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Graduate School > Spotlights > Student Spotli1ght: Emily K. Dalton
Student Spotlight: Emily K. Dalton
May 20, 2019
Emily Dalton is a master of public health student from
Austin, Texas. After earning her bachelor's degree in
environmental science and policy from St. Edward's
University, she chose to pursue interdisciplinary work at
What is your area of research?
My ongoing research, titled "The Centrifuge of Tech &
Textile Recycling", explores the environmental
ramifications of two ubiquitous contemporary controversies: the increasing obsolescence of
electronics and the "fast fashion" phenomenon. Post consumer electronics and textiles are among
the top commodities donated but continue to comprise a significant amount of domestic landfill
capacity. Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach, this investigation revealed that despite sharing
similar upstream factors which contribute to their short life cycles, the two commodities had
dramatically different impacts within the U.S. and abroad.
What does it mean to you to be a McNair Scholar?
Upon acceptance, I failed to comprehend what being a McNair Scholar entailed, and how their endorsement of
me as an individual and scholar would enable me to traverse areas of academia I had never even imagined.
Before McNair, I held preconceived notions that only "smart" people couldconduct research, now I've been
published three times.
''.A.lways McNair" is a message that continues to resonate with me as a first gen, latinx student navigating the
world of higher education. While adversity does not end at admission, the support of my McNair director and
mentor will always be there.
What does your work for the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) Think Tank include?
It's amazing what one can do when they are immersed in their work with a dynamic and supportive team.
Under the guidance of Dr. Morabia, the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Public Health, the 2019
cohort has exceeded expectations in all aspects of our work.
In less than 10 weeks, we created and implemented a rapid rebranding initiative, implemented new social
media marketing strategies to diversify our target audience, and co-authored an editorial that will be featured in
the monthlyjournal, all while also consulting with the editor-in-chief for the design and syndication of the
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What does it mean to you to have been selected for this opportunity?
As one of six graduate students selected across the U.S., I was not only flattered but flabbergasted. I wasn't
sure what it meant, and considering how fast we move I still can't. As an auxiliary of the AJPH, we serve as
journalists from all facets of public health to provide the authentic insight of the youth.
However, the best and least glamorous part is that I spend my days talking to other grad students who share
the same struggles as well as general interests. Even more surprisingly, we support one another as actual
friends as well as colleagues. To be a part of a group with such diversity in thought, drive, and desire for
discourse has been the most enriching experience of grad school.
What are your hobbies or interests outside of your research or scholarship?
Outside of academics I teach myself skills and connect with potentialcollaborators via my professional twitter:
@EmilyK_Dalton. I am a self-taught web developer, designer, and DJ. I also offer design research services and
advisement at emilykdalton.com.
Why did you choose Cornell to pursue your degree?
As an individual who refuses to be siloed, I wanted to diversify my educational background in environmental
science and policy by pursuing a degree focused on population health.