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Mentoring Roundtables

Thanks to those who participated in the 2021 Mentoring Roundtables. Stay tuned for details on the 2022 events!

September 30, 2021, 3:00pm Eastern


Roundtable Topic: Navigating the challenges of entering the academic job market

Elizabeth Lightfoot is the director of the Arizona State University School of Social Work. Her main research interests are in the area of disability policy and services, and the intersections of disability with child welfare, aging, abuse, and health. She currently has several research projects underway exploring family careging during COVID-19, fraud and older adults/people with disabilities, parental supports for parents with disabilities, doctoral education in social work, and social work, disability and aging in Romania and Namibia. Read more


Roundtable Topic: Building and maintaining supportive relationships as a mentee and as a mentor

Stephanie Robert’s research focuses on how social and economic aspects of people’s lives affect their health and well-being over the life course. Many of her publications focus on how neighborhood context affects health and contributes to socioeconomic and racial health disparities. Her focus is on seeing social policy as health policy – determining how to best improve social policy rather than only health care policy to maintain people’s health and reduce health disparities. Read more


Roundtable Topic: Developing your own center or lab around a research agenda

Lindsay Fernandez-Rhodes is an epidemiologist with experience in the areas of Genetic, Epigenetic, and Social Epidemiology. She is an Assistant Professor of Biobehavioral Health in the College of Health and Human Development at Penn State University and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Read more


Roundtable Topic: Racism's impact on individual and population health

Tyson Brown is an associate professor of Sociology at Duke University, where he also directs the Center on Health & Society. As a race population health scientist and race scholar, he investigates the who, when, and why questions regarding ethnoracial inequalities in health. Professor Brown is currently working on several projects on measuring and mapping structural racism and quantifying its impact on population health. He has authored numerous articles in leading sociology and population health journals, and his research contributions have been recognized with awards from the American Sociological Association.

Family Medicine group

Roundtable Topic: Grant Writing for foundations and other private sources

Steven H. Woolf, M.D., M.P.H, is Director Emeritus of the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he is Professor of Family Medicine and Population Health. He holds the C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Distinguished Chair in Population Health and Health Equity. Dr. Woolf has edited three books and published more than 200 articles in a career that has focused on raising public awareness about the social, economic, and environmental conditions that shape health and produce inequities. Beyond research, he works to address these issues through outreach to policymakers and the public, including testimony before Congress, consulting, editorials in major newspapers and social media, and speaking engagements. Read more


Roundtable Topic: Tips for manuscript planning and journal selection

Gina Lovasi, MPH, PhD, is Urban Health Collaborative Co-Director and Dornsife Associate Professor of Urban Health at Drexel University, in the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at the Dornsife School of Public Health. She oversees an NIMHD training grant (T37MD01425, MPIs: Lovasi & Ezeh) to bridge health equity research infrastructure and training opportunities in the US and globally. Her research focuses on how geographic determinants of chronic disease and aging in place. Read more


Roundtable Topic: Influencing policy from academia

Keshia M. Pollack Porter, PhD, MPH, is a Professor of Health Policy and Management and Vice Dean for Faculty. Her work uses injury epidemiology, health impact assessment (HIA), and mixed methods to advance policies that create safe, healthy, and equitable environments where people live, work, play, and travel. She focuses on identifying policy solutions that address social determinants of health, reduce disparities, and advance health equity. She regularly engages with policymakers to promote evidence-informed policy decisions and advance Health in All Policies (HiAP) at the local, state, and federal levels.

Story, William

Roundtable Topic: Fostering academic/government collaborations

Dr. William Story’s research focuses on better understanding household- and community-level factors that are critical to the improvement of maternal and child health in resource-poor countries and translating that research into effective interventions and policies. His research currently focuses on three specific areas: Read more


October 7, 2021, 1:00pm Eastern


Roundtable Topic: Wait until tenure? Strategizing research agendas for junior faculty

Jimi Adams, My research examines patterns in social and behavioral networks that promote or constrain the diffusion of information, behaviors, and/or diseases through populations. Much of this work has focused on HIV/AIDS in “high risk” populations in the US and Sub-Saharan Africa. Recently, this work has increasingly focused on examining the integrative patterns and processes in problem-focused areas of science that draw from many academic disciplines (e.g., HIV/AIDS, demography, the environment).



Roundtable Topic: Using social media to advance your agenda

Richard Carpiano is Professor of Public Policy and Sociology at the University of California, Riverside. His substantive interests center on examining the ways in which social factors, such as education, income, and local community environments, contribute to physical and mental health and health disparities.



Roundtable Topic: Gender status in academia: Challenges and navigation

Kathleen Mullan Harris is the James Haar Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Adjunct Professor of Public Policy, and Faculty Fellow at the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Dr. Harris is the Principal Investigator and Director of Add Health (The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health), a national longitudinal study of 20,000+ adolescents followed into adulthood with comprehensive and in-depth data on the social environment, behavioral trajectories, biological processes, and health. She developed the integrative design in Add Health that links social, behavioral, and biological sciences in the conceptual model, data collection, and analysis for studying developmental and health trajectories across the early life course.  Read more


Roundtable Topic: Minority status in academia: Challenges and navigation

Irene Headen is an Assistant Professor of Black Health in the Department of Community Health and Prevention at the Drexel Dornsife School of Public Health. Her research interests investigate the social and structural determinants of racial/ethnic disparities in adverse pregnancy outcomes. In particular, her work focuses on identifying neighborhood and community factors underlying these disparities and understanding how systems thinking can help translate these factors into multilevel interventions to improve Black maternal health outcomes. Central to Dr. Headen’s work is placing pregnancy within the context of women’s reproductive life course and developing ways to understand how structural racism operates over the life course to create racial/ethnic disparities during this critical window. She uses both epidemiologic and mixed methods approaches to conduct her research. Read more


Roundtable Topic: Tips for a successful K award

Carol Oladele is Assistant Professor in the Section of General Internal Medicine, core faculty at the Equity Research and Innovation Center, and Center for Neuroepidemiology and Clinical Neurological Research at Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Oladele’s research focuses on social determinants of cardiovascular health disparities, with specific focus on the role of nutrition, healthcare quality, food, and built environments. She has expertise in the development of dietary assessment methodologies for African descent populations. Her research aims to generate evidence to support health policies and interventions to improve cardiovascular outcomes among racial/ethnic and immigrant populations domestically and globally. Dr. Oladele’s current work examines the role of food insecurity and ultra-processed food on disparities in hypertension incidence and control.


Roundtable Topic: Sharing your research with media and the public

Jennifer Karas Montez is a Professor of Sociology, the Gerald B. Cramer Faculty Scholar in Aging Studies, and Co-Director of the Policy, Place, and Population Health Lab at Syracuse University. The main focus of her research is explaining the troubling trends and growing inequalities in how healthy and long Americans live. Much of her work over the past decade has examined why those outcomes are particularly worrisome for women, for people without a college degree, and for people living in states in the South and Midwest. In her current work, she is investigating how the polarizing policy environment at the US state level has contributed to the trends and inequalities.Read more



Roundtable Topic: Considering non-academic careers

Philip Alberti, Senior Director of Health Equity Research and Policy at the Association of American Medical Colleges. A national health care equity leader, Alberti supports the efforts of academic medical centers to build an evidence-base for effective programs, protocols, policies, and partnerships aimed at eliminating inequities in health. He joined the AAMC in 2012 to facilitate the conduct of community-partnered, health equity science and scholarship at AAMC-member medical schools and teaching hospitals, and to make the case for policies and practices that explicitly have health and health care equity as a goal. Read more