February 16, 2021
Susan Shaw, Associate Professor of Health Promotion and Policy and director of the UMass Amherst Center for Community Health Equity Research (CCHER), has been named a 2021 Public Engagement Faculty Fellow by the Public Engagement Project (PEP) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is among the seven UMass faculty members from across seven departments and six colleges who will draw on their substantial research records to impact policy, the work of practitioners and public debates.
Faculty fellows receive a stipend and technical training in communicating with non-academic audiences. The PEP Fellows Program facilitates connections between fellows and lawmakers on Beacon Hill and in the U.S. Congress, journalists, practitioners and others to share their research beyond the walls of academia. This is the eighth cohort of Public Engagement Faculty Fellows.
Shaw examines how low-income and minority patients think and feel about their chronic disease medications, and what shapes their adherence. With the PEP Fellowship, Shaw will develop a webpage and other content for CCHER to advance knowledge and understanding of health equity.
“Now more than ever the public wants and needs to hear from academics to make sense of the world around us, to guide decisions, and much more,” said Lisa M. Troy, director of the Public Engagement Project and Associate Professor of Nutrition in the Commonwealth Honors College and the School of Public Health and Health Sciences. “The PEP Fellowship plays a critical role in creating an interdisciplinary network of publicly engaged UMass faculty, developing skills to effectively engage in a public arena, and building relationships to share the high-quality research produced at UMass."
PEP is a faculty-driven initiative building on a collaboration of the Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) and the Center for Research on Families (CRF). The Public Engagement Faculty Fellowship has been made possible by generous funding from the UMass College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Humanities and Fine Arts, College of Natural Sciences, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, School of Public Health and Health Sciences, Office of the Provost and University Relations, as well as the collaborating centers and institutes.