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Sharon Tennyson wins Atkinson fellowship for disaster work

Sharon Tennyson headshot

Sharon Tennyson, professor of policy analysis and management and coordinator of the Einaudi Center's Working Group on Disasters, has received a faculty fellowship for the social sciences, humanities, and the arts from Cornell's David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. 

The in-residence fellowship, which covers spring semester 2019, provides Tennyson with teaching leave and a small research budget, as well as opportunities to engage with a broad, interdisciplinary audience on and off campus, according to the Atkinson Center's announcement.

Fellowships are intended to encourage recipients to pursue "transdisciplinary dialogue" with collaborators beyond the university, including social movements, NGOs, or local communities. 

Tennyson's work is described on the center's website:

"Climate change and natural disasters are receiving increased attention in the public policy community, as is the recognition that disasters result from the interplay of human and environmental factors. Yet there remain questions about how to develop public policy solutions to achieve sustainability in the face of growing economic and social costs of disasters. Tennyson is collaborating with social and behavioral scientists and engineers to improve individual and collective responses to disasters by enhancing understanding of the social, behavioral, and economic aspects of disaster risk, preparedness, and recovery."

Tennyson is a core faculty member of the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA), and Director of Graduate Studies for the field of Public Affairs. She is a member of the advisory committee of Cornell's Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies.

An economist by training, Tennyson focuses on the impact of laws and government regulations on the wellbeing of consumers in markets. Much of her work has studied insurance markets, but she has also written on the regulation of credit cards, prescription drugs, and airlines.

From 2014-2017 Tennyson served as director of CIPA, and from 2012-2017 she was editor of the Journal of Consumer Affairs, She is a former president of the Risk Theory Society, and began her career as an assistant professor in the Department of Insurance and Risk Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.