Jennifer Lai


Jennifer Lai


I am a fifth-year doctoral student in the Department of Sociology. My dissertation focuses on the social processes underlying scientific knowledge production on Type 2 diabetes; I am especially interested in identifying environmental factors that have been linked to Type 2 diabetes in medical research, practitioner resources, and among Type 2 diabetes patients. I have been trained in grounded theory, feminist, and participatory action research methods, and have also taken advanced courses in hierarchical linear modeling, structural equation modeling, and textual analysis. Past and current research projects include examining the relationships between trust and information source use among farmers in the Midwestern Corn Belt, advising implementation of groundwater management tools in the context of Michigan agriculture, and identifying mental health impacts from the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

Prior to attending Michigan State University, I served two terms in Washington and in Minnesota as an AmeriCorps service member. I received my B.S. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Purdue University in 2010, and my M.A. in Sociology from Michigan State University in 2016.

Research Areas: Science and technology, medical sociology, environment
Curriculum Vitae: Download
Associated Programs: Gender, Justice, and Environmental Change (GJEC), Environmental Science & Public Policy (ESPP) Modeling