Welcome New Affiliates and Postdoctoral Researchers

Five new affiliates have joined CDHA: please welcome Sigan Hartley, Olayinka Shiyanbola, Alvin Thomas, Nicole Werner, and Victoria Zhang!

Sigan Hartley is an associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies in the School of Human Ecology. Her research program is aimed at promoting optimal development and health in individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities and their families. Her work takes a biopsychosocial approach to examine how development and health are the result of interactions between biology, psychological factors, and life contexts. This work has spanned a range of neurodevelopmental disabilities (e.g., intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, and Fragile X syndrome).

Olayinka Shiyanbola is an associate professor in the Division of Social and Administrative Sciences at the School of Pharmacy. Her research program advances the use of patient-centered interdisciplinary approaches to improve diabetes and related chronic disease outcomes, medication use and adherence, health literacy, and health equity. She has over 12 years of experience in developing and implementing tailored medication use interventions for underserved populations. Currently, her research is focused on designing and implementing behavioral clinical trials and interventions that incorporate psychosocial and sociocultural factors towards improving medication adherence, diabetes self-management, and health equity.

Alvin Thomas is an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies in the School of Human Ecology, where he explores positive youth development and father involvement especially among Black families. Thomas is a clinical psychologist focused on the risk and protective factors for boys situated in conditions that imperil them toward negative outcomes. The role of neighborhood/context, family, parenting practices, fathers (nonresident fathers specifically), and youths’ individual strengths as contributors to positive youth development are key elements to his work. He investigates resilience, youth violence and exposure to violence, mood problems, suicide-related outcomes, and academic performance as outcomes of social and developmental processes.

Nicole Werner is an associate professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering in the College of Engineering and the director of the Wisconsin Institute for Healthcare Systems Engineering. She is also the Care Research Technology and Small Business Liaison Leader for the Dementia Care Core of the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Over her career, Werner has conducted research to advance the foundational knowledge and methodologies of the field of Human Factors Engineering (HFE) to improve the safety and quality of care for patients managing chronic conditions and their care partners across the patient journey.

Victoria Zhang is an assistant professor in the Department of Management and Human Resources in the Wisconsin School of Business, joining the UW faculty in June 2021. In her work, Zhang adopts a social networks lens to investigate how micro-level interactions shape norm-violating practices that sustain epidemics of professional deviance. Her current research explores the network processes that promote or inhibit regulatory compliance. Her latest work examines the impact of quasi-exogenous network interventions on norm-violating professional practices. In a related stream of work, she investigates national trends in high-risk prescribing and documents unmet healthcare needs in the substantive context of the U.S. prescription drug epidemic.

CDHA is also pleased to welcome three new postdocs this year: Shubhashrita Basu, Hamid Noghanibehambari, and Yan Zhang. Basu completed her doctorate in economics at Clemson University. She conducts research in the fields of health and labor economics, with a specific focus on child health, maternal outcomes, teenage childbearing, biodemography, and health services research. Noghanibehambari earned a PhD in economics from Texas Tech University. His research interests include labor economics, health economics, and the economics of education. Zhang earned a doctorate in sociology from Michigan State University. Her research interests include family demography, population health, aging and the life course, gender and sexuality, and quantitative methodology.

In addition to providing a collaborative research environment, CDHA also employs a team of dedicated staff members who help support affiliates and students at many different levels of the research process—from creating a grant budget to locating and accessing restricted data.

If you are an affiliate in need of help with grant proposal preparation and submission, data and information management, computing, or general administrative needs, please get in touch! More details on the services staff offer can be found on the Services & Contacts page.