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Moderator and Panelist Bios - Celebrate Research 2019

Celebrate Research - Honoring First Time U-M Sponsored Research Award Recipients Learn more about our faculty moderator and panelists for this year's celebration.

Cleopatra Caldwell, Chair, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health

Cleopatra Caldwell
Chair, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education -School of Public Health

Dr. Cleopatra Howard Caldwell (Moderator) is Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education and Director for Research on Ethnicity, Culture, and Health (CRECH) at the School of Public Health.  She is also a Faculty Associate with the Program for Research on Black Americans (PRBA) at the Institute for Social Research and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychology.  As a social psychologist with expertise in psychosocial and environmental factors influencing the health and well-being of Black populations, her research includes both intervention and basic research involving survey research techniques with adults, adolescents and families.  She also has expertise in conducting community-based participatory research (CBPR), developing academic-community partnerships to design and evaluate health interventions for Black youth and their family.  Specific examples include the NICHD/NIH funded Parenting and Men’s Health Study, the CDC funded Fathers and Sons Evaluation Project, and the Ruth Mott Foundation funded Fathers and Sons Physical Activity and Nutrition Program.  She has published in a number of areas including the influence of social relationships and social identities on health and well-being of Black adolescents, the role of parental support, racial discrimination, and racial identity attitudes as risk or protective factors for adolescent risky behaviors and fatherhood as a context for understanding men’s health.  Further, Dr. Caldwell has extensive experience conducting research to understand health risk behaviors and mental health of ethnically diverse adolescents, including African American and Caribbean black youth.

  • Ph.D., Social Psychology, University of Michigan, 1986
  • A.M., Psychology, University of Michigan, 1983
  • M.A., Human Development, Wayne State University, 1975
  • B.S., Psychology, North Carolina A&T State University, 1973

Paulina Alberto
Paulina Laura Alberto
Associate Professor of History and Spanish
Literature, Science, and the Arts

Dr. Paulina Laura Alberto (Panelist) Paulina L. Alberto is Associate Professor in the Departments of History and of Romance Languages and Literatures (Programs in Spanish and Portuguese) at the University of Michigan. She is the author of multiple articles on racial activism and racial ideologies in modern Brazil and Argentina, and of Terms of Inclusion: Black Intellectuals in Twentieth-Century Brazil (UNC Press, 2011).  She is also co-editor (with Eduardo Elena) of Rethinking Race in Modern Argentina (Cambridge University Press, 2016).  Alberto’s work has received generous support from the Social Science Research Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council for Learned Societies, among others, and has been recognized with the Roberto Reis Prize for Best Book in Brazilian Studies, the Warren Dean Prize for Best Book in Brazilian History, and the James Alexander Robertson Prize.  Her current book manuscript on the (in) famous porteño street character Raúl Grigera (“el negro Raúl”) explores the power of racial stories to construct “whiteness” and “blackness” in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Argentina and to shape individual fates.

  • Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, 2005

Ashley GearhardtAshley Nicole Gearhardt
Associate Professor of Psychology
Literature, Science, and the Arts

Ashley Nicole Gearhardt (Panelist) is an Associate Professor of Psychology with the College of Literature, Science & Arts, specializing in Clinical Science, Addiction, Adolescence, and Psychotherapy. Dr. Gearhardt’s research is on the evidence linking obesity and substance dependence continues to grow, which has led to increased interest in the role of an addictive process in problematic eating behavior. As the Director of The Food and Addiction Science and Treatment (FAST) lab, she explores the similarities between addictive and eating behaviors through a multi-method approach including neuroimaging, behavioral phenotyping, and measurement development. The FAST lab uses a simulated fast food restaurant to investigate how cues impact food desire in a naturalistic environment. An emphasis is placed on studies that capture how factors in the food environment (e.g., food commercials, food-related product placements) may lead potentially addictive foods to have widespread clinical and public health consequences. While working on her doctorate in clinical psychology at Yale University, Dr. Gearhardt became interested in the possibility that certain foods may be capable of triggering an addictive process. To explore this further, she developed the Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) to operationalize addictive eating behaviors, which has recently been linked with more frequent binge eating episodes in clinical populations, increased prevalence of obesity and patterns of neural activation implicated in other addictive behaviors. She has published over 30 academic articles and her research has been featured on media outlets, such as ABC News, Good Morning AmericaThe Today Show, the Wall Street Journal, and NPR.

  • Ph.D, Yale University

Sean McCabeSean Esteban McCabe
Research Professor of Nursing - School of Nursing
Research Professor, Institute for Research on Women and Gender

Sean Esteban McCabe (Panelist) is a Professor at the School of Nursing and a Research Professor at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender.  Dr. McCabe is an internationally recognized scholar in the areas of epidemiology of substance use disorders, prescription medication use and misuse, sexual orientation, and survey methodology.  He has clinical experience treating adolescents, young adults and adults with substance use disorders.  He previously served as the Director of the University of Michigan Substance Abuse Research Center and the Office of Student Conflict Resolution.  He is the Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking and Health (DASH) in the School of Nursing at the University of Michigan.  Dr. McCabe is the Associate Editor for an addiction journal and reviews grant applications for several organizations including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Education, National Institutes of Health, and William T. Grant Foundation.  He has been the recipient of three NIH research awards.  He has been a principal investigator of twelve NIH-funded projects, participating investigator on a number of NIH-funded projects and authored or co-authored over 175 peer-reviewed articles.  Dr. McCabe has served as a faculty mentor on four NIH-funded substance use research training programs and he regularly mentors undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty.  He regularly lectures and serves on dissertation committees at the University of Michigan and other universities.  Dr. McCabe was the recipient of the University of Michigan Research Faculty Recognition Award and his approach to teaching/mentoring is that of a facilitator.  He believes that the mentor-mentee relationship is collaborative, learner-centered, and is most often transformative for all involved. His philosophy reflects a life-long commitment to “lift as we climb,” using combined strengths to meet learning needs and to actively engage the learner (whether student or peer). His most significant teaching and mentoring contributions include: teaching graduate seminars, conducting interdisciplinary research, mentoring high school students, undergraduate students, graduate students as well as post-doctoral fellows, providing invited guest lectures and presentations, and publishing over 150 articles in peer-reviewed journals with student and/or mentee co-authors.

  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship, National Institute on Drug Abuse, UM, 2002
  • Ph.D., UM, 2000
  • M.A., UM 1998
  • M.S.W., UM 1995
  • B.A., Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, 1992

Chinedum OkwudireChinedum Emmanuel Okwudire
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
College of Engineering

Chinedum Emmanuel Okwudire (Panelist) is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and the Associate Chair for Integrative Systems and Design (ISD) at the University of Michigan. His research is focused on exploiting knowledge at the intersection of machine design, control and, more recently, computer science, to boost the performance of automation systems at low cost. He has tackled research challenges in manufacturing automation with key applications in 3-D printing, nano-positioning, machining, and smart manufacturing systems; and vehicle automation with key applications in electric power assist steering, steer-by-wire, and gasoline direct injection. Chinedum has received a number of awards including the CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation; the Young Investigator Award from the International Symposium on Flexible Automation; the Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers; the Ralph Teetor Educational Award from SAE International; the Department Achievement Award from the Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Michigan; and the Russell Severance Springer Visiting Professorship from UC Berkeley. He has co-authored a number one best paper award-winning papers at Precision Engineering and Dynamic Systems and Control Conferences. 

  • Ph.D.  Mechanical Engineering, University of British Columbia, 2009
  • MA.Sc, Mechanical Engineering University of British Columbia, 2005
  • BSc, Mechanical Engineering University of British Columbia, 2003

All deans and chairs, as well as invited awardees, may register now and save the date.