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Meet the Team

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Katrina Ellis

Principal Investigator

Katrina R. Ellis is an assistant professor at the School of Social Work. Her research interests include family health interventions, cancer survivorship, racial and ethnic disparities in health, and family management of chronic health conditions. An overarching goal of her research is to support the health of families facing multiple, coexisting illnesses, with a specific focus on African Americans. Dr. Ellis employs a range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies in her work with families, clinicians and community groups.


Her published research includes examinations of the influence of co-occurring illnesses on the psychosocial and behavioral health and well-being of cancer survivors and their family caregivers using quantitative dyadic data analysis techniques. She has also published research investigating psychosocial factors that influence the health behaviors and well-being of African Americans.


Dr. Ellis' future program of research includes the design and implementation of interventions to support the quality of life and healthy lifestyle and coping behaviors of individuals and families at increased risk of hereditary cancers and managing cancer survivorship.

Former Team Members


Dolapo Raji

Research Assistant

Dolapo is currently a health data analyst at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health, Epidemiology.


She graduated from the MHI (Masters of Health Informatics) program at the School of Information (2021) and a Dow Fellow (2020). Prior to moving to Ann Arbor, she graduated from Central Michigan University with a Masters degree in Public Health where she was launched into research analysis; honed her research skills in quantitative and qualitative analysis; and published three article papers. She is interested in health-related research and the interpretation of data to improve the processes and quality of healthcare services as it relates to health and well-being of individuals particularly under-served populations. Her future aspiration is to work with global health organizations like World Health Organization, UNICEF, USAID, Population Services International among others as a data analyst to harness the power of data/information for the sole purpose of reducing health inequities and disparities. 


Carly Jones

Research Assistant

Carly is currently working at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Michigan Medicine as a Social Worker.


She earned her MSW (Masters of Social Work) degree at the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor (2022). She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Administration of Justice. She is currently on the Interpersonal Practice in Integrated Health, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Pathway and an Integrated Health Scholar. Previously, she worked in the Biobehavioral Oncology and Technology Lab at UPMC Shadyside to help increase the well being of cancer patients as they go through cancer treatment. Her interests are in cancer treatment and care, grief and bereavement, and caregiving.


Hillary K. Hecht

Research Assistant

Hillary is currently a PhD student at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health in the Health Policy and Management program with a focus on Organization and Implementation Science. 


She graduated with an MSW degree in 2019 at the University of Michigan School of Social Work studying individuals and families living with chronic illness or disability and experiencing the effects of their intersectional social identities when trying to access health care. She is interested in the role of organizations' policies on equitable access to health care, and data ethics in shaping inclusive policy. Previously, she worked as a recruiter advocating for access to lucrative careers across corporate finance and healthcare technology industries for underrepresented groups. She received a Bachelors of Arts in Organizational Sciences and Dance from The George Washington University. 

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Fonda Smith

TIDR Project Coordinator

Fonda is currently a Clinical Research Coordinator at Michigan Medicine and a PhD doctoral student in Social Work at Walden University.


Her research looks to understand how African American men with type 2 diabetes conceptualize and cope with stress. She is interested in identifying factors associated with health disparities, exploring behavioral health issues in African Americans, and delivering community-based interventions to underrepresented communities. Before her doctoral studies, she worked in healthcare, outpatient mental health and child health research to cultivate her passion to better support vulnerable populations.


Fonda has coordinated a wide range of projects within the Treatment Innovation and Dissemination Research Group at the University of Michigan School of Social Work to address the untreated mental health needs of underserved individuals. She is also an experienced clinical interviewer and assessor of cognitive functioning. Fonda holds a Bachelor of Arts in Family Life Education from Spring Arbor University and a Masters of Social Work from Eastern Michigan University. 


Seyoung Oh

Research Assistant


Seyoung (say-young) is currently working as a research assistant for a longitudinal study on child development at the National University of Singapore. 


She graduated in 2019 from the MSW program at the University of Michigan School of Social Work with a focus on Social Policy and Evaluation. She was also a Global Activities Scholar, which allowed her to concentrate in international social work. Before moving to Ann Arbor, she was at the University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill where her research journey began as part of the McNair scholar program. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and English from UNC in 2018. Her interests are in anti-poverty and anti-racist research in different aspects of life, including health, housing, and finance. 

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Kelli is currently an analyst at Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco, California.


She graduated in May 2020 from the Master of Public Health in Epidemiology program. She received her B.A. in psychology from Miami University and worked as a research assistant at Wayne State University between undergrad and graduate school. Her current research interests include social determinants of health, mental health, and chronic diseases. 

Kelli Peterman

Research Assistant

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