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Daphne C. Watkins

Director, Vivian A. and James L. Curtis School of Social Work Center for Health Equity Research and Training, Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work, Faculty Associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research

Daphne C. Watkins studies gender disparities and mental health over the adult life course using mixed methods research approaches.

To date, her research has focused on understanding the social determinants of health that explain within group differences among black men; developing evidence-based strategies to improve the physical and mental health of black men; and increasing knowledge about the intersection of culture, ethnicity, age, and gender.

Prior to joining the School of Social Work, Professor Watkins completed a NIMH-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Social Research and a NIH career development award in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, both at the University of Michigan.

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Jamie Abelson

Program Manager

Jamie Abelson, MSW ‘82 received psychotherapy training at the U-M Psychological Clinic and worked for 12 years providing emergency mental health care in Washtenaw County. Since 1985, she has worked in mental health and health disparities at the U-M Institute for Social Research. She was involved in the National Comorbidity Survey, the first national survey of mental health. Since 1998, she has been with the Program for Research on Black Americans, first working on the National Survey of American Life, the first national survey of the mental health of black Americans, then on a series of other qualitative and quantitative projects. Abelson helped lead the Composite International Diagnostic Interview training center, teaching researchers from around the world about the assessment of mental health disorders. She was an adjunct faculty member at the School of Social Work from 1996-2003.

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Zachary Jackson

Postdoctoral Fellow and Program Director of the YBMen Project

Zachary Jackson received his PhD in Health Education from Texas A&M University in 2019. His research focuses on social factors (i.e., discrimination and sense of belonging) that impact college students’ educational performance and their health. Jackson is also interested in investigating how these social factors differ among students based on the type of institution they attend. He will work in the Curtis Center on projects that raise awareness about the influence of gender and culture on health outcomes and provide health education and social support to boys and men of color.

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Lloyd M. Talley

Postdoctoral Fellow

Lloyd Talley is a developmental psychologist and interdisciplinary social policy and intervention researcher with a focus on Black men and their communities. Talley received his PhD in Applied Psychology and Human Development from the University of Pennsylvania in 2018. His research takes a mixed-methods approach to examine the intersection of multiple social identities in shaping risk and resilience outcomes among marginalized groups, this work aims to identify qualitatively different patterns of behavior, quantitatively, for the more effective targeting of clinical and social intervention and policy.

Currently, he is the primary investigator of "Exploring Black Manhood and Risk-Taking among Black Emerging Adult Men," a secondary data analysis of the cognitive, social, and emotional factors that influence resilience in a sample of 611 young Black men in Philadelphia. This project tests the proposition of patterned and diverse outcomes among demographically homogeneous social populations by modeling theoretical profiles of identity and within-group differences in risk-taking. His work also extends to the development and evaluation of race and gender-specific interventions and social policy initiatives that target Black youth during the transition to adulthood.

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Kirstn Tatar

Executive Assistant to the Director

Kirstn Tatar earned her B.A. in Sociology from the University of Michigan and her M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Eastern Michigan University. After working at U-M Law School’s Information Center for over ten years, she moved to England in 2012 and taught ESL. At the University of Kent in Canterbury, U.K., she completed her M.A. in Methods of Social Research at the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research.

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Tao Wei

Research Associate

Tao Wei received her doctorate in Health Promotion Sciences from the College of Public Health at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center in 2018. Her research interests sit at the intersections of the construction of gender, minority stigma, and mental health. Her primary line of research focuses on the application of social media and networks to mixed methods research among sexual minorities in order to understand nature, genesis, and pathways of minority stigma within the socio-ecological framework. She is particularly interested in cultural validity of measurements for minority stigma and cultural competency of health promotion programs for stigmatized minorities.

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