CHHS Faculty News: Welcoming New Faculty Colleagues and Celebrating Professional Achievements

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The College of Health and Human Services is pleased to welcome nine new faculty colleagues. They bring with them years of exceptional professional experience, and a passion to teach EMU’s students.

nathan-kearnsNathan Kearns – Assistant Professor, Orthotics and Prosthetics

Nathan earned his Masters degree from EMU’s Orthotics and Prosthetics program in 2008. His clinical practice included 3 ½ years at the Cleveland Clinic, and 4 ½ years with a private practice in Toledo. His research interests include Direct Prosthetic Measurement (DPM), as well as looking at methods to improve patient outcomes in the diabetic amputee population through communication and education.

john-sonnegaDr. John Sonnega – Assistant Professor, Health Education

John earned his Ph.D. in Public Health Psychology from Johns Hopkins University. He worked previously at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research and School of Public Health, and taught in the Department of Public Health at U-M Flint. He was the developer and Director of M-Healthy Thrive! – U-M’s worksite stress management program. His research interests include sleep health and mental health promotion.

cassandra-barraganDr. Cassandra Barragan – Assistant Professor, Social Work

Cassandra worked as a social worker in health care settings for over 20 years with a majority of that time spent in long-term care. More recently, she worked to evaluate work done as part of the Pontiac Initiative (Oakland University). This project focused on making connections in Pontiac, MI benefiting students, faculty, and community members. Her research interests center around the impact of social support on well-being following stressful life events.

jillian-gravesDr. Jillian Graves – Assistant Professor, Social Work

Jillian has worked as a social worker in both mental health and juvenile justice settings for over 15 years. She was a court clinician in the juvenile court in Cambridge, MA and worked with adolescents who commit sexual offenses at Joseph Jay Peters Institute in Philadelphia. She has also worked with adults with severe mental illness at the May Institute, and with a broad range of clients at the Outpatient Psychiatric Clinic in the Penn Medical System.

christina-marsackDr. Christina Marsack – Assistant Professor, Social Work

Christina’s background is in both Special Education and Social Work, having recently completed her Ph.D. in Social Work with a dual title in gerontology from Wayne State University. Christina brings her extensive teaching and practice experience to the study of the intersections of disability and aging. She conducted two national studies examining the experiences of parental caregivers, often assuming enduring caregiving roles, of adult children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.

d-crystal-colesDr. D. Crystal Coles – Assistant Professor, Social Work

Crystal received her Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University and has experience working as a foster care, medical and school social worker. Her primary areas of research and practice are inclusive of public child welfare, organizational practice and policy, ethnic minority mental health and health disparities. Crystal is incredibly excited to be a part of the EMU community and is looking forward to working with students, colleagues, and the Michigan community.

rodney-mccurdyDr. Rodney McCurdy – Assistant Professor, Health Administration

Rodney received his Ph.D. in Health Services and Policy Analysis from the University of California, Berkeley in 2011. Rodney has over 20 years of healthcare management experience including leadership positions at both the organizational and delivery system levels. He has extensive experience working with clinical professionals and leading multidisciplinary teams. An active and published researcher, Rodney was a staff fellow with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in Rockville, Maryland prior to his appointment at EMU. In this capacity, he was the subject matter expert in projects exploring internal performance measurement activities in physician practices and in the development of an organizational tool for managers in accessing workplace climate for value-enhancing activities.

Juliane Domigan – Assistant Professor, Therapeutic Recreation

Juliane is a graduate of the University of Toledo with a Bachelors in Recreational Therapy, Masters in Health and Recreation Administration and will be finishing her Doctorate in Health Education this fall. Juliane is currently working as a recreation specialist with the psychiatric population in the clinical setting, aligning with her research interests of therapeutic recreation in mental health. Juliane has a passion for teaching and is excited to have the opportunity to work with undergraduate students in her field of expertise.

merium-caboral-stevensDr. Merium Caboral-Stevens – Assistant Professor, Nursing

Meriam has 30-years of nursing experience, including as an adult nurse practitioner specializing in heart failure. Her main research interest is cardiovascular disease, particularly heart failure and women and heart disease. However, she is currently collecting data on the emotional intelligence of advanced practice nurses, in collaboration with NY faculty. She was inducted as a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine in 2015.

We would also like to congratulate CHHS professors who have earned tenure and/or have been promoted. We are incredibly proud of all of your hard work and accomplishments.

  • Minnie Bluhm — Tenure & promoted to Associate Professor
  • Sherry Bumpus — Tenure & promoted to Associate Professor
  • Yvette Colon— Tenure & promoted to Associate Professor
  • Andrew Cornett — Tenure & promoted to Associate Professor
  • Jennifer Kellman-Fritz — Promoted to Professor
  • Abbey Marterella — Tenure & promoted to Associate Professor
  • Irwin Martin — Promoted to Professor
  • Anahita Mistry — Promoted to Professor
  • Teresa Mortier — Tenure & Promoted to Assistant Professor
  • Janet Okagbue-Reaves — Promoted to Professor
  • Kennedy Saldanha — Tenure & Promoted to Associate Professor
  • Barbara Walters — Promoted to Professor

Our students are fortunate to have such talented, dedicated faculty members. Congratulations on all of your professional achievements!

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