Junior Faculty RFA

Participant Resource Pool

Faculty

R. Khari Brown

R. Khari BrownAssociate Professor, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences,
Department of Sociology, Wayne State University

B.A., Sociology, 1998, Wayne State University
MSW, Social Work, 2001, University of Michigan
Ph.D., Sociology, 2004, University of Michigan

 kharib@wayne.edu

More about R. Khari Brown
R. Khari Brown, an associate professor of sociology at Wayne State University, is a leading expert of religion and American politics. He is also an adjunct research scientist at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan and a research consultant at the Pew Research Center where he develops national surveys on race, religion, and politics. He serves on the board of the Religious Research Association and the editorial board of the Politics and Religion Journal and the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. His published work examines race differences in how attending worship settings in which clergy and lay persons discuss political matters reinforces beliefs about the American government’s role in addressing; poverty, racism, immigration, criminal justice, and defense issues. This work appears in numerous academic journals and is featured on NPR’s The Academic Minute.

James S. Jackson

James JacksonResearch 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

 jamessj@umich.edu

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.

Peter A. Lichtenberg

Professor, Psychology
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

 p.lichtenberg@wayne.edu

More about Peter A. Lichtenberg
Peter A. Lichtenberg, Ph.D., ABPP is the Director of The Institute of Gerontology and
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.

Briana Mezuk

Briana MezukCo-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

  bmezuk@umich.edu

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

Tam PerryAssociate 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

 teperry@wayne.edu

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

Robert J. TaylorFaculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics
Harold R Johnson and Sheila Feld Collegiate Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work
University of Michigan

B.A., Sociology, 1974, Northwestern University
M.S.W., 1976, University of Michigan
Ph.D., Social Work and Sociology, 1983, University of Michigan

 rjtaylor@umich.edu

More about Robert J. Taylor
Robert Joseph Taylor is the Harold R. Johnson Endowed Professor of Social Work and the Sheila Feld Collegiate Professor of Social Work. He is also the Director of the Program for Research on Black Americans at the Institute for Social Research. Professor Taylor has published extensively on the informal social support networks (i.e., family, friends, and church members) of adult and elderly Black Americans. An article by Thyer in Journal of Social Service Research finds that Robert Joseph Taylor is the #15 most influential social work faculty (out of 2204 faculty) based on H-index. An article by Kimberly Y. Huggins-Hoyt in the journal, Research on Social Work Practice, found that he was the #1 cited African American faculty member in the field of Social Work. Robert Joseph Taylor has been principal investigator of several grants from the National Institute on Aging that examine the role of religion in the lives of Black and White elderly adults. He has been co-principal investigator with James Jackson on several grants from the National Institute of Mental Health on the correlates of mental health and mental illness among Black Americans, including the only major national study of the prevalence of mental illness among Black Americans (The National Survey of American Life). He has edited two books, Family Life in Black America (1997) and Aging in Black America (1993) with James S. Jackson and Linda M. Chatters. He is also the lead author of the book, Religion in the Lives of African Americans: Social, Psychological, and Health Perspectives (2004) with Linda Chatters and Jeff Levin. He is the founding editor of African American Research Perspectives and has reviewed manuscripts for over 60 different journals. To date he has published over 175 peer review journal articles.

Joan Ilardo

Joan IlardoDirector 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

 ilardo@msu.edu

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.

Kent D. Key

Kent D. KeyDirector, Office of Community Scholars and Partnerships, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University
Director, Flint Public Health Youth Academy

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

 keykent@msu.edu

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

James McNallyDirector, NACDA Program on Aging
Research Scientist, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan

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

 jmcnally@umich.edu;

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.

Jamie Mitchell

Jamie MitchellAssistant Professor of Social Work,
University of Michigan

B.A., Psychology, 2005, Ohio State University
M.S.W., Social Work, University of Tennessee Health
Ph.D., Social Work, 2010, Ohio State University

 Mitchj@umich.edu

More about Jamie Mitchell
Dr. Mitchell’s interdisciplinary research examines how patient-centered communication between older African American men, their families and physicians can be leveraged to improve men’s cancer and chronic disease outcomes and patient experiences. She also develops, tests and adapts eHealth and psycho-educational interventions designed to support the communication efficacy and disease self-management of older Black men. In her role as Co-Director of the Community Liaison and Recruitment Core for the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research (MCUAAAR), Dr. Mitchell helps to oversee a research infrastructure grounded in recruiting and retaining older Black adults for health sciences research with the goal of increasing their representation in health discoveries. A key component of that work includes co-managing a community advisory board and participant research registry of Black older adults at the Healthier Black Elders Center in Detroit. In 2020, Jamie, alongside Dr. James Jackson, will spearhead a major expansion of MCUAAAR’s research recruitment activities and infrastructure to Flint, Michigan.

Wassim Tarraf

Wassim TarrafAssociate Professor, Institute of Gerontology, Department of Healthcare Sciences, Wayne State University

PhD, Wayne State University, 2010
MBA, Wayne State University, 2002
BS, Lebanese American University, 1999

 wassim.tarraf@wayne.edu

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.

Amanda Woodward

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

 awoodwar@msu.edu

More about Amanda Woodward
Dr. Woodward’s research examines how individuals integrate informal and professional supports when coping with physical and behavioral health issues with a particular focus on racial and ethnic disparities among older adults. She is co-investigator of the Michigan Stroke Transitions Trial (MISTT) which examines the effectiveness of a social work case management intervention for patients and caregivers transitioning home after a stroke. This project was funded by the Patient Center Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Current papers in progress from this process focus on caregiver outcomes and analysis of dyadic patient-caregiver data. She is also working on a project with a colleague in the MSU Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures that will examine outcomes related to a dance program for older adults with dementia in assisted living. Dr. Woodward is a fellow in the Gerontological Society of America