Tyra Pendergrass, MEM

Tyra Pendergrass Bio ImageTyra M. Pendergrass brings a diverse educational background and unique work experiences to the play2PREVENT team. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Howard University and her Masters of Environmental Management from Yale University. While at Yale, Tyra was able to employ her research expertise to address issues of food access in New Haven. She helped to design a research project to assess local perceptions regarding access to healthy foods in the city. The results from this research helped to guide the development of a social marketing campaign to increase awareness about fresh foods targeted at specific neighborhoods in the city where access was scarce. In her position as Community Outreach and Engagement Specialist for a national children’s environmental health study, she was responsible for establishing and maintaining community partnerships to aid in recruitment efforts and assist in maintaining a community presence. She identified and maintained partnerships with over 50 community organizations throughout New Haven County. Tyra is also a 2013 Connecticut Health Foundation Health Leader Fellow. The fellowship program is targeted towards individuals from all career paths who want to have an impact on the issue of health equity, as well as access to professional and community-based opportunities to implement change. Through the fellowship, she completed a team project that focused on practically connecting communities and policy makers to enact system level change with regards to health equity. She has also worked with children in a multitude of capacities; previously serving as assistant director for an afterschool program, coordinator and assistant director for an environmental summer camp, and serving as a mentor through the Big Brother, Big Sister Program.