School of public health

School Notes: School of Public Health
January/February 2024

Megan L. Ranney |

FreshAir wristband highlights Yale innovation

Associate Professor Krystal Pollitt credits Yale’s robust network for innovation and entrepreneurship with helping her create the FreshAir wristband, a wearable device that detects air pollution. The device, which passively collects samples using a special polymer membrane tucked inside a small plastic case, has allowed Pollitt to better measure individual exposure to environmental contaminants. Pollitt says Yale’s supportive culture of innovation and entrepreneurship was instrumental in helping her bring the concept to fruition. “Yale is a really fantastic hub of people to collaborate with and it’s allowed me to work with people from engineering to public health, medicine, and architecture, to develop this concept of exposure assessments,” Pollitt said. “Overall, it’s been a fantastic spot for coming up with innovative ideas and moving this whole concept to reality.”

Professor Marney White—a mom on a mission

In addition to being a professor of public health, clinical psychologist, and former YSPH Teacher of the Year, Marney White is a mom on a mission or, more precisely, she’s a Mombie. The Mombies, for the uninitiated, are a group of Fairfield, Connecticut, moms who have been dressing up like zombies every Halloween season since 2016 to raise money for metastatic breast cancer research through the Cancer Couch Foundation. The Mombies’ “dance-to-donate” flash mobs, in which they recreate Michael Jackson’s famous Thriller video complete with dramatic make-up and costumes, pop up annually around the state and have been viewed by millions on video. To date, the Mombies have raised over $170,000. Now that’s something to dance about!   

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