Assistant Professor, Loyola University Chicago, School of Communication
Dr. Raja is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Advocacy and Social Change at Loyola University Chicago. She is an interdisciplinary environmental social scientist interested in the behavioral dimensions of environmental communication, social change, and public engagement on broader environmental issues. She examines best practices around environmental communication and examines new mediums (Virtual Reality in particular) that show potential in capturing the public’s imagination on climate change. Dr. Raja also uses both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to understand how psychological distance—the perception that events, people, experiences, and places are physically or perceptually distant—relates to people’s engagement with climate change.
Dr. Raja has also worked as a humanitarian adviser at the United Nations, as an Environmental Grantmaking Fellow at the Solutions Project, as a Research Analyst and Multimedia Fellow at Climate Central and did a stint at the Pew Research Center and the U.S House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. She has also served as an instructor in Columbia University’s Community Impact initiative, the Harlem Children’s Zone and as a staffer for a New York State Assembly member.
Dr. Raja has also been awarded fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the World Bank, the Pace Center for Civic Engagement at Princeton University, the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources, the Environmental Grantmakers’ Association (EGA), and the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University.
She was also one of 10 recipients nationwide awarded the Katherine S. McCarter Graduate Student Policy Award from the Ecological Society of America (ESA). Dr. Raja’s research has also been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Hill and used by The United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). Originally from Bronx, NY, Dr. Raja is an avid chess player and Yankees fan.