Why Public Engagement?

As citizens and as scholars, we have an interest in today’s debates about public policy, conversations about the state of the world, and imagining a different future. Read more about the Public Engagement Projects' Mission and Vision

Upcoming Events

August 1, 2016, 7:30 p.m.

Wright Hall - Weinstein Auditorium

Bridges to Better Health and Wellness: A culturally-adapted health care manager intervention for Latinos with Serious Mental Illness

The Smith College School for Social Work is pleased to present its Lydia Rapoport Lecture as part of the Public Lecture Series.  In this talk, Dr. Cabassa will present the work of a recently completed collaborative study at a public outpatient mental health clinic in New York City that adapted a health care manager intervention to a new patient population (Hispanics with SMI) and provider group (social workers).

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PEP Fellow Sylvia Brandt comments on a recent study of the long-term impact on health of the 1952 London smog on NPR's Marketplace

PEP Fellow Sylvia Brandt​ was mentioned in an article on the Marketplace on July 08, 2016. She comments on a recent study of the long-term impact on health of the 1952 London smog that lasted five days and is believed responsible for 4,000 deaths at the time. The study focused on asthma and the smog impact on small children under age 1 and even those still in utero. Sylvia Brandt says there are measurable costs to having children with asthma. She says mothers of these children quit the workforce 18 percent of time, costing them earnings and retirement income.

PEP Fellow Nilanjana Dasgupta is interviewed about research on how to overcome the gender gap in science, technology engineering and mathematics jobs

PEP Fellow Nilanjana Dasgupta, psychological and brain sciences, is interviewed in Morning Edition on June 15, 2016 about research on how to overcome the gender gap in science, technology engineering and mathematics jobs. She suggests that women in these fields should work together in teams rather than have their numbers diluted in overwhelmingly male teams. Having female colleagues helps boost confidence and self-esteem, Dasgupta says. 

2015 PEP Fellow, Rebecca Spencer comments in a news story about Sleep’s Roles in Memory and Learning

Fellow 2015, Rebecca Spencer comments in The Scientist, on June 13, 2016. She says a new study that looks at factors such as heart-rate variability during sleep may provide new insights into how sleep and memory are connected. The new study looked at electrical activity in the brain during sleep but also measured variations in heart beats. “There is a good possibility that this additional measure [heart-rate variability] may help account for discrepant findings in sleep-dependent memory consolidation literature,” Spencer says. She also says sleep researchers may be depending too much on sleep physiology from the central nervous system.

Advisory Board's Lisa M. Troy co-authors paper Enhancing Evidence-Based Public Health Policy: Developing and Using Policy Narratives

Advisory Board's Lisa M. Troy, Assistant Professor, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, and Professor of Nutrition, Commonwealth Honors College, University of Massachusetts Amherst co-authors a paper with Dr. Kietzman, Research Scientist, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, and Assistant Researcher, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Department of Community Health Sciences, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, which was published in the Journal of Gerontological Nursing on June 1, 2016. This paper describes the development and use of policy narratives to bridge cultures and enhance evidence-based public health policies that better meet the needs of older adults.

PEP Fellow Stephen Sireci comments in an article "Plan to Rate Teachers based on Test Scores is Under Fire"

Stephen Sireci, College of Education and Center for Educational Assessment, comments in an Globe article (5/31/16) on opposition by teacher unions, school committees and superintendents to a state plan to evaluate teachers by using test scores to measure how much students have learned. One of the authors of a 2014 report that questioned the reliability of test growth measures, Sireci says, “Our research indicates that student growth percentiles are unreliable and should not be used in teacher evaluations. We see a lot of students being misclassified at the classroom level.”

PEP Fellows Visit the Massachusetts State House to Present Their Research to Policymakers

The 2016 Faculty Fellows traveled to Beacon Hill on May 12 to share their research and explore synergies in meetings with 14 state representatives, senators, and other policy leaders.  From left to right: Chris Dunn, Executive Director of Public and Constituent Relations, PEP Fellows Louis F. Graham (Public Health), Miliann Kang (Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies), Ellen J. Pader (Regional Planning), PEP Director, Amy Schalet (Sociology), PEP Fellows R. Thomas Zoeller (Biology) and Stephen G. Sireci (College of Education),