Assistant Professor Anao Zhang is a principal investigator on a new project funded by a $250,000 Eugene Washington Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) grant. The Rogel Cancer Center-based research team will work to bring equity to adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer research and outcomes. Professor Brad Zebrack and PhD student Nina Jackson Levin are part of the research team.
“Despite an overall improved five-year survival rate among AYA cancer survivors over the last 20 years, these improvements have not transferred equitably to underrepresented survivors, including people who are Black, Indigenous or other people of color, as well as sexual and gender minorities,” said Zhang.
Assistant Professor Lisa Fedina, Associate Professor Shanna Kattari and Camille Quinn have been named Fellows of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR). SSWR Fellows are members who have served the society’s mission with distinction — to advance, disseminate and translate research that addresses issues of social work practice and policy and promotes a diverse, equitable and just society. Designation as an SSWR Fellow is a high honor and fellows maintain their status as long as they are current members of the society.
Clinical Assistant Professor Justin Hodge has been unanimously selected to serve as chair of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners. Hodge was reelected in November as the Washtenaw County Commissioner for District 5. “I am committed to doing all I can to make our home a place where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and succeed,” he said.
In an op-ed in The Hill, Professor Luke Shaefer urges Congress to reinstate the expanded Child Tax Credit before the end of this session.
“Providing supplemental income support to families with children … is the easiest, boldest, and most effective strategy to prevent and reduce child poverty,” writes Schaefer. “It wasn’t just families in poverty who saw these health-supporting benefits. Working class families had less trouble putting food on the table during the months of the expanded Child Tax Credit and more of a financial cushion.”
Professor Rogério M. Pinto discussed his denied bid for tenure at Columbia University in 2014, and the physical, emotional and intellectual toll it took, with The Chronicle of Higher Education.
“Everybody who is involved with you, either as a professional or someone who is doing research with you or the participants in your research, the people who you love — everybody is affected by it one way or another, and they’re affected very deeply. There’s no way to minimize this. Everything that happens after my tenure denial, every single relationship, every single connection has suffered in some way. It has a domino effect, which is never talked about.”
Pinto joined the U-M School of Social Work in 2015 and was granted tenure the following year. He felt inspired to speak out after reading about Lorgia García Peña’s tenure denial at Harvard University.
Associate Professor Jaclynn Hawkins has received a three-year Innovative Transformational Research to Reduce Health Disparities and Advance Health Equity in Diabetes grant from the American Diabetes Association for her study, “Program AACTIVE (African Americans Coming Together to Increase Vital Exercise): A Combination CBT and Physical Activity Intervention for Black Men with Type 2 Diabetes.”
Professor Matt Smith spoke with Psychiatric News about how virtual reality can support job seekers with serious mental illness. To help patients prepare for a job interview, Smith developed a virtual reality interview training program informally known as Molly (the name of the virtual hiring manager). “Interviewing with Molly is a great representation of how online job interviews are currently playing out, so it could make trainees become even more skilled and confident.”
Earlier this fall, Smith’s findings on Molly was both on the cover story of Psychiatric Services and selected as an Editor’s Choice.
Dean Beth Angell has been appointed the Phillip Fellin Collegiate Professor of Social Work. Angell’s research focuses on behavioral health, particularly on serious mental illness and its intersection with substance abuse and criminal justice involvement. Some of the topics of her research studies have related to treatment seeking, treatment engagement and adherence; consumer-provider interactions and relationships; sources and consequences of stigma; and mandated or involuntary treatment.
Prior to joining the University of Michigan, Dean Angell held faculty positions at the University of Chicago Crown School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice and Rutgers University School of Social Work and the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research. From 2018-2022, she served as the dean and professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work.
Professor Emeritus Phillip Fellin's research interests include community organization; societal structures and processes; and mental health policy, programs and services; and school social work. He joined the University of Michigan faculty in 1965 and served as the school’s dean from 1971-1981. After his deanship, Fellin continued on the faculty as a professor of social work and director of school social work certification until his retirement in 1999.
A collegiate professorship is a University of Michigan advanced professorial title, which recognizes a national, or preferably international, reputation in research; a record of exceptional teaching quality and of innovation; and a history of service to the School, the university and the community.
Professor William Elliott III told Stateline, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts, that children’s savings accounts not only help families save for college, they can also instill them with hope and ambition. “Children’s savings accounts give people some grounds for believing they can change their future,” said Elliott.
Professor Luke Shaefer spoke with the New York Times about the ongoing effort to bring back the Expanded Child Tax Credit. The pandemic-era program, which sent monthly checks to most U.S. families with children, helped cut child poverty nearly in half during the program’s six-month run. Shaefer’s research found that hardships fell as soon as the payments started and rose as soon as they stopped.
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