The Swetland Center is excited to welcome three new Faculty Affiliates to the team. Read more about Maeve MacMurdo, Francisca García-Cobián Richter, and Miranda Leppla below.
Maeve MacMurdo is a Clinical Associate at the Respiratory Institute of the Cleveland Clinic. As a clinician, her work focuses on the diagnosis and management of patients with occupational and environmental lung disease. She is working to expand access to respiratory care for patients with occupational pneumoconiosis, specifically silicosis, coal workers pneumoconiosis and chronic beryllium disease.
As a researcher, her primary focus is the impact of air pollution exposure on respiratory health in vulnerable communities and at risk worker groups. Her work integrates traditional spatial epidemiology approaches with patient centered research approaches to better understand the interaction between individuals, their exposures and their environment. She has previously worked to quantify the air pollution exposure experienced by individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness. Her current research aims to quantify the impact of agricultural air pollution and pesticide exposure on the health of workers and rural residents.
Francisca García-Cobián Richter is a Research Associate Professor at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University.
Francisca’s research focuses on the analysis of social interventions within the environments in which they operate and their effects on the health and wellbeing of low-income communities. Her research intersects environmental health mainly in the areas of housing stability, housing quality and lead exposure. Her recent work on homelessness and evictions uses administrative data linked across several health and human service agencies within a county to analyze social interventions that address extreme housing instability. Francisca is also part of a research team supporting the Cleveland Lead Safe Coalition’s efforts to ensure all rental units in Cleveland are lead safe.
Another ongoing project looks at the use of integrated administrative data to identify inequities in water affordability and guide positive change in consumer affordability programs to reduce disparities. Francisca also collaborates with a community organization in her native Peru, piloting a model of sustainable community health promotion against tuberculosis.
Francisca has led the development of a class on Social Data Analysis and Racism and a certificate program in Data Sciences for Social Impact at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, in collaboration with the school of Engineering. This program aims to empower social-justice minded professionals with the tools to navigate and influence data-driven solutions in social welfare and policy. The program prepares students to incorporate community expert knowledge into tool design and implementation, understand how discrimination may be expressed in the data, and work collaboratively to harness the use of data for positive social impact.
Miranda Leppla is the Director and Lead Instructor at the Environmental Law Clinic of Case Western Reserve University School of Law. She joined the School of Law faculty to lead creation of the new Environmental Law Clinic – the first of its kind in Ohio – which is set to open its doors in the Fall of 2022. The interdisciplinary clinic will address environmental and energy justice legal and policy issues on behalf of individual clients and organizations, including environmental groups, nonprofits and community organizations.
Her research interests lie in environmental and energy law; environmental and energy justice; energy democracy; climate change governance, legislation and litigation; energy regulatory policy and electricity markets; sustainable, accessible, and carbon-free transit; and energy facility siting, laws and regulations.