, high-mortality societies; women’s empowerment; causal inference; epidemiology; political economy; spatial analysis; and simulation modeling
  • Cherie Ramirez, teaches introductory biochemistry course for public health majors
  • Meenakshi Verma-Agrawal, research on public health, organizational development, and racial justice

Environmental Science

  • Maria Abate, research explores the internal mechanisms underlying the fish’s stress response to understand the impact of environmental degradation
  • Anna Aguilera, research on plant community ecology in New England with a focus on the impacts and specific effects of non-native plant species
  • Michael Berger, chemistry department, advisor for Simmons Sustainability Club
  • Rich Gurney, expert on applications of green chemistry and finding solutions for everyday problems using materials that are "benign by design"

  • Mariam Ismail, research on synthesizing visible light active photocatalysts that can be used for environmental remediation, whether it’s waste-water treatment or reduction/conversion of greenhouse gases such CO2

  • Nancy Lee, research on synthesizing bio-inspired, non-toxic, green copolymers based on thymine and quaternary ammonium salt monomers and testing for antibacterial properties

Do Your Own Research!

Look up some current research in these library databases. A database is a collection of articles that you can find when you type in the appropriate key words (such as water, contamination, or environment). You'll learn more about how to use databases when the fall semester starts. Simmons username and password needed to access the articles (same as your Simmons mail login).

Research from Non-Public Health or Science Faculty

Research projects from all other areas of the university, showcasing a multidisciplinary approach to environmental and health justice.

School of Business

  • Erin DeCurtis, research on gender and racial equity initiatives, primarily in the nonprofit sector
  • Jane Hughes, research on social impact investing, i.e. putting private capital to work for both financial and social/environmental good.
  • John Lowe, research on using continuous improvement (CI) methodologies to address community health issues (such as teen pregnancy, domestic violence and adolescent health)

School of Library and Information Science

  • Catherine Dumas, research on online political participation in contrast to traditional forms of political participation
  • Colin Rhinesmith, research on social, community, and policy aspects of information and communication technology, particularly in areas related to digital equity and community technology

School of Social Work

  • Gary Bailey, research on the dynamics of racism and oppression, social justice and social work in urban settings/with underserved communities
  • Tamara Cadet, research on evidence based health promotion interventions for underserved populations
  • Hugo Kamya, research includes caring across communities; community capacity building; enhancing social, cultural, and human capital in immigrant and refugee populations; the psychological impact of war, political persecution, trauma on children and families; HIV/AIDS; family therapy; international practice and human rights; spirituality; health disparities; youth and social economic development in sub-Saharan Africa; qualitative methods and designing international studies


  • Rachel Gans-Boriskin, research on primetime scripted television incorporates and translates political and health messages into engaging stories
  • Audrey J. Golden, research investigating the relationship between fiction and international human rights law


  • Carole Biewener, research on gender & the political economy of food, including looking at food system workers in the Boston metropolitan area, along with issues related to the economic viability of alternative food system initiatives
  • Zinnia Mukherjee, research addresses the problem of understanding the economic and environmental impact of Connecticut’s Nitrogen Credit Exchange Program (CT NCT program) – the nation’s most significant water quality trading program so far


  • Shelley White, research focuses on the intersections of health and policy, inequalities, and political economy

Political Science & International Relations

  • Catherine Paden, research examines the impact of local civil rights and economic justice organizing on national policy and interest group priorities
  • Aaron Rosenthal, research in American politics, with particular specializations in public policy, race and politics, state and local politics, political inequality, political behavior, and qualitative methods
  • Lena Zuckerwise, research on politics of race in the United States; anti-Black racism; contemporary democratic theory