SCI Welcomes Dr. Peg Barratt
SCI is thrilled to announce that Dr. Peg Barratt joined the SCI Board of Directors in January 2019. Dr. Barratt brings an array of experience and talents to strengthen SCI’s advocacy and capacity building efforts.
Dr. Barratt is currently a professor of Applied Social Psychology at George Washington University (GW) in Washington, DC, USA. Dr. Barratt includes solar cooking in her courses and strongly believes that the social psychology of behavior change is critical in spreading the use of solar cookers. She is an avid traveler and has promoted the use of solar cookers in Cameroon, Japan and the Gambia. Peg made her first solar cooker with her son in 2006 and helped with his solar cooking science project. She attended the 2014 Solar Cookers International World Conference in Sacramento and has collaborated on solar cooking projects with long-time SCI volunteer Afzal Syed who she met at that conference. Dr. Barratt also demonstrated solar cooking and drying on Cable TV’s “Emerald Planet.”
Dr. Barratt states, “I am compelled to join the SCI board because solar cooking is a simple and sustainable solution to many issues that are dear to my heart. As a researcher and advocate for women and their families, solar cooking appeals to me since it increases their safety and protects their health. Solar cooking provides an opportunity for women to become economically self-sufficient and girls to attend school. Solar cooking has a role in emergency preparedness and of course is good for the environment. Can I save the planet and its inhabitants all at once? Maybe not, but solar cooking can make a difference for the world’s neediest.”
Dr. Barratt served as a faculty member teaching psychology courses with the Institute for Shipboard Education and the University of Virginia’s program Semester at Sea. This drew upon her considerable international travel, cross-cultural research, and three long term stays in Japan, beginning in 1988. Peg was also a Visiting Researcher and United States Fulbright Scholar to the Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies at Kyoto University in Japan. She and a colleague from Cameroon built solar cookers and gave a seminar on solar cooking to colleagues who worked in Asian and African development. As a developmental psychologist specializing in the area of parent-child interaction with a focus on naturalistic field work, she studied the decisions mothers make for their infants. Dr. Barratt’s interest in the development and well-being of children supports SCI’s efforts to protect the health of families around the globe.
Dr. Barratt was the Dean of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences at GW and she has a broad administrative background in both the higher education and government sectors. She served in leadership positions at the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and Michigan State University, where she was the director of the Institute for Children, Youth and Families. Dr. Barratt brings extensive experience receiving grant funding, awarding funding and grant writing; all of which will help SCI increase its impact. For nineteen years, she was a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and served as department chair. During her tenure at Wisconsin–Madison, she was honored with a Distinguished Teaching Award.
When not teaching, Dr. Barratt travels, hikes, kayaks, runs, makes jewelry and welds.