Skip to Content

College of Social Work


Executive Committee

headshot for swann adams

Swann Adams, PhD, MS, FACE

 Dr. Adams has been conducting research in South Carolina for over 20 years.  As an epidemiologist, she has a deep understanding of research study design, sources of bias in research, and applied analytic methods.  Much of her work has been conducted using a community-based participatory research approach in which she partners with African American community members to enhance the relevance and impact of her work.  Her research has predominately focused on understanding the determinants of cancer health disparities experienced by African Americans and ways to intervene to improve these inequalities. She has received grant funding from multiple sources including the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the South Carolina Cancer Alliance, and the South Carolina Cancer Center among others. She has also received awards for her work from the Arnold School of Public Health, the Vice President for Research of USC, and the College of Nursing.

Oluwole Ariyo

Oluwole Ariyo, PhD

Dr. Ariyo is an associate professor of biology at Allen University. He is also the Chairperson of the Allen University Curriculum Committee and the lead contact for the Institutional Review Board. His current research focuses on the expression patterns of microRNAs under different stress conditions and developmental stages in rice, corn and wheat. Dr. Ariyo is the Allen University liaison to the CCADMR and a subcontract principal investigator.

Omar Bagasra

Omar Bagasra, MD, PhD

Dr. Bagasra is a professor of biology and the director of the South Carolina Center for Biotechnology at Claflin University. For the past several years, his research has been focused on trying to gain insight into the molecular pathogenesis of HIV and the role of microRNA in protection against lentiviruses. Current lines of research examine the link between environmental chemicals and fetal brain development. Dr. Bagasra is the Claflin University liaison to the CCADMR and a subcontract principal investigator.

Chen Hongtu

Hongtu Chen, PhD

Dr. Hongtu Chen, PhD, is a senior scientist at the Department of Psychiatry, and Co-Director of the Program of Global Aging and Social Change, at the Global Health and Social Medicine Department, at Harvard Medical School. He served as Principal Investigator on numerous research projects related to aging and health service delivery, most of which were funded by NIH and other U.S. governmental agencies. He received the Fulbright Scholar Award to develop intervention programs to improve care of elders with dementia in collaboration with Thailand ministry of public health. Most of his research programs combine health intervention design, implementation science, and technological innovation. For the CCADMR program, he serves as an external evaluator.

Cheryl J. Dye

Cheryl J. Dye, PhD

Dr. Dye is a professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences and the director of the Clemson University Institute for Engaged Aging. Her research has focused on promoting quality of life of older adults through health promotion, chronic condition self-management, dementia caregiving, and fall prevention. She has received over $5.5M in funding as a Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator from agencies including the National Institutes of Health, Health Resources and Services Administration, the Kellogg Foundation, the Duke Endowment, the USDA, and the Veteran’s Administration. Dr. Dye is the Clemson University liaison to the CCADMR and a subcontract principal investigator.

Daniela B. Friedman

Daniela B. Friedman, PhD

Dr. Friedman is professor and chair of the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior in the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health. She is also co-director for the university’s Office for the Study of Aging which houses the oldest and most comprehensive Alzheimer’s Disease Registry in the U.S. Her interdisciplinary and partner-engaged research is focused on health communication with racially and ethnically diverse older populations. Dr. Friedman is a principal investigator of the CCADMR.

Marvella Ford

Marvella E. Ford, PhD

Dr. Ford is a tenured professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), where she is also the associate director of Population Sciences and Cancer Disparities at the Hollings Cancer Center. She also holds a SmartState Endowed Chair position in cancer disparities research at South Carolina State University (SCSU). In 2017, Dr. Ford and Dr. Salley (SCSU) were funded by the NIH/NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities to increase SCSU's capacity to conduct transdisciplinary cancer research and to further strengthen and extend a longitudinal research education pipeline to catalyze a new diverse generation of cancer disparities-focused biomedical researchers. Dr. Ford is a Co-Lead of the Research Education Component (REC) of the CCADMR..

James W Hardin

James W. Hardin, PhD

Dr. Hardin is a professor of biostatistics. He has been with the University of South Carolina since 2003. His research interests include correlated data, limited dependent variables, discrete choice analysis, generalized estimating equations, and complex survey data. Dr. Hardin is a Co-Lead of the Analysis Core of the CCADMR.

Lucy Ingram

Lucy A. Ingram, PhD, MPH

Dr. Ingram is an associate professor in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior and the assistant dean of Academic Affairs and Online Education for the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. Her research is focused on addressing racial/ethnic health disparities in sexual and reproductive health. Dr. Ingram is a Co-Lead of the Research Education Component (REC) of the CCADMR.

Sue Levkoff

Sue Levkoff, ScD, MSW, SM

Professor Sue Levkoff specializes in gerontology, gerontechnology, and Alzheimer’s Disease. She is involved in technology-based research on topics including, mHealth to monitor medication adherence among older HIV+ African Americans, remote monitoring to prevent hospital readmissions on older African Americans discharged with a diagnosis of congestive heart failure, and mHealth to improve sleep in older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders. Dr. Levkoff is a principal investigator of the CCADMR.

Audrey McCrary Quarles

Audrey McCrary-Quarles, PhD

Dr. McCrary-Quarles is an associate professor in the Health Sciences Department at South Carolina State University (SCSU). Her research is focused on healthy aging and injury prevention for seniors, promoting career awareness for minority youth, tobacco prevention, cancer disparities, and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. McCrary-Quarles is the SCSU liaison to the CCADMR.

Maggi Miller

Maggi Miller, MS, PhD

Dr. Miller is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the Alzheimer’s Disease Registry Manager for the Office for the Study of Aging in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina. Her research interests include Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and caregivers of individuals with dementia. Dr. Miller is key personnel for the Analysis Core of the CCADMR.


CCADMR Scientists

List image

Nicole Davis, PhD, APRN, AGPCNP-BC, GNP-BC

Dr. Nicole Davis is an assistant professor and the Adult-Gerontologial nurse practitioner and MSN-Education program coordinatorat Clemson University, School of Nursing. She is a board-certified Adult and Gerontological Nurse Practitioner with expertise in urinary incontinence, the needs of the aged, and using health information technology to support family caregivers. Davis has lectured and published on these topics; and has received several awards and funding for her work. Davis is a National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence Distinguished Educator in Gerontological Nursing, which recognizes her commitment to gerontological nursing education and the care of older adults.

Miriam Evans

Miriam Evans, EdD, MEd, MCHES

Dr. Miriam Evans is an assistant professor of Health Education in the Department of Health Sciences at South Carolina State University. Prior to starting a career in higher education, Dr. Evans spent many years in public health as an environmental health manager, program information coordinator, and health promotion manager. Her research interests include children’s environmental health; community health promotion planning, implementation and evaluation; and health disparities.

Andrea Henderson Platt

Andrea Henderson-Platt, PhD

Dr. Henderson-Platt is an assistant professor of Sociology at the University of South Carolina. Her research focuses on the role of psychosocial resources in contemporary health and family life, with a particular interest in religious involvement among Black Americans. To address this line of inquiry her work uses both quantitative and qualitative approaches, and takes an interdisciplinary focus including perspectives from critical theory, social psychology, and public health. Her work has been published in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Journal of Religion and Health, and Journal of Family Issues.

Caroline Hartnett, PhD

Caroline Hartnett, PhD

Dr. Hartnett is a Demographer and Sociologist at the University of South Carolina. Her research focuses on family relationships and the life course. Specifically, her work investigates how social relationships (particularly parent-child ties) and social location (including race-ethnicity) shape the ability of individuals to successfully plan their lives and achieve positive outcomes. Some of her recent work has focused on parent-child relationships during adulthood and identified how lacking supportive parental ties varies by race-ethnicity, and how lacking these ties may influence the health and well-being of young adults. Other recent work has examined how race-ethnicity shapes women’s experiences around unintended pregnancy. Prior to her current position, Dr. Hartnett completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan and received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Karina Liles, PhD

Karina Liles, PhD

Dr. Karina Liles is a native of Bennettsville, SC. She received her PhD in Computer Science and Engineering, ME in Computer Science and Engineering, and MEd in Educational Technology from University of South Carolina and her BS in Computer Science from Spelman College. She is an assistant professor in the department of Mathematics and Computer Science where she teaches computer science courses. She is the director of the Social Technologies and Robotics (STAR) Lab. Prior to employment at Claflin University, Dr. Liles taught computer science courses at University of South Carolina. She has also worked for Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL), AT&T, and Merrill Lynch as a technology analyst. She has worked at Northeastern Technical College as a Research and Statistical Analyst and adjunct professor. Dr. Liles has also served as a Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) consultant for K-12 school districts and currently owns a STEM Truck, a mobile STEM classroom that visits rural areas and provides STEM resources to students and educators.

Kevin Lu, PhD

Kevin Lu, PhD

Dr. Kevin Lu is an associate professor at the UofSC College of Pharmacy and a research associate at the Hollings Cancer Center located at the Medical University of South Carolina. He earned his PhD in pharmaceutical health services research from the University of Maryland.  Lu’s current research focuses on study design and the application of quantitative analysis of real-world big data, including pharmacoeconomics, pharmacoepidemiology, comparative effectiveness studies, and drug safety evaluation techniques in pharmaceutical and health outcomes research. He served as the Chair-Elect (2017-2018) and then Chair (2018-2019) of the Academic Council of the International Society of Pharmacoepidemiology and is currently the faculty adviser for the ISPOR-USC Student Chapter.

monique brown headshot

Monique Brown, PhD, MPH

Dr. Monique Brown is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina (UofSC).  She is also a Faculty Affiliate in the SmartState Center for Healthcare Quality, the Rural and Minority Health Research Center and the Office for the Study of Aging.  Dr. Brown received her PhD in Epidemiology from the Virginia Commonwealth University and her MPH from the Brown University School of Public Health.  Prior to UofSC, Dr. Brown completed a postdoctoral research fellowship and worked as a Research Assistant Professor in the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences at the University of South Florida.  Her research focuses on HIV intervention and prevention; childhood trauma; social, behavioral and mental health; and aging.  Her CCADMR project proposes to understand the potential health disparities in the pathways between HIV, depression and Alzheimer’s disease.

kailiegh byrne headshot

Kaileigh Byrne, PhD

Dr. Kaileigh Byrne is an assistant professor of psychology as Clemson University.  She received her PhD in Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience in 2017 from Texas A&M University.  She is currently the director of the Cognition and Decision Science (CADS) Lab. Dr. Byrne’s research focuses on situational factors and individual differences that affect cognitive functioning, reward processing, and decision-making strategies.  Some of her recent work has investigated how decision-making changes across the lifespan.  Additionally, other recent research has been aimed at characterizing cognitive and reward processing risk factors for substance abuse and designing interventions for substance abuse recovery in hospital settings. Her overall research goals involve using a cognition-driven approach to mitigating cognitive decline across the lifespan and improve cognitive outcomes for those with or at-risk for substance use problems. 

stephanie urena headshot

Stephanie Ureña, PhD, MPH

Stephanie Ureña is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior and the Office for the Study of Aging within the Arnold School of Public Health. Her research centers on the ways social factors shape population health and well-being, with an emphasis on aging, life course processes, health disparities, and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. A special focus of her research is on the implications of military service for the long-term health of U.S. veterans, which received federal funding from the National Institute on Aging (R36 and CCADMR pilot grant). Dr. Ureña also holds an MPH, is trained in sociology, gerontology, and demography, and is an affiliate of the Carolina Consortium on Health, Inequalities, and Populations (CHIP) at the University of South Carolina.


 CCADMR Program Coordinator

Quentin McCollum

Quentin McCollum

Mr. McCollum is the Program Coordinator of the Carolina Center on Alzheimer’s Disease and Minority Research (CCADMR). He provides administrative, research, and fiscal support for the Center. He earned his masters degree in public health (MPH) from UofSC in the Department of Health Promotion, Education and Behavior. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.