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Gracie H

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at Stanford University


Global water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH); environmental microbiology; behavior change; environmental science; global public health


My name is Gracie Hornsby and my research interests lie at the intersection of engineering, public health, and behavior change psychology in the field of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). My current research involves evaluating a behavior change intervention and an infrastructure maintenance intervention among students in primary schools in northern India. We hope to determine how effective these interventions are at helping students practice hand washing, using clean toilets, and drinking from safe water sources! Outside of research, I like to spend as much time as possible outside! I like to rock climb, backpack, and trail run. I also have a border collie/golden retriever mix named Bailey who likes to hike and run with me. You can find us cooling off together in any river or lake. Spending time outside also makes me care deeply about protecting the environment so everyone can experience the power of being in nature.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Attitudes towards municipal tap water

Many people have varied feelings about drinking tap water, especially after the events in Flint, Michigan. A student could survey people from all over their city to understand their attitudes towards city tap water. They could also collect some demographic data to see what factors may correlate with different attitudes. Do people in a certain neighborhood think alike? Do people who drink well water have different attitudes about city water? Do women have different attitudes than men? Does family income correlate with attitudes? A student would also learn to develop a good samples frame, design non-biased survey questions, and have the opportunity to analyze local data!

Coding skills

R (proficient, but not expert)

Teaching experience

I served as a teaching assistant for an environmental research design class for first year PhD students at Stanford. I was responsible for hosting office hours to help students design appropriate research methods for their research questions, in addition to giving written feedback on research proposals.


Work experience

Stanford University (2020 - Current)
Research Assistant
North Carolina State University (2018 - 2020)
Research Assistant
Circle of Women for Social Action and Mutual Aid (2018 - 2018)
Engineering Intern


North Carolina State University
BSE Bachelor of Science in Engineering (2020)
Civil Engineering - Water Resources
Stanford University
MSE Master of Science in Engineering (2022)
Environmental Engineering - Human Health & the Environment
Stanford University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Environmental Engineering

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