WROC Co-Director: Corey Denenberg Dehner

cdehner-igsdCorey Denenberg Dehner is an associate teaching professor in the Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division and Director of the Worcester Community Project Center. A public interest lawyer in her previous life, Corey was drawn to academia by its capacity to help facilitate attitudinal changes both on campus and off.

Corey thrives on the energy of students fully engaged in a project with eyes wide open. While the IQP experience and community based research is largely intended to benefit the student researcher and community sponsor, Corey is delighted for the inevitable education she will receive as well. A successful student/teacher relationship results in students who realize their own capacity to be leaders on environmental or social issues and have an ignited desire to work toward social change. She enjoys teaching courses on community engagement, environmental justice, environmental law and policy and constitutional law.

Corey has worked with numerous governmental and not-for-profit organizations on development of drinking water, environmental justice and dam removal policies within the state. She has worked with over 50 municipalities to assess the impact of private sector participation in public drinking water on cost to the consumer and levels of regulatory compliance. Corey plans to continue working with public drinking water utilities to address infrastructure needs and transparency of private utilities.

Future research interests include working with local organizations and student teams to assess exposure rates of low-income and minority communities in Worcester to ecological hazards.

Corey is a board member of the Massachusetts Watershed CoalitionNortheastern Environmental Justice Research Collaborative, the American Bar Association’s Environment, Energy and Resources Section and an editorial member of the Capitalism, Nature, Socialism Journal.

Research Interests

  • Public Drinking Water Policy
  • Using Coalitions to tackle Water Resource Challenges
  • Differential exposures to environmental hazards
  • Community Engagement
  • Environmental Justice
  • Environmental Policy


  • BA, University of Colorado, Boulder, 1997
  • JD, Boston College Law School, 2001
  • PhD, Northeastern University, 2009

Professional Highlights

  • Recipient of the 2012 Journal Award of Special Recognition from the New England Water Works Association (NEWWA) for extraordinary preparation, research, analysis and presentation of information in her article, ‘Private Sector Involvement in Public Water Distribution: Assessing Local Water Systems in Massachusetts’
  • Summer 2011, National Science Foundation funded Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Northeastern University
  • 2006-2007, Nominated for University Excellence in Teaching Award, Northeastern University
  • 2000, David H. and Mary Murphy Posner Law Scholarship for commitment to Public Interest Work, Boston College Law School

Featured Publications

  • C. Dehner. Private Sector Involvement in Public Water Distribution: Assessing Local Water Systems in Massachusetts. Journal of the New England Water Works Association. March 2011.
  • C. Dehner and C. Bosso. State Regulation of Nanotechnology and Possibilities for Governance under Existing State Legal Authority. (Anticipated Summer 2012)