INSPIRED Lab Team

Innovative and Strategic Prevention
in Racial and Ethnic Disparities (INSPIRED) Lab

Dr. Trenette Clark Goings

Trenette Clark Goings, PhD

Director

Trenette Clark Goings, Ph.D. LICSW is the Sandra Reeves Spears and John B. Turner Distinguished Professor in the School of Social Work and the founding director of the INSPIRED Lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on racial and ethnic health disparities, primarily emphasizing the epidemiology, etiology, and prevention of substance use among African American and biracial adolescents and young adults. Dr. Trenette holds expertise in substance use prevention, extensive data analysis, intervention research, and grant writing and has received invitations to speak internationally. Her work has been consistently funded—mainly by the National Institutes of Health—and has yielded publications in leading peer-reviewed journals, including Drug & Alcohol Dependence, Addiction, Development & Psychopathology, Addictive Behaviors, and Health Psychology. She is the Society for Social Work and Research recipient Deborah K. Padgett Early Career Achievement Award, the Wallace Kuralt Early Career Professorship in the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the Making a Difference Ph.D. Alumni Award from the School of Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Trenette completed her undergraduate degrees at Elizabeth City State University (B.A. and B.S.), graduate degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (MSW), and doctoral degree at Virginia Commonwealth University.

“The best way to prevent addiction is to prevent initiation.” (T.C. Goings)

“Good science plus love is an equation that makes a difference.” (T.C. Goings)“Good science plus love is an equation that makes a difference.” (T.C. Goings)

Daniel J. Bauer

Daniel J. Bauer, PhD

Statistician

Dr. Daniel J. Bauer is a Professor and Director of the Quantitative Psychology Program and L.L. Thurstone Psychometric Laboratory of the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The overarching goals of his research program are to propose, evaluate, and apply quantitative modeling techniques to improve research on the development of negative social and health behaviors and psychopathology. For the past decade, he has focused mainly on developing and applying integrative data analysis techniques, which aim to combine data records from independently conducted studies to allow for simultaneous analysis.

Ai Bo, PhD

Ai Bo, PhD

Co-Investigator and Project Manager

Dr. Ai Bo is an assistant professor in the Social Work Department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dr. Bo’s current research focuses on three interrelated areas of intervention research: advancing intervention theories for understanding structural and behavioral determinants of youth substance use and mental health problems; evaluating and synthesizing intervention effects and mechanisms of substance use prevention programs; and enhancing clinical trial design and evaluation methods. Dr. Bo is a recipient of the GADE 2019 student award for social work research and has published her work in top-tier interdisciplinary journals. She is on the editorial board of Research on Social Work Practice and an early career reviewer for the Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research. Over the years, she has developed strong applied methodological and statistical skills with an expertise in meta-analysis and structural equation modeling. Dr. Bo was a Kuralt Postdoctoral Scholar for Quantitative Intervention Research at the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before joining the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare. She was an adjunct lecturer at NYU where she taught substance abuse courses in the BSW Program and a guest lecturer for MSW research methods courses.

Caroline Evans, Ph.D.

Caroline Evans, PhD

SUPER Lead Evaluator

Dr. Caroline Evans received her Ph.D. in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015. As a doctoral student, Dr. Evans worked as a research assistant for the North Carolina Youth Violence Prevention Center (NC-YVPC) and assisted primarily with the Teen Court program. She helped with program implementation, data collection and analysis, and dissemination of results through journal articles and presentations. Following graduation, Dr. Evans became a research associate for NC-YVPC and assisted in a Teen Court in Schools project funded by the National Institute of Justice. Dr. Evans currently works on the SUPER project assisting with many facets, including data collection and analysis, fidelity tracking, participant recruitment and retention, and program implementation. Dr. Evans’s primary research interests include youth violence prevention, adolescent development, bullying perpetration, and victimization.

Zoe Jennings

Zoe Jennings

Research Assistant

Zoe Jennings is an MSW candidate at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Before starting her MSW, Zoe worked in gynecology research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, helping to coordinate studies on pelvic pain and urinary issues. Before that, Zoe interned as a sexual health educator and served as an AmeriCorps member, making conservation and disaster response, for several years. Zoe’s primary research and practice interests include sexual health, addiction, and infectious disease.

Jazmyne Jones

Jazmyne Jones

Interventionist

Jazmyne Jones is a Skills Trainer in the Substance Use Prevention and Education and Research (SUPER) program. She is also a Master of Social Work graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a minor in Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her interests involve ensuring that youth and families, especially marginalized groups and individuals in rural counties, get connected with the proper community and health resources needed to live healthy and sustainable lives.

Dr. Patrece L. Joseph

Patrece L. Joseph, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Patrece L. Joseph earned her Ph.D. in Child Study and Human Development from Tufts University. Her research uses community-engaged methods to positively impact the health of Black and Latinx adolescents and adolescents from low-income communities. First, her research examines these adolescents’ unique health-related beliefs, decision-making skills, and health behaviors. Then, it applies the findings to designing, implementing, and disseminating interventions that consider adolescents’ developmental trajectories, contexts and build on their strengths. Her recent research has focused on developing a conceptual foundation and measure of health identity development (i.e., how health aligns with other aspects of identity development and adolescents’ goals). Patrece is excited to continue this work as a part of the INSPIRED lab.

Amy Levine, MSW, LCSW

Amy Levine, MSW, LCSW

Program Delivery Coach

Amy Levine, MSW, LCSW, is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the UNC-Chapel Hill School
of Social Work teaches courses in child welfare and mental health and serves as a faculty member in the field education program. Amy has a practice background in child welfare and community mental health and worked as a child, adolescent, and family therapist. Amy is also a North Carolina Certified Clinical Supervisor, providing supervision and consultation to LCSW-A’s. Amy’s practice and research interests include trauma-informed models of care, child and adolescent mental health, and the intersection of child welfare and behavioral health services.

Adam Mack

Adam Mack

Data Manager

Adam Mack is a SAS programmer and data manager with the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.S. in Psychology and an M.S. in Information Science. He has worked with data from various research projects, including studies of adolescent substance use prevention, early childhood education, and outcomes for babies born prematurely. Adam plays games (both video and board) in his spare time and attempts to corral his two lovably rambunctious children.

Alejandro Martinez, III

Alejandro Martinez, III

Research Assistant

Alejandro Martinez is a graduate student in the Quantitative Psychology program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His primary area of statistical research is in structural equation modeling, particularly nonlinear models. His immediate area of psychological research is developing and evaluating psychological instruments designed to measure constructs related to suicide.

Andrea Murray-Lichtman, MSW, LCSW

Andrea Murray-Lichtman, MSW, LCSW

Project Manager

Andrea Murray-Lichtman is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) School of Social Work and a PhD student at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Andrea serves as project manager for the Substance Use Prevention, Education, and Research (SUPER) initiative. Andrea is excited about the aims of SUPER to strengthen community capacity to prevent the onset of substance use (including alcohol, cigarette, and e-cigarettes) and reduce the progression of substance use among youth ages 11-16. Her research interests include racial inequities in access and outcomes across social systems and strategies to promote racial equity. She has a combined 17 years of physical health, mental health, and substance misuse treatment experience within integrated healthcare and criminal justice settings serving people living with comorbid mental health, substance misuse, and chronic physical health diagnoses.

Sammy Salkin

Sammy Salkin

Sammy Salkin is an MSW candidate at UNC Chapel Hill. Before beginning her graduate studies, Sammy served as the Outreach Coordinator for the Reading Coalition for Prevention & Support in Reading, Massachusetts. As part of her work, Sammy spearheaded substance use prevention and education efforts for youth and adults. She also worked closely with the public school system and local police department to provide support for youth with substance misuse concerns and their families. Prior to beginning with the Coalition, Sammy worked as a Domestic Violence Counselor with RESPOND Inc. in Boston, Massachusetts.

Sammy’s primary research interests include the intersections between substance abuse, interpersonal violence, and criminal justice system involvement. Sammy graduated with a BA in Public Health from Tufts University in May 2018.

Anjalee Sharma, MSW

Anjalee Sharma, MSW

Research Assistant

Anjalee Sharma is a doctoral student at the University of North Carolina’s School of Social Work. Her research interests revolve around the intersections of criminal justice and substance use disorders, with a focus on improving continuity of care for those reentering the community after being incarcerated. Anjalee is also interested in studying the relationship of criminal justice policies, including policing and sentencing practices, as they pertain to race and the prison industrial complex. She received her MSW from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Between her masters and doctoral work, she spent time doing community-based research in Baltimore City Jail. She has published in several peer-reviewed journals and has presented at national conferences pertaining to social work and substance use disorders.

Hollis Smith

Hollis Smith

Communications Specialist

Hollis Smith is an undergraduate senior at UNC-Chapel Hill pursuing a degree in Linguistics with minors in Hispanic Studies and Social and Economic Justice. Outside of the classroom, she channels her interests in language and justice as Recruitment Chair of Enrich English Language Learning. In this organization, UNC students partner with community members to provide free English tutoring. For the past year, she served as an Americorps member in the NC LiteracyCorps, managing marketing for Wake County’s Early Literacy Coalition. After graduation, she plans to work toward an MSW degree and pursue her passion for working with the LGBTQ+ community.

Melissa Vlilodas

Melissa Vlilodas, MSW

Research Assistant

Melissa Villodas, MSW, is a doctoral candidate at the University of North Carolina’s School of Social Work. Her research interests revolve around how where people live impacts their health and well-being, focusing on neighborhood effects on Black youth mental health. Melissa’s work also spans transition-aged foster care youth mental health and youth and young adult community engagement.

Melissa received her MSW from New York University’s Silver School of Social Work. Between her masters and doctoral work, she worked as a clinical therapist for a treatment family foster care program and an integrative health care organization in New York City. Melissa has also worked as a project manager for several NIMH-funded projects focused on mental health service utilization and interventions for individuals living with severe mental illness.

Tauchiana Williams, MSW, LCSW

Tauchiana Williams, MSW, LCSW

Lead Interventionist

Tauchiana Williams is a clinical assistant professor and director of the 12-month advanced standing Master of Social Work program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition, she is the coordinator of the school social work license program. Ms. Williams received her Bachelor of Psychology from Wellesley College and Master of Social Work from UNC-Chapel Hill. She is a licensed clinical social worker and currently serves on the North Carolina social work certification and licensure board. She teaches direct practice social work, field education, and school social work practice courses. Her practice areas and experience include trauma, substance use, child and adolescent mental health, and school social work. Ms. Williams’s research interests include African American single parent engagement and student success in schools. Ms. Williams serves as an interventionist with SUPER. She engages youth and families with support services and acts as a liaison with middle school partnerships.

Shena Brown, PhD

Shena Brown, PhD

Investigator

Dr. Brown is an assistant professor in the Whitney M. Young, Jr. School of Social Work at Clark Atlanta University. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Georgia School of Social Work and a graduate certificate in Interdisciplinary Qualitative Studies from the Mary Frances Early College of Education in 2020. Dr. Brown was a recipient of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Dissertation Year Award and the 2019 Graduate School Dean’s Award for Social Sciences. Her research interests include race-based stress and health disparities, mental health and substance use disorders and recovery, and professional wellness factors among helping professionals. Dr. Brown has an extensive practice history with over 20 years of post-MSW behavioral health experience as a clinical social worker and an addiction counselor. She aims to develop a research agenda that incorporates interdisciplinary and mixed methodological approaches to strengthen knowledge around racial and ethnic disparities, particularly in behavioral health.

Brianna

Brianna Dewitty

Interventionist

An aspiring data analyst interested in both social and clinical inequity. My goal is to address health disparities within the healthcare field for the LGBTQ+ community and racial minorities through statistical analysis.

Rachana Sherman

Rachana Sherman

Communications Specialist

Rachana Sherman is an undergraduate student at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) studying Biology with a minor in Data Science. She’s also a General Staff Member under the Department of Campus Life & Student Experiences of UNC’s Undergraduate Student Government Executive Branch. Since high school, she’s worked to mentor students as the co-founder of her free mentorship program, The Scholar’s Corner. She’s completed marketing internships and currently works as a social media manager and video editor. She’s excited to contribute to the INSPIRED Lab as a Communications Specialist!