Read our Q&A to get to know Kristen Daskilewicz, MPH, project manager for the PEACH Lab.
What projects are you working on right now?
The PEACH Lab is currently implementing three R01 grants from the National Institutes of Health. COVID-19 has been a big challenge, as our grants involve extensive fieldwork. While these circumstances are deeply unfortunate, it’s been exciting to see the creative methods our team has come up with to continue our work safely in this “new normal.” We are currently gearing up to transform our Food Pantry project to involve a contactless food delivery component. This will help our research participants, the majority of whom are older adults, access food in a safe way, while also ensuring our research project can continue to collect meaningful data.
What do you find rewarding about your work?
Hands down, the most rewarding part of my job is working with the incredible PEACH Lab team. I’m inspired every day by this group of smart and hard-working people, who continue to impress me seven months in. In particular, I enjoy troubleshooting project challenges with our research coordinators and assistants. I’m also deeply grateful for the leadership provided by Drs. Christina Roberto and Laura Gibson, who are so dedicated to the professional growth of our team members and producing innovative science.
How did you get interested in the field of the psychology of eating/consumer health?
Joining the PEACH Lab was a happy accident. I spent the first decade of my career in sexual and reproductive health and justice, the majority of which was spent abroad. When I applied for this position, the system showed only a generic project manager position – I wasn’t sure which department I was applying to, and was pleasantly surprised to be contacted by the PEACH Lab. After interviewing for the position, what drew me to wanting to work with the PEACH Lab was Christina’s dedication to strategic science, which resonated with my past work at the University of Cape Town in engaged scholarship and generating research to inform policy.