COSSPP Student Spotlight: Rebekah Carpenter

Rebekah Carpenter – a third-year doctoral candidate in sociology – published the most refined set of measures about job characteristics and work environments linked to U.S. Census data.

Headshot of Rebekah Carpenter wearing a black blouse with her hair pulled away from her face.
Rebekah Carpenter

Carpenter worked with FSU Associate Professor of Sociology Dawn Carr, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Michigan on this Census-O*NET Data Linkage Project. This project allows researchers to easily leverage detailed data about U.S. jobs and work environments, for population-based surveys.

Carpenter, lead author of the datasets, “Census 2010 Occupation Code-Occupational Information Network (O*NET) 26.1 Data,” was responsible for the complex data coding process, which was key to the completion of the project.

“Throughout this project, I’ve gained invaluable research and statistical experience collaborating with Dr. Carr and our colleagues at the University of Michigan,” Carpenter said. “I believe this project will help researchers better understand how important aspects of work, like work environments, affect people’s lives.”

Dr. Carr, Director of the Claude Pepper Center and Faculty Associate with the Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy, commented about the potential this has project to make significant impacts across a variety of research fields.

“Researchers will now be able to more effectively evaluate important issues like factors that shape equitable work environments and the role of work environments in shaping later-life health and wellbeing,” Dr. Carr said.

She also played a leading role in presenting the first workshop explaining the benefits and potential uses of Census-O*NET data to scholars studying older workers at the Gerontological Society of America 2022 Annual Meeting. Carpenter presented the workshop with Dr. Carr; Qiuchang (Katy) Cao, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Scholar with the Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy; and Amanda Sonnega, Ph.D., with the University of Michigan.

In addition to this project, Carpenter is also the lead author for already linked Census-O*NET data released for use with the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a major longitudinal study of adults over age 50 in the United States.

Carpenter plans to graduate in the spring of 2025 and hopes to pursue a career in academia and continue developing her research after graduation.