Kayleigh Ward

Kayleigh Ward received her Dual PhD from the Department of Sociology and Environmental Science and Policy at Michigan State University.  Her sociological research investigates how rural post-disaster communities handle and address co-evolving issues of depopulation, deprivation, labor issues, and aging. Kayleigh is most active in Japan, having worked with NGOs, NPOs, and CSOs in Miyagi prefecture for seven years to create community-partnered programs to address social problems following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. She promotes meeting the needs of local partners and residents through projects that center local knowledges to create community-specified and context-specific solutions.

Her environmental science and policy research investigates the connections between national and local government disaster management policies and their influence on natural resources, social infrastructure, and economic development. Her recent work helps to improve our understanding of rural issues, especially those underpinned by regional and demographic crises, to increase and support community resiliency, flexibility, sustainability, and quality of well-being.

Associated certifications:

MSU onGEO Professional GIS certificate (Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences)

MSU Community Engagement Certification (University Outreach and Engagement)

Postdoctoral research associate Social Science and Environmental Health Research Institute Northeastern University

PhD Sociology and Environmental Science and Policy 2022 Michigan State University

MA Sociology 2018 Michigan State University

BA Sociology and English 2016 University of San Diego