For as long as I can remember, I have been interested in differences across race, gender, class, and experience. This fueled my interest in studying anthropology (B.A., University of North Carolina – Wilmington) and public health (Ph.D., Texas A&M University). My post-doctoral training was in psychology and advanced research methods at the University of Michigan, in the Institute for Social Research and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
I am a University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor and Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. My research interests and expertise can be grouped into three primary areas: (1) behavioral interventions for historically marginalized groups; (2) mixed methods approaches to research in context; and (3) leadership development and organizational management.
Centering the strategies for success among historically marginalized groups, my research aims to maximize human potential, elevate social experiences, and provide equitable impact in communities and organizations. I am a community practitioner interested in developing efficient tools and systems that activate positive, strengths-based outcomes for those most in need. Ultimately, I am committed to conducting and mobilizing cutting-edge, use-inspired research to address important social concerns.
My 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 age, culture, and gender.
I have held several leadership positions, such as President and Vice President of the American Men’s Studies Association (AMSA). I have also served as the Director of the Joint Ph.D. Program in Social Work and Social Science at the University of Michigan, Founding Director of the Gender and Health (GendHR) Lab, and an Executive Leadership Coach and Strategic Planning Facilitator for research institutes and centers across North America. I currently serve as Director of the Vivian A. and James L. Curtis Center for Health Equity Research and Training at the University of Michigan.
I am also the Founder of the nonprofit organization, kNEWjoy.