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Kayla M. Anderson, M.Ed.

Doctoral Candidate, Community Research & Action, Department of Human and Organizational Development

Kayla Anderson is a 5th year doctoral candidate in the Community Research and Action program at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Whitworth University (2013) and her Master’s in Education in Community Development and Action from Vanderbilt University (2020). Kayla has been a member of the Drinking Water Justice Lab since the Fall of 2018 and currently works on multiple projects within the lab, including mentoring and assisting undergraduate research assistants in R and GIS.

Kayla’s research is grounded in theories of environmental justice and community power and empowerment. She uses community-engaged participatory action research methods and geospatial analysis to study and address issues pertaining to equity within the built, natural, and social environments. Kayla is particularly interested in studying how communities utilize collective action to address environmental inequities.

Outside of the DWJL, Kayla also works as a co-PI and co-facilitator of the Nashville Youth Design Team, a youth participatory action research project that engages high school students in a paid year-round internship that uses design thinking and research methods to understand and address youth-oriented challenges in the built environment.

DWJL Projects

  • CWS ESAB Environmental Justice Mapping
  • National CWS ESAB Database Development
  • Public Water Operator Survey

Other Projects

  • Grundy County Cancer Research Organization– Community-Engaged Research Partnership
    • Collective Action Around Environmental Health in Grundy County, TN
  • Nashville Youth Design Team: YPAR