RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.— Triangle Business Journal (TBJ) has recognized Jennifer Hoponick Redmon, senior environmental health scientist and chemical risk assessment specialist at RTI International (RTI), a nonprofit research institute, as a recipient of the 2020 ‘40 Under 40’ outstanding professionals award. The award recognizes individuals in the Triangle area for their contributions to their organizations and the community.
Redmon was honored for her community-engaged environmental research that helps to protect human health and the environment. A mother of three, her interest in protecting child care environments for all children led to breakthrough work on the Clean Water for Carolina Kids pilot study, funded internally by RTI. As child care centers in North Carolina were not required to test for lead in tap water, Redmon, along with a team of cross-disciplinary RTI colleagues, spearheaded the study to characterize the occurrence of lead in water and pioneer a novel citizen-science led approach that empowers administrators as citizen scientists.
“Jennifer’s work at RTI and outside of the organization has helped enforce our mission to improve the human condition,” said Donna Womack, director of health and environmental risk analysis at RTI. “Her efforts and personal commitment to mitigating environmental exposures and risks for children have made a real difference in N.C. and serve as a benchmark for other communities across the country.”
Redmon’s work with cross-sector partnerships has led to critical advancements in reducing early childhood lead exposure in the state of North Carolina. The pilot study findings formed the scientific basis for a new statewide lead testing and mitigation rule in 2019. With a secured federal grant in 2020, the pilot expanded to a statewide program. Notably, the Clean Water for Carolina Kids Program is the first lead-testing program nationally to use citizen scientists, mail-out test kits, and an online enrollment and reporting portal to cover all childcare centers statewide.
Outside of her work and various leadership positions at RTI, Redmon is actively involved in helping to improve the community around her. She has successfully applied for water quality assistance and healthy-play initiative grants in the Triangle to improve the environment and lives of local children. Prior to the onset of COVID-19, she volunteered at child-care centers and elementary schools to talk to children about water quality and healthy eating, and to help local parents with questions about environmental health.
“These winners reflect the entrepreneurial spirit and the economic prowess of the diverse community in which we live and work,” said Jason Christie, publisher of TBJ. “The Triangle is a better place because of the efforts of these honorees. I’m proud to know that the future of this area is in such good hands.”
Redmon’s dual graduate degrees include education in environmental chemistry, toxicology, risk assessment, environmental policy, and natural resource management. She has a strong interdisciplinary background covering a variety of technical areas, including water quality, environmental health, site assessment, and waste management.
The 40 Under 40 Awards recognize outstanding professionals under the age of 40 for their contributions to their organizations and to the community. This year’s class was selected from a pool of about 200 nominations. The prestigious award honors each awardee’s many accomplishments in business as well as contributions to the community.
Previous 40 Under 40 awards recipients from RTI include Felicia Browne (2019), Jamie Jones (2016), Ginger Rothrock (2015), Jennifer Durbin (2014) and Carmen Strigel (2014).