Tyra Pendergrass Boomer, MEM brings a diverse educational background and unique work experiences to the play2PREVENT team. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Howard University and her Masters of Environmental Management from Yale University. During her time at Howard, Tyra conducted research on two species of plants that have the ability to take metal out of the soil, in hopes that they could be used to revitalize contaminated areas.
While at Yale, Tyra was able to employ her research expertise to address issues of food access in New Haven. She helped to design a research project to assess local perceptions regarding access to healthy foods in the city. The results from this research helped to guide the development of a social marketing campaign to increase awareness about fresh foods, targeted at specific neighborhoods in the city where access is scarce. In her position as Community Outreach and Engagement Specialist for a national children’s environmental health study, she was responsible for establishing and maintaining community partnerships to aid in recruitment efforts and assist in maintaining a community presence. She identified and maintained partnerships with over 50 community organizations throughout New Haven County. She has also worked with children in a multitude of capacities; previously serving as assistant director for an after school program, coordinator and assistant director for an environmental summer camp, and serving as a mentor through the Big Brother, Big Sister Program.
In her capacity of Deputy Director for the play2PREVENT Lab at the Yale Center for Health and Learning Games, Tyra is instrumental in building and maintaining community partnerships, overseeing the day to day operations of the lab, and presenting the lab’s research in local, national, and international settings. Tyra was a 2013 Connecticut Health Foundation Health Leader Fellow. She was also a 2018-2019 Advanced Health Science Research Fellow with the Yale School of Medicine.