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Current and Past Family Research Scholars

Aline Gubrium
Associate Professor and Program Head, Community Health Education
Family Research Scholar, 2017-2018

Research:

A medical anthropologist working in the field of public health, Aline Gubrium's research focuses on "narrative intervention" to address health inequities and social inequality in the lives of marginalized young parents and families. Gubrium is an experienced digital storytelling facilitator and is at the forefront of researchers using the approach in research, intervention, and advocacy contexts. Recently, she has been funded by the Ford Foundation to conduct a digital storytelling project focused on sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice with young parenting Latinas and an NIH-funded project assessing the use of digital storytelling for sexual and reproductive health promotion with nulliparous, pregnant, and/or parenting young Latinas. Gubrium's 2013 and 2015 books explain participatory visual and digital methodologies for social research, health promotion and practice, and action. 

Krystal Pollitt
Assistant Professor, Environmental Health Sciences, Commonwealth Honors College
Family Research Scholar, 2017-2018

Research:

Krystal Pollitt is chemical engineer with interdisciplinary training in exposure science and environmental epidemiology. Her research focus is on developing analytical approaches to characterize personal environmental exposures to understand their role in the aetiology of disease. She uses targeted and untargeted hyphenated mass spectrometry techniques (e.g. ICP-MS, LC-MS, GC-MS) to analyze exposure of trace metals as well as organic pollutants, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds, phenols and phthalates, in a variety of biological and environmental matrices.

Kalpana Poudel-Tandukar
Assistant Professor, Nursing
Family Research Scholar, 2017-2018

Research:

Kalpana Poudel-Tandukar’s research focuses on identifying socio-cultural factors that increase immigrant stress and developing effective community-based strategies to address these factors. She aims to develop, implement, and evaluate the efficacy of culturally competent, family-based interventions to reduce stress and depression in immigrants using a community-based participatory tool of intervention mapping. Using this approach not only engages the community of immigrants in all aspects of decision making but also empowers the community to take a lead in improving their mental health.

Jamie Rowen
Assistant Professor, Legal Studies
Family Research Scholar, 2017-2018

Research:

Jamie Rowen's research focuses on how different political actors use law to redress mass violence. She received a J.D. from Berkeley School of Law in 2009, a Ph.D. from the Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program at Berkeley School of Law in 2012, and was a doctoral fellow at the American Bar Foundation in 2012-2013. Prior to her current position in legal studies at UMass, Dr. Rowen taught in the Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies  at the University of Toronto. Dr. Rowen's forthcoming book with Cambridge University Press, Searching for Truth in the Transitional Justice Movement, focuses on efforts to make truth commissions in the Balkans, Colombia and the United States. Her current projects include an examination of efforts to deport suspect human rights violators in the United States, as well as veterans in the criminal justice system. 

Jeffrey Starns
Associate Professor, Psychological and Brain Sciences
Family Research Scholar, 2017-2018

Research:

Jeff Starns is a member of the Psychological and Brain Sciences department who investigates event memory, decision making, and statistical reasoning. He explores these phenomena by applying mathematical models of the accuracy and speed of human decision making. His research focuses on explaining the processes that create inaccurate memories, understanding how people select different confidence levels in their decisions, and developing techniques to teach people to be better statistical reasoners.

Ning Zhang
Assistant Professor, Public Health
Family Research Scholar, 2017-2018

Research:

Ning Zhang’s research focuses on long term care and health economics. Zhang received a Ph.D. in Health Economics and Public Policy and an M.S. in Economics from Cornell University. Prior to her current positions at UMass Amherst and UMass Medical School, she taught in the Division of Health Policy and Outcomes Research at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. Zhang's most recent publications focus on overweight and obesity among youth and elderly populations.