William A. Vega, PhD
Dr. Vega is a Provost Professor at the University of Southern California (USC) with appointments in social work, preventive medicine, psychiatry, family medicine, psychology, and gerontology.
An elected member of the Institute of Medicine, Dr. Vega has conducted community and clinical research projects on health, mental health and substance abuse in diverse regions of the United States and Latin America. His specialty is multi-cultural epidemiologic and services research with adolescents and adults, supported by multiple public and private agencies and foundations. He has published more than 190 articles, chapters, and several books. The 2006 ISI Web of Science listed him in the upper half of 1 percent of the most highly cited researchers worldwide in social science literature over the past 20 years.
Prior to joining the Roybal Institute, Dr. Vega was director of the Luskin Center on Innovation at UCLA. In 2002, he received the Society for Prevention Research's Community, Culture and Prevention Science Award and the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse's National Award of Excellence in Research by a Senior Scientist in 2004. In 2013, he was honored with the Rema Lapouse Award from the Mental Health, Epidemiology, and Statistics Sections of the American Public Health Association.
Dr. Vega has served on numerous boards and task forces, including health disparities work groups of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Attorney General's Task Force on Methamphetamine, the Institute of Medicine Board on Population Health, the Committee on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment Effectiveness, and chaired the Institute of Medicine Health Equity and Disparities Roundtable. He is also a former council member of the NIH Fogarty International Center, served on multiple research review panels of the NIH, was a member of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars in Health Policy Research Advisory Committee, and chaired the New Connections program for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2009.
Karen D. Lincoln, PhDwww.karendlincoln.com
An Associate Professor in the USC School of Social Work, Dr. Lincoln's scholarship grapples with issues that are locally, nationally, and internationally meaningful. She is known for her creative application of pioneering statistical models to the examination of social and contextual determinants of mental health outcomes among African American and Caribbean descent populations. The primary objective of Dr. Lincoln's research agenda is to expand theoretical, methodological and empirical knowledge on Black American mental health and well-being, and to inform and design interventions spanning multiple ecological levelsindividual, community, societalto restore and promote the health and well-being of Black Americans across the life course.
Dr. Lincoln has distinguished herself as a scholar whose research and publications have expanded our understanding both methodologically and conceptually of mental health and well-being among Black Americans. Dr. Lincoln's work has been widely disseminated in the form of dozens of presentations at national and international conferences and over 30 publications in more than 20 peer-review journals, including Social Science and Medicine, the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, the Journals of Gerontology, the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, Journal of Marriage and Family, Family Relations, Social Work, Social Service Review, Biodemography and Social Biology, and DuBois Review.
Dr. Lincoln's research is supported by a number of different agencies within the National Institutes of Health, including the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the National Institute of Mental Health. Her research has also been funded by The John A. Hartford Foundation/The Gerontological Society of America.
Editor of Home Health Care Services Quarterly
Maria P. Aranda, PhD
Dr. Aranda chairs the USC School of Social Work's Older Adult Subconcentration and holds a joint appointment with the USC Davis School of Gerontology. An expert in the psychosocial care of adult and late-life psychiatric disorders, she has served as principal investigator or co-investigator on a range of behavioral trials and epidemiological surveys funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Aging, the National Cancer Institute, The John A. Hartford Foundation/The Gerontological Society of America and the National Institute of Rehabilitation and Research.
Her teaching and research interests are in the area of human behavior and the social environment, mental health intervention and services research for underrepresented populations, and the study of adherence and sociocultural factors in evidence-based psychosocial interventions for depression. Dr. Aranda has served on national and international boards and committees dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of persons in the U.S. and Latin America. She was recently appointed to the Institute of Medicine's Committee on the Mental Health Workforce for Geriatric Populations.
Research Associate Professor
Donald A. Lloyd, PhD
A social epidemiologist trained at the University of Toronto, Dr. Lloyd has worked on several large-scale community-based studies in Canada and Florida. His work focuses on life course processes that are associated with differential risk for mental health and substance-use problems across sociodemographic groups.
His recent projects address the role of lifetime cumulative exposure to major and potentially traumatic events in the risk for initial onset of psychiatric disorders and addictions. His published research documents the important distinction between proximal and distal exposure to stressful events and their independent contribution to the risk for subsequent disorder. Prior to joining the Trojan Family, Dr. Lloyd developed and led graduate seminars in the burgeoning field of life course epidemiology.
Vern L. Bengtson, PhD
Dr. Bengston is a faculty research associate with the Roybal Institute. Prior to joining the institute, he held the AARP/University Chair in Gerontology at USC. He has published 16 books and 230 research papers in gerontology, theories of aging, sociology of aging, and family sociology.
Dr. Bengston is past president of The Gerontological Society of America and has twice been granted MERIT awards for research from the National Institute on Aging. In his career at USC, he has been Principal Investigator of research and training grants that totaled $21 million from 1969 to 2005. Most of these were from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Early in his career, he started the Longitudinal Study of Generations, a multi-disciplinary investigation of families, aging, and social change, which has received continuous NIH funding over eight waves of data collection from families that the study has followed since 1971.
For his research and professional contributions Dr. Bengtson has received a number of honors and awards, including the Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Sociological Association's Section on Aging and the Life Course (1995); the Robert W. Kleemeier Award from The Gerontological Society of America (1996); the Ernest W. Burgess Distinguished Career Award from the National Council on Family Relations (1998); and the Reuben Hill Award from the National Council of Family Relations (1980 and 1986). In addition he has received three major awards for teaching from the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, as well as a national honor, the Distinguished Mentor Award from The Gerontological Society of America. Teaching has provided him with his most gratifying experiences throughout his long academic career.
Associate Vice Provost, Community Research Initiatives
Dean's Professor of Social Work and Preventive Medicine
Hortensia Amaro, PhD
As Associate Vice Provost for Community Research Initiatives, Dr. Hortensia Amaro develops and advances outreach programs operating between the Office of the Provost and University Relations. This includes promoting scholarly research and student learning in the fields of preventative medicine and social work, cultivating health and wellness service partnerships, analyzing collaborative research models and place-based interventions, and strengthening relationships among faculty who are engaged in community research.
Amaro is a Dean's Professor, Social Work and Preventative Medicine in the USC School of Social Work. She has dramatically advanced the understanding of substance abuse disorder treatment, HIV prevention and other urgent public health challenges through a distinguished career that has spanned scholarly research, translation of science to practice, top-level policy consultation, and service on four Institute of Medicine committees. Before joining USC in 2012, Amaro was with Northeastern University for 10 years, serving as dean, as well as distinguished professor of health sciences and counseling psychology, of the Bouvé College of Health Sciences, and as director of the university's Institute on Urban Health Research.
Over the last 30 years, Amaro has forged vital connections between public health research and practice. Her studies have focused on alcohol and drug use and addiction among adolescents and adults; the development and testing of behavioral interventions for HIV/AIDS prevention, including innovative HIV prevention models targeted to Latina and African American women; substance abuse and mental health treatment for Latina and African American women and incarcerated men; alcohol and drug use among college populations; and behavioral interventions for HIV medications adherence. After joining Northeastern University in 2001, Amaro established the Institute on Urban Health Research, which promotes interdisciplinary and community-based research that examines the causes of racial and ethnic health disparities in health, and develops and tests strategies that improve health in urban communities.
She has previously served as professor in the Boston University School of Public Health and in the Department of Pediatrics at the Boston University School of Medicine. She received her doctorate in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1982 and was awarded honorary doctoral degrees in humane letters by Simmons College in 1994 and the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology in 2012. She has also served as a distinguished visiting professor in women's health at Ben Gurion University in Israel.
Chinese-American Golden Age Association/Frances Wu Chair for the Chinese Elderly
Iris Chi, PhD
Dr. Chi was installed as the Chinese-American Golden Age Association/Frances Wu Chair for the Chinese Elderly in 2004 and currently directs the China Program at the USC School of Social Work. Prior to joining the USC School of Social Work, she taught at the University of Hong Kong for 17 years, in addition to chairing the Department of Social Work and its postgraduate research programs and serving as the director of the Sau Po Center on Aging.
An expert in elderly health and gerontology, Dr. Chi has participated in more than 90 studies and published more than 250 articles. She is an honorary professor, fellow, consultant and adviser to more than 30 local and overseas social work and elderly-related organizations including The Gerontological Society of America, the Australian Association of Gerontology, interRAI, the University of Hong Kong, Peking University, and the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. She is also an associate editor for International Journal of Social Welfare, and an expert reviewer and editorial board member for several social work and gerontology journals. In addition, Dr. Chi has served on the Commission on Curriculum and Educational Innovation for the Council on Social Work Education, the board of the International Association of the Schools of Social Work, the National Program Advisory Committee for the Hartford Doctoral Fellows, and was appointed to the expert panel for the World Health Organization's Kobe Collaboration Centre. Most recently, she was nominated to be a member of the Phi Tau Phi Scholastic Honor Society of America.