By Kristi Henderson

May 25, 2022

Several UConn faculty, staff, and students are being honored for their work benefitting citizens and communities as recipients of the annual Provost’s Awards for Excellence in Community Engaged Scholarship.

The awards recognize scholarly activities led by members of the UConn community that are in collaboration with local, regional/state, national, or global communities to create conditions for the public good, culminating in sustainable change and dissemination of these activities. These activities integrate community service with research, creative work, and teaching.

The awardees for 2022 are as follows:

Faculty Research, Emerging: Kristen Cooksey Stowers

Kristen Cooksey Stowers is an assistant professor in the Department of Allied Health Sciences and is a member of the UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Health team. Cooksey Stowers has helped create more equitable food systems in Hartford and beyond, through community-based participatory research in the North Harford Promise Zone and the communication of her findings to both scientific and lay audiences. She uses innovative, interdisciplinary approaches to improve the macro-and micro-level food environments. Her ultimate goal is to dismantle structural racism in the food system and prevent disproportionate health risks among historically marginalized populations. She conducts community-engaged and mixed methods research to examine the impact of food swamp environments on racial, geographic and socioeconomic disparities in diet-related health outcomes; the potential of inclusive public policy processes (e.g., zoning) to prevent disparities in diet-related health status regardless of racial/ethnic minority and citizenship status; and the influence of micro-level food environments on health risks in food-insecure populations, communities of color, and other historically marginalized groups.