Past Awardee

Using Wearable Sensors and Affective Diaries to Document How Violence Affects Public Life and Public Health

Ruby Mendenhall
Ruby Mendenhall

College: Liberal Arts and Sciences
Award year: 2017-2018

This study seeks to examine the physiological effects of exposure to nearby gun crimes such as shootings as a way to document the public life and health of African American (AA) mothers. We seek to gather physiological data from AA mothers using wrist-worn wearable biosensors as well as their physical movements as collected by their smartphone's GPS. We will collect real-time crime data from the City of Chicago, particularly the ShotSpotter cameras in Englewood/Chicago that record the specific time and location of gunshot activity. We will use these datasets to assess the feasibility of detecting the short-and long-term impacts of nearby gun crimes on the health and well-being of AA mothers. Our final product will be the development of an affective diary platform that will be used to document how violence affects public life and health in the "hidden America." These diaries will include unique visualizations of the data and will be used as a tool to empower AA mothers to communicate how exposure to community violence affects their health in order to organize around changes in health and public policy more broadly.