Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research
Junior Faculty RFAs
Peter A. Lichtenberg
Director, Institute of Gerontology and Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute
Distinguished Service Professor, Wayne State University
B.A., Washington University in St. Louis,
M.S. in Clinical Psychology, Purdue University
PhD in Clinical Psychology, Purdue University
More about Peter A. Lichtenberg
the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute. He is also a Professor of Psychology at Wayne
State University. He received his bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St.
Louis, and his Master’s and doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Purdue University.
After his internship he completed a post doctoral fellowship in geriatric neuropsychology at the University of Virginia Medical School where he also became a faculty member. A clinician and researcher throughout his career Dr. Lichtenberg, one of the first board certified Clinical Geropsychologists in the nation, has made contributions to the practice of psychology across a variety of areas including in Alzheimer’s disease, medical rehabilitation and with those suffering from late life depression. He is particularly interested in the area of intersection between financial capacity and financial exploitation; finding ways to balance autonomy and protection for older adults. His work in this area led him to be a contributor to the 2008 Assessment of Diminished Capacity of Older Adults: A Handbook for Psychologists published jointly by the American Bar and American Psychological Associations. In 2013 he published the first nationally representative study on predictors of older adult scam victims. In 2015 he published the Lichtenberg Financial Decision Making Rating Scale, and the Lichtenberg Financial Decision Screening Scale, and has contributed several empirical studies on the scales since then. These tools can be used to assess major financial decisions and/or transactions of older adults. He has authored 7 books and over 180 scientific articles in
Geropsychology including being the senior editor for the American Psychological
Association’s Handbook of Clinical Geropsychology.
Co-Director, Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health
Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Michigan
Faculty Affiliate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan
Post-doctoral fellow, Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholars, University of Michigan
Ph.D., Mental Health, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
B.S., Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh
BPhil History & Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh
More about Briana Mezuk
Dr. Mezuk is the Co-Director of the Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health (CSEPH) and an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She is also a Co-Director of the Analysis Core of the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR). Her research program uses epidemiologic methods to examine the interrelationships between mental and physical health in later life, with a focus on depression and disorders of metabolism such as frailty and type 2 diabetes. She also conducts research on how stress and health behaviors intersect to shape racial/ethnic differences and disparities in mental and physical health. The goal of this work is to inform interventions that reflect an integrative approach to improve the mental health of older adults.
Tam Elisabeth Perry
Associate Professor, School of Social Work, Institute of Gerontology, Wayne State University
Research Center for Group Dynamics, University of Michigan Institute for Social Research
M.S.S.W, 1998, Administration and Planning, The University of Texas
M.A., 2007, Anthropology, The University of Michigan
Ph.D., 2012, Social Work and Anthropology, The University of Michigan
More about Tam Elisabeth Perry
Dr. Tam E. Perry is an associate professor at Wayne State University School of Social Work. Her research addresses urban aging from a life course perspective, focusing on how underserved older adults navigate their social and built environments in times of instability and change. She conducts translational research projects that address older adults’ well-being in urban communities such as the Flint water crisis, and older adults experiences of gentrification in Detroit, particularly examining the relationship of older adults to their homes. She is also active in interdisciplinary research including teaching the Social Work and Anthropology Integrative Seminar at Wayne State University, and a founding executive member of the Scholars Across Social Work and Anthropology (SASW).
She is a principal investigator of a project entitled, “Older Adults’ Experiences and Understandings of the Flint Water Crisis,” which focuses on the intersection between housing and health. This project received the Betty J. Cleckley Minority Issues Research Award from the Aging and Public Health Section of American Public Health Association for this research. She also serves as research chair and vice-chair of strategic planning of a multi-agency coalition, Senior Housing Preservation-Detroit. Two of her current projects are “Navigating Time and Space: Experiences of Aging with Hemophilia” funded by the National Hemophilia Foundation and “Experiences of Belonging: Assessing Vulnerabilities of Older Detroiters Within Changing Urban Environments” funded by the Wayne State University’s Healthy Urban Waters program. She has recently been selected to be a fellow in the Gerontological Society of America and currently serves as president of the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGESW).
Robert J. Taylor
Harold R Johnson and Sheila Feld Collegiate Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work, University of Michigan
Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics
B.A., Sociology, 1974, Northwestern University
M.S.W., 1976, University of Michigan
Ph.D., Social Work and Sociology, 1983, University of Michigan
More about Robert J. Taylor
Kent D. Key
Co-Director, Youth Advising Council for the Pediatric Public Health Initiative
Ph.D., 2014, Public Health, Walden University
M.P.H., 2010 Walden University, 2010
B.A., 2005, Business Administration, University of Michigan Flint
More about Kent D. Key
I am a Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities Researcher specializing in Community Engaged Research (CEnR) approaches. I have an extensive background in community engaged research that spans over the past fifteen years in the city of Flint. My research interests include: racial and ethnic health disparities research, workforce development, health equity and community based participatory research. I am an expert in building equitable relationships between community and academic partners for health research and elevating community-identified health priorities to the research enterprise. I work to ensure the cultural competence, cultural appropriateness, and cultural translation findings are embedded in the structure and design of research projects. I will help to engage minority populations in Flint who may not traditionally engage in research due to historical and cultural apprehensions. As a liaison bridging both academia and community together to create ethical and equitable collaborative relationships in research, I am the founder of the Community Ethics Review Board in Flint, Michigan and a founding Co-Director for the Healthy Flint Research Coordinating Center. I am a 2017 Fellow for the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leaders Program.
James W. McNally
BA in Anthropology from the University of Maryland, College Park
MA in Demography from Georgetown University, Washington, DC
Ph.D. in Demography and Gerontology from Brown University, Providence, RI
More about James McNally
James McNally is the Director of the NACDA Program on Aging, which contains a data archive containing over 1,500 studies related to health and the aging lifecourse. Trained initially in Forensic Anthropology at the University of Maryland and then formal demography at Georgetown University, Dr. McNally developed an interest in gerontology while at Brown University and in policy application of demographic data while at Syracuse University’s Center for Policy Research. McNally has directed the NACDA Program on Aging since 1998, significantly increasing the holdings of the data repository with a growing collection of seminal studies on the aging lifecourse, health, retirement, and international aspects of aging. In addition to lifecourse research, he has spent much of his career addressing methodological issues with a focus on specialized application of incomplete or deficient data, the enhancement of secondary data for research applications, and the safe distribution of health information and clinical data.
B.A., Psychology, 2005, Ohio State University
M.S.W., Social Work, University of Tennessee Health
Ph.D., Social Work, 2010, Ohio State University
More about Jamie Mitchell
PhD, Wayne State University, 2010
MBA, Wayne State University, 2002
BS, Lebanese American University, 1999
More about Wassim Tarraf
Dr. Tarraf is a gerontologist, methodologist, health services researcher, and policy analyst. His research evaluates disparities in health, health behavior, and healthcare access and use among race/ethnic minorities in the United States, and investigates the social determinants of health and healthcare. His work relies primarily on analyses of large complex data sets. Currently, he is an affiliated investigator on the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL), the largest epidemiological study of diverse Hispanic/Latinos in the US. He is the director of analytics for the SOL-INCA Lab, which is a joint lab (WSU/UCSD) with members located at Wayne State’s Institute of Gerontology and the University of California, San Diego, Department of Neurosciences. Through SOL-INCA he is the site Principal Investigator (Statistical Analyses Core) and lead biostatistician on three NIA-funded (R01) ancillary studies focused on cognitive aging and ADRD risk factors among Latinos, and two exploratory (R21) grants funded by NIA and NHLBI to examine sleep as a risk factor for unhealthy aging among Latinos. Additionally, he is the Analysis Core co-leader for the NIA-funded Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR) and a faculty affiliate with the Michigan Center for Contextual Factors in Alzheimer’s Disease (MCCFAD). These two Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research are primarily focused on training the next generation of researchers in minority health and enhancing the diversity of the aging research community. His research career has been devoted to the analyses of population health data with a particular focus on minority populations, evaluating disparities in health, cognitive function, health behaviors, and use of healthcare among race/ethnic minorities in the US, and investigating the social determinants of health and healthcare use among minorities.
Professor, School of Social Work, Michigan State University
PhD, Social Work, and Sociology, University of Michigan
AM, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago
More about Amanda Woodward
R. Khari Brown
B.A., Sociology, 1998, Wayne State University
MSW, Social Work, 2001, University of Michigan
Ph.D., Sociology, 2004, University of Michigan
More about R. Khari Brown
James S. Jackson
Research Professor, Research Center for Group Dynamics
Daniel Katz Distinguished University Professor of Psychology
University of Michigan
M.A., Psychology, 1970, University of Toledo
Ph.D., Social Psychology, 1972, Wayne State University
More about James Jackson
Research efforts include conducting national and international surveys of black populations focusing on racial and ethnic influences on life course development, attitude change, reciprocity, social support, physical and mental health and coping. Jackson is currently principal investigator of one of the most extensive social, political, economic, and mental and physical health studies of the African American and Caribbean populations ever conducted, “The National Survey of American Life” and the “The Family Survey across Generations and Nations,” and the “National Study of Ethnic Pluralism and Politics.” Teaching centers on social factors in health, race and racism, and social exchange and social influences.
Director of Research Initiatives, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University
B.A., Finance, 1978, University of Illinois
M.S.W., 1993, Michigan State University
Ph.D., Social Work, 2009, Michigan State University
More about Joan Ilardo
Dr. Ilardo is the Director of Research Initiatives for the Michigan State University (MSU) College of Human Medicine where she facilitates faculty collaborations in health services research. Her research includes systems of care, especially the intersection of healthcare systems and community-based resources; aging network services; patient-provider partnerships in chronic disease management; and caregiver services and supports. She is active with several statewide and local coalitions that address health disparities and access to services, patient self-management of chronic conditions, and service coordination.
Dr. Ilardo earned a Bachelor’s in Finance from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, a Master’s of Social Work and PhD in Social Work from Michigan State University.