SPHHS welcomes new faculty in spring 2017 semester

From left to right: Timothy Ford, Susan Shaw, Xiangrong Kong, and Sara Mamo

March 24, 2017

The School of Public Health and Health Sciences welcomed four new faculty members to its ranks this spring semester, including Timothy Ford, Professor and Chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences; Associate Professor of Community Health Education Susan Shaw; and Assistant Professors Xiangrong Kong (Biostatistics) and Sara Mamo (Communication Disorders).

Timothy Ford, Professor and new Chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, joins the SPHHS from Shenandoah University. His research interests have included source and drinking water microbiology, microbial cycling and transformation of pollutants, global environmental health, epidemiology of waterborne diseases, and community based participatory research methods for community engagement. He has both directed and participated in water quality related projects in the US, Canada, the UK, Honduras, Mexico, India, Russia, the Philippines and China, and has served as the PI of the NIH-funded Montana IDeA Networks for Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE), a statewide program designed to build research and training in infectious disease and environmental health. “At UMass Amherst, I intend to renew the relationships built through the INBRE program and work towards a consortium for environmental health equity,” he states in his faculty profile. “I am also in the process of expanding my research interests to include health inequities in Latin American and the Caribbean, through my role as co-chair of the PAHO Foundation technical advisory group.”

Susan Shaw joins the Community Health Education program as an associate professor. “I take a mixed-methods approach to investigating the structural and contextual factors that produce health disparities and community responses to inequality,” she says in her profile. “I am currently PI on the RxHL study (1R01HL120907), which investigates the relationships among health literacy, culturally-variable health and medication beliefs, and health insurance formulary changes on medication adherence among diverse low-income patients. My research interests include gender and sexuality, access to health care, chronic disease and the subjective experience of medication adherence.”

Xiangrong Kong joins the Biostatistics program as an assistant professor. Her collaborative research expertise includes prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, oncogenic HPV infection and other sexually transmitted infectious diseases (STDs) in Africa. “Another major area of my recent collaboration is ophthalmology,” she describes in her profile. “My statistical methodological work is always motivated by real-world problems arising from my collaborative studies and focuses on longitudinal, survival and correlated data.”

Joining the Department of Communication Disorders is Assistant Professor Sara Mamo. Her research focuses on improving the accessibility and affordability of hearing health care for older adults with age-related hearing loss. “I do intervention-based research to test alternative service delivery models that focus on bringing hearing and communication support into the community and integrate those services into comprehensive health care programs for older adults,” she writes in her profile. “In addition, I have a particular interest in the needs of older adults and families living with dementia and providing tailored hearing care services to alleviate symptom burden related to the progression of dementia. My research related to dementia focuses both on how speech perception is impacted by the combination of hearing loss and cognitive decline and how best to address those speech perception needs in group care settings.”