Jamie Abelson

Jamie AbelsonSenior Research Associate

 [email protected]

More about Jamie Abelson
Jamie has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Oberlin College and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan, and a long interest in culture and mental health. She has worked on a variety of mental health studies at the Institute for Social Research, first with Ron Kessler and the WHO CIDI Training and Research Center, and in recent years at PRBA. She has also worked as a clinician, and has provided clinical back up for a variety of projects within and outside ISR. Her knowledge of the DSM and the assesment of mental disorders is a great asset to PRBA as well as her skills in managing mental health studies.

Minti Henderson

Minti HendersonAdministrative Assistant Associate

 [email protected]

More about Minti Henderson
Minuet started working with the PRBA as a data entry clerk, she has since moved into the role of Program Coordinator for the Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research, a collaborative between the University of Michigan and Wayne State University. The MCUAAAR is focused on research and community-based interventions promoting the health of older racial and ethnic minorities. She also provides much needed support to faculty and staff in the PRBA. Minuet is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Biology at Eastern Michigan University.

Jane Rafferty

Jane RaffertyResearch Area Specialist Senior

Program for Research on Black Americans

A.B.D. Sociology

 [email protected]

More about Jane Rafferty
Jane works across the full arc of the research process, including planning and writing grants, planning and performing analyses, writing journal articles and technical reports. She assists on household surveys tapping, but not limited to measures of physical health, mental health, political participation, social support, sources of stress, and the variation in the meaning of race and ethnicity across national contexts. We take the notion of intersectionality seriously; critical analyses of health disparities assess the joint effects of race, ethnicity, immigration status, socioeconomic status, and sex. Extending descriptive examinations, we explore pathways that link the social environment, sources of stress, both social and biological, coping behaviors (e.g. use of alcohol, nicotine, and over-eating), and mental and physical health outcomes. We evaluate the trade-off between physical health and mental health; are certain coping behaviors protective of one’s mental health working through the stress-response psychoneuroimmunological systems but detrimental to one’s physical health.

Diana Armistead

Research Administrator

Program for Research on Black Americans

BGS, University of Michigan
MS, Eastern Michigan University

 [email protected]

More about Diana Armistead
Diana works as the research administrator for PRBA handling day to day activities associated with current funding and assisting with proposal management. She has worked at ISR/RCGD since 2006 and with PRBA since 2015.

Robert Melendez

Robert MelendezTitle


 [email protected]

More about Robert Melendez

Julie Sweetman

Julie SweetmanResearch Assistant

Program for Research on Black Americans

B.A., Psychology and Economics, University of Michigan
M.S., Survey Methodology, University of Michigan

 [email protected]

More about Julie Sweetman
Julie Sweetman has a BA in Psychology and Economics, and a MS in Survey Methodology, both from the University of Michigan. She has worked with PRBA in various capacities for nearly two decades. She was the data manager for the National Survey of American Life, maintaining the NSAL datasets across multiple platforms, creating many complex variables, and running analyses in SPSS, SAS, and Stata for many NSAL publications and presentations. She has been involved with the National Politics Studies, managing data from both paper-and-pencil questionnaires and Qualtrics online surveys. She has programmed and analyzed Qualtrics data to track the effectiveness of the MCUAAAAR mentorship programs. Julie also maintains a comprehensive master list of both NSAL and NPS publications.