Spotlight: Shannon Cruz and Emily Pakhtigian

Spotlight: Shannon Cruz and Emily Pakhtigian

Meet Shannon Cruz and Emily Pakhtigian, two panelists at the upcoming Sustainable Environment and Health Panel on November 13th.

Shannon Cruz is an Assistant Professor of Communication, Arts, and Sciences. Her research focuses on determinants, processes, and outcomes of social influence in environmental contexts. Cruz studies how environmental attitudes are shaped by ideological factors and change by social interaction and persuasive messages. Currently, she is researching climate change and conservation, specifically how messages can help bridge the ideological divide on climate change and conservation.

During the panel, Cruz plans to focus on the challenges of communicating about environmental health. She will be sharing some reflections about her personal experiences with community engagement when she was part of the Community Engagement Core (CEC) of Michigan State University’s Superfund Research Center.  Such experiences shaped her views on the importance of talking to people about issues of risk, health, and the environment.

Emily Pakhtigian is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy. Her research focuses on how individuals respond to environmental risks, and the health and human capital impacts of environmental exposures. She is interested in how improving environmental quality, such as reducing air and water pollution, can help to improve human outcomes.

During the panel, Pakhtigian plans to discuss health consequences of air pollution and water-borne disease. Along with this, she will focus on how policy and technology can help to mitigate environmental risks and improve health outcomes.