UA SRP Project Manager Receives Community Engagement Award

As project manager for the Metals Exposure Study in Homes in Dewey-Humboldt, AZ, Nathan Lothrop was the project’s “face to the public.” He worked with community members, local field technicians, students, government partners, and academics to take the study from start (door-to-door recruiting) to finish (personalized results packets for all participants).

To honor Lothrop’s contributions to community-engaged research, his mentor, UA SRP’s Dr. Paloma Beamer, nominated him for the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health’s annual Excellence in Community-Engaged Scholarship and Practice Award, which is typically awarded to a faculty member. A number of colleagues wrote letters of support. His award notice noted that his selection by the award committee was unanimous, and that Lothrop “is truly a community engaged scholar who is making a real difference” and “an ambassador for our College exemplifying our commitment to community engagement.”

Beamer surprised Lothrop by announcing the award at a Dewey-Humboldt Community Advisory Board meeting in May, and read an excerpt from one of the supporting letters. Rose Eitemiller, CEO of the Community Coalition of Dewey Humboldt, and a field technician on the project, wrote of Lothrop, “His care and concern for our community was truly apparent.  It felt as though at times that he had a magic wand…  I have been nothing but impressed with the outpouring of concern that the U of A and its constituents have shown to our little town.  However I am grateful to people like Nathan Lothrop who take the time and put forth the effort to show that communities like ours do matter.”

The honor was announced at the 2015 Commencement ceremonies, and Lothrop received a certificate and cash award. Soon after, Lothrop was accepted to the College of Public Health PhD program in Environmental Health Science. He helped Dr. Beamer obtain a pilot project funded by the BIO5 Institute and the NIEHS-Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center to develop a land-use regression model for air quality in the Tucson basin that will form the basis for his dissertation.

Keep up the great work, Nate!