Watkins is a scholar of public affairs whose work aims to illuminate social and structural barriers that individuals face in achieving their full health potential in order to inform efforts that promote health equity. Her current work investigates patterns of tobacco initiation, product change, and cessation among youth and young adults, with a particular focus on the role of additive flavors in tobacco initiation, use, and tobacco-related health disparities. Another thread of research has focused on urban environments, particularly understanding social and environmental impacts of citizen engagement in caring for urban environmental resources and evaluating evidence, determinants, and outcomes of urban forest inequity. She approaches her research with an interdisciplinary lens and employs a variety of methodological approaches, including econometric techniques, meta-analysis, spatial analysis, and qualitative methods. A core component of her research program is engagement with public and policy stakeholders and public dissemination of her work.
Assistant professor of community and behavioral health
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