Y o u r  C o n n e c t i o n  t o
  Issue 2, November 2006



New Faculty in HBHE

By: Derek Matthews, HBHE 2nd Year

The opening of the new Crossroads and Tower is but one of many new and exciting changes for everyone at the School of Public Health.  This fall semester, our department was lucky enough to welcome three new faculty members to the ranks: Dr. Alison Miller, Dr. Mark Padilla, and Dr. J. Scott Roberts.

Padilla        Roberts

Dr. Padilla                 Dr. Roberts

Dr. Miller joins us from Brown University Medical School, where she was a postdoctoral fellow and a member of the faculty in the Department of Psychiatry.  She is now a research professor in HBHE, with a large array of research interests.  These include emotional development in children, school readiness, and early childhood mental health.  These stages of development in children are important to public health and prevention, since a poor developmental trajectory can lead to other poor health outcomes later in life.  She is currently the PI of a grant to study the emotional competence of children living in poverty during the transition to kindergarten.

Dr. Padilla comes from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, where he served as a member of the faculty in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences.  He is now a member of the HBHE faculty, where his academic focus is on applying cultural anthropology to health problems on a global level, and creating more effective ways to address the health of specific populations.  He has several years experience in the Dominican Republic, with emphasis on HIV/AIDS prevention in different populations of men who have sex with men.  Dr. Padilla will be teaching a class on qualitative methods.

Before coming to our department, Dr. Roberts was a member of the faculty at the Boston School of Medicine, in the Department of Neurology.  He now serves as a faculty member in HBHE, and his research interests are focused on the process and impact of genetic risk assessment for adult-onset disorders.  He is currently the co-PI of the REVEAL Study (Risk Evaluation & Education for Alzheimer’s Disease), a series of clinical trials that assesses the psychological and behavioral impact of genetic risk disclosure for Alzheimer’s disease.  Dr. Roberts will also be teaching courses on genetics and public health education, as well as public health ethics.

The accomplishments and research agendas of our new faculty are quite broad and expansive, and you can get more complete and detailed information by visiting the HBHE faculty profiles on the HBHE website at http://www.sph.umich.edu/hbhe

But keep reading to learn some other interesting things about our new faculty members!

Favorite aspect of the University of Michigan...
Dr. Roberts completed his Ph.D. at Michigan in clinical psychology, so he is no stranger to the school.  He enjoys being in a social science setting, as opposed to a more biomedical one.  He’s excited about becoming more involved in teaching with students who have defined interests and goals.  He also hopes to integrate HBHE more fully into the genetics interdepartmental concentration. 

Dr. Padilla likes the way the school treats its faculty respectfully and professionally.  He finds that as a researcher who uses qualitative methods that Michigan is very accommodating in his research methods.  Additionally, he finds Michigan’s desire to expand from simple traditional approaches to public health appealing, and looks forward to contributing to the diversity of academic and methodology backgrounds as a qualitative researcher. 

Dr. Miller received her Ph.D. from Michigan in developmental psychology so she too is not entirely new with Michigan.  She comes to the School of Public Health, however, because of the interdisciplinary and applied nature of the school.  She appreciates the collaborative nature of faculty within the department as well as across the university with other departments and various centers.

Best part of Ann Arbor...
Dr. Padilla enjoys Ann Arbor’s atmosphere and physical environment.  Coming from New York he appreciates the visible nature, and also the general hospitality of people who live here. 

Dr. Miller is a fan of the independently-owned business culture in town, as well as the pervasive bookstore and café culture.  She also appreciates how Ann Arbor’s size makes many things within walking distance. 

Dr. Roberts says that Ann Arbor packs a punch for its size, providing opportunities to do things ranging from listening to live music, hanging around in coffee shops, or dining at different restaurants.