David Ansong is an assistant professor in UNC’s School of Social Work. His areas of research expertise include educational and economic disparities, youth asset development, international social development, and community development. In addition, he has extensive experience using geographic information systems in gathering, managing, and analyzing data to reveal patterns and trends in environments ranging from neighborhoods to multi-state regions, yielding insights that help researchers, policy makers, and practitioners make smarter decisions. Dr. Ansong has been involved in international research on asset development for low-income youth and households, focusing on the impacts of economic security interventions on educational outcomes such as in-school behavior and academic performance. His domestic research focuses on testing novel interventions to bolster the financial capability of relatives who provide permanent care for children in foster care, with the ultimate goal of improving relative caregivers’ financial security, decreasing the number of children languishing in foster care, and improving child safety and well-being.
Spencer Barnes teaches coursework in graphic design, information design, and 3D animation and VFX for visual explanations. Barnes’ research explores the synthesis of cognitive psychology, information design and visualization with respect to data journalism and journalism education. It is concerned with the design, application, efficacy and implications of data-driven graphics and the communicative roles that such information displays play in journalism and mass communication. Before coming to the UNC, Barnes taught automotive design and computer-aided design coursework at the NC State College of Design. He has published research on design education, engineering education, and the effective uses and applications of computer-aided design technology.
Jada Brooks, PhD, MPSH, RN is an assistant professor at UNC’s School of Nursing. She earned a PhD from Duke University and completed postdoctoral training at UNC. Dr. Brooks’ research program advances knowledge of inflammation as a potential biological pathway linking environmental pollutant exposure and psychosocial factors to cardiovascular disease in American Indian women. Her research program is designed to inform low-cost and culturally based psychosocial interventions that seek to reduce American Indian women’s susceptibility to environmental pollutants. The goal of this work is to promote environmental health equity among American Indian women.
Tom Bush chose nursing due to his interest in biological and social science. He has experience in primary care, critical care, and specialty practice. Bush teaches nurse practitioner students at the UNC School of Nursing and has a clinical practice in the UNC School of Medicine. As a nurse practitioner, he treats diseases that afflict his patients and addresses the human response to illness. His interest is in general orthopaedics. Bush received his Associate degree in nursing from the University of Kentucky, a Masters as a Family Nurse Practitioner from Vanderbilt University, and a DNP from East Carolina University.
Kathleen Conway-Dorsey, PhD, is a UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center member and Research Assistant Professor in Cancer Epidemiology at UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health. Dr. Dorsey’s research is focused primarily on the molecular epidemiology and the molecular genetics of breast cancer.
Lisa Dawley is passionate about empowering teachers to engage and innovate with their students. With over 20 years of experience in edtech entrepreneurship, research, practice, and policy, she provides leadership in the research and award-winning design of innovative learning technologies, curriculum, companies, programs, and policies. Dr. Dawley is currently a faculty member in the UNC’s School of Education and directs the MA in Educational Innovation, Technology & Entrepreneurship program. She is former CEO and Founder of GoGo Labs, a gamified educational technology spin-out from Boise State University, where she served as professor and chair of the Dept. of Educational Technology.
Theo Dingemans, PhD, is a professor of Applied Physical Sciences at UNC. His research focuses on the design and synthesis of high molecular weight all-aromatic polymers, low molar mass liquid crystals and the conjunction of these two topics in order to engineer new classes of high-performance polymers. He is also the co-founder and CTO of Allotropica Technologies Inc., a technology accelerator for high performance polymers in Chapel Hill.
Prior to joining the SILS faculty in the fall of 2015, Melanie Feinberg was an assistant professor at the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a classificationist whose research approach combines design with the humanities. Her work focuses on learning how to read and write databases to complement our engineering and mining of them. She received her PhD from the University of Washington and a Master’s from Berkeley. In her professional career before returning to academia, she was a content strategist and technical editor, working at companies such as Apple Computer, Scient, and PeopleSoft.
Mike Fisher joined the Water Institute in 2012. His current work with the Institute focuses on leveraging monitoring, learning, and evaluation to maximize the impact of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) interventions. His research and fieldwork experiences have included work on developing, implementing, and evaluating technologies for low-cost water treatment and safe water access. This work has spanned rural and urban developing country settings on four continents.
Ronit Fraiman, PhD, previously from the S.I. Stupp Lab at Northwestern University, has recently joined the faculty of UNC. Ronit is part of a team of researchers at UNC that has been selected to advance their research of programmable design of tissue-mimetic materials. The goal of this project is to develop a data-driven platform for designing and making bio-mimetic materials using precision engineering of polymer networks to yield targeted properties. These materials would be used in individually tailored medical devices and implants.
Rachel Goode is an Assistant Professor at the UNC School of Social Work. Her research is focused on the development, implementation, and evaluation of disordered eating behavior and psychosocial weight management interventions to improve treatment and health outcomes among persons with overweight and obesity.She is also interested in the social determinants of obesity, and reducing health disparities in obesity incidence and prevalence. Her teaching interests are in direct social work practice with individuals and families, social justice and confronting oppression, and experiential facilitations in racial reconciliation. She received her PhD, MPH, and her MSW from the University of Pittsburgh.
David Gotz is an Associate Professor at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS). Dr. Gotz leads the Visual Analysis and Communications Lab (VACLab) where he conducts research related to the study and development of visual methods for information analysis and communication. He also serves as the Assistant Director for the Carolina Health Informatics Program (CHIP) and is an Associate Member at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Gotz was also named a 2015 Data Fellow by the National Consortium for Data Science. Prior to joining SILS, Dr. Gotz was a research scientist at the T.J. Watson Research Center at IBM Research. In his final years at IBM, Dr. Gotz was part of the Healthcare Systems and Analytics Research Department. He also spent several years working in the Intelligent Information Interaction Department which he joined immediately after earning his Ph.D. in Computer Science from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2005. Dr. Gotz earned his MS in Computer Science from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2001 and graduated with highest honors from Georgia Tech in 1999 with a BS in Computer Science and a certificate in Economics.
Thomas Kelley is the faculty supervisor for the Community Development Law Clinic (“CDL Clinic”). In that capacity, he works with third-year law students who provide legal counsel to community based nonprofit organizations across North Carolina. Kelley also teaches and writes on the Law of Nonprofit Organizations, and on International Law and Development. His Nonprofit Law scholarship focuses on the emerging 4th sector: hybrid for-profit/nonprofit organizations that are changing the face of American charity and philanthropy. His international work focuses on emerging legal systems in Africa, an interest that grew out of his service as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of Niger.
David Knowles is Director of Business Development and Finance at the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. In this role he works to develop partnerships with companies and foundations aligned with the Institute’s mission and those of its affiliated research centers. From 2006 to 2016 he served as Director of Economic Development and Engagement for UNC’s Renaissance Computing Institute, connecting the Institute’s initiatives and projects to the needs and interests of stakeholders in industry, government, and the broader community. In this capacity, he led the formation of two public-private partnerships: the National Consortium for Data Science and the iRODS Consortium. He came to UNC in 2006 from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he was the business development manager for the Southeastern Trade Adjustment Assistance Center, a division of the university’s Economic Development Institute. Previously, Knowles was vice president of operations for Interra International, Inc., an international food trading company, and chief operating officer of International Trade Management, Inc., an Atlanta firm that developed transactional software for food producers.
Rhonda Lanning serves as the program coordinator for Birth Partners. Trained as a doula and certified as a nurse midwife, childbirth educator and lactation consultant, she is a committed leader in the program. She divides her time between teaching graduate and undergraduate students at UNC School of Nursing and working closely with the Birth Partners program. Under her leadership, Birth Partners has taken considerable steps to increase access to doula care. Lanning is currently completing her doctoral studies at Duke University, where she is focusing on a project that relates to expansion of doula services.
Allison Lazard is an Assistant Professor in the School of Media and Journalism. She earned her Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin. Lazard’s research revolves around a core interest in how visual design influences message perception and engagement in the digital environment where individuals encounter visual messages at unprecedented rates. Her educational and professional experiences combine to give her a unique research agenda that contributes to a larger body of theoretical knowledge in advertising, visual communication, health communication and science communication. Lazard earned her M.S. in Media Arts and Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and her B.S. in Visual Communication at Ohio University.
Lukasz Mazur earned his BS, MS, and PhD in industrial and management engineering from Montana State University. He is an assistant professor in the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Library and Information Science (SILS) and in the UNC-Chapel Hill Radiation Oncology Department in the UNC School of Medicine. His research interests include healthcare engineering management as it pertains to continuous quality and patient safety efforts in healthcare and human factor engineering with a focus on workload and individual performance during health care providers’ interactions with health information technology. His research has been funded by by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to develop simulation-based training and innovative usability enhancements to improve patient safety. While at the North Carolina State University, Lukasz was awarded the prestigious Alumni Outstanding Extension Service Award for his outreach work in healthcare industry, highlighting his passion for patient safety and operational improvements.
Jonas Monast is the inaugural C. Boyden Gray Distinguished Fellow at Carolina Law and directs the Center on Climate, Energy, Environment & Economics (CE3). Monast’s work focuses on the interaction of federal and state energy policies, aligning energy and environmental policy goals, and regulatory options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Prior to joining the Carolina Law faculty, he directed the Climate and Energy Program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and taught courses on energy and environmental issues at Duke University’s School of Law and Nicholas School of the Environment. Monast has also worked as an attorney in the Corporate Social Responsibility Practice at Foley Hoag LLP, as a congressional fellow for the late Senator Paul Wellstone, and as legislative counsel for the Center for Responsible Lending. Monast earned his law degree from Georgetown University and his B.A. from Appalachian State University.
Jonathan Reside is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Periodontology. Dr. Reside graduated from UNC’s School of Dentistry and also received a Masters in Periodontics/Periodontology from UNC.
Lisa Stoner is an Associate Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at UNC’s School of Dentistry. Dr. Stoner will begin her appointment as Interim Associate Dean of Clinical Affairs on May 1. Her interests include clinical dental education, esthetics, and prosthodontic patient care. She graduated from the UNC School of Dentistry and also received a Masters in Prosthodontics from UNC. She holds a M.S. in Biomedical Engineering and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Virginia. Dr. Stoner has worked at UNC, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and in Private Practice.
Til Stürmer is an internist and epidemiologist with expertise in state of the art methods for nonexperimental treatment comparisons, including comparative effectiveness research. He has worked as a cancer epidemiologist, has over 10 years experience in analyzing claims data and merging claims data to other data sources, and is an internationally recognized leader in propensity scores and disease risk scores. Dr. Stürmer leads UNC’s pharmacoepidemiology program, one of the oldest and largest doctoral training programs in pharmacoepidemiology. He also is director of the Center for Pharmacoepidemiology in the Department of Epidemiology. He is a former president of the International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology and currently serves as a member on the FDA Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee.
Taiseer A. Sulaiman is currently an Assistant Professor and Director of Biomaterials and Biomimetics in the Department of Operative Dentistry at the UNC School of Dentistry. Dr. Sulaiman’s interests include restorative dentistry, esthetics, and dental ceramics. He attended the University of Mosul Dental School, earned a clinical certificate in operative dentistry from UNC-Chapel Hill, and received a PhD in Biomaterial Sciences from UNC-Chapel Hill and the University of Turku.
Sean Sylvia, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. As a health and development economist, Dr. Sylvia’s research focuses on designing and evaluating innovative approaches to improve the delivery of health services in developing countries. In past and ongoing projects, he has studied the design of performance-based incentives for providers, the implementation of school-based health and nutrition programs, community health worker interventions to improve early childhood health and development, and the measurement of and interventions to improve the quality of primary care in low-resource settings. Fluent in Mandarin, Dr. Sylvia has long-standing collaborations with researchers at a number of universities in China where he has directed several large-scale surveys and randomized trials. Prior to joining UNC, he worked as an Assistant Professor in the School of Economics at Renmin University of China. He also previously worked for the World Bank and was a predoctoral fellow at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. Dr. Sylvia received his PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of Maryland.
Jane Thrailkill earned her PhD in English at The Johns Hopkins University and currently teaches in UNC-Chapel Hill’s Department of English and Comparative Literature and in the School of Medicine. A specialist in nineteenth-century American literature, she is active as a researcher and scholar of Health Humanities, with a particular interest in the topic of aging. She is co-director of HHIVE Lab (hhive.unc.edu) — one of the first health humanities labs in the nation — which supports cross-disciplinary, narrative-based research. Prof. Thrailkill and her colleague in anthropology, Prof. Michele Rivkin-Fish, were recently awarded a Dean’s Interdisciplinary Team-Teaching grant to develop a new course, “Healing in Ethnography and Medicine” (ENGL 264/ANTH 272). She serves on the advisory board of UNC’s Partnerships in Aging, and has collaborated with colleagues on the medical campus to conduct interprofessional education sessions that bring humanities concepts and methods to the care of older adults. Prof. Thrailkill was UNC-Chapel Hill’s 2017 recipient of the Board of Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Mark Toles, PhD, RN is an assistant professor with expertise in services to promote safe transitions in care for older adults as they transfer between settings and providers of healthcare. His prior studies have used epidemiological and case study approaches to describe health outcomes and services for transitioning older adults. In his current research, Dr. Toles is testing the feasibility and acceptability of “Connect-Home,” a transitional care intervention for older adults as they transition from skilled nursing facilities to home. Dr. Toles is also a co-investigator in studies of the Transitional Care Model and clinical trials of interventions to improve the quality of care in nursing homes.
Jessica Williams is an Assistant Professor at the UNC School of Nursing. Her research focuses on the role of the healthcare system in identifying and responding to gender-based violence with a particular focus on elucidating disparities that exist in this process. Her work is facilitated through the application of community engagement methodology and dissemination and implementation science. Her research demonstrates how trauma and culture impact patient-provider communication and access to effective health services related to gender-based violence.
Alex Yarborough is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics. Dr. Yarborough graduated from UNC School of Dentistry, and completed her speciality training at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry. She came to UNC as a faculty member in 2013.