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Updated 7:00 AM November 16, 2009

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Detroit-area teachers chosen for U-M/WSU research fellowship

Four Detroit area science teachers have been selected to participate in an innovative new research fellowship at the Michigan Center for Urban African American Research (MCUAAAR), a collaborative program jointly operated by U-M and Wayne State University.

MCUAAAR is one of six national resource centers for minority aging research focusing on investigating and reducing disparities between minority and non-minority older adults.
MCUAAAR Co-Director James S. Jackson, center, with fellows, from left, Jermaine Evans, Michelle Morden, Martha Wells and Juanita Tansil. (Photo courtesy Michigan Center For Urban African American Research)

The one-year fellowship — the African American Aging Summer Immersion for Science Teachers — is designed to provide middle school, high school and community college teachers with an opportunity to learn about the field of minority aging, and to enrich the social science and science curricula with this new knowledge.

AASIST Fellows will receive training, mentoring and instruction from U-M and WSU experts in the field of minority aging, and will develop projects of their own in collaboration with these experts. They will present their findings at the 2010 meeting of The Gerontological Society of America, the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging.

The fellows are Martha Cunigan-Wells, Oak Park Schools; Jermaine Evans, Inkster Public Schools; and Michelle Morden and Juanita Tansil, Detroit Public Schools.

"Our primary aim is to provide science educators with a unique, one-year educational experience focusing on minority aging, especially physical and mental health disparities," says U-M researcher James S. Jackson, who co-directs MCUAAAR with Peter Lichtenberg of WSU.

AASIST steering committee members are U-M faculty members Carmen Green, professor of anesthesiology, professor of OB/GYN, Medical School, associate professor of health management and policy, School of Public Health, and faculty associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics; Jacqui Smith, professor of psychology, LSA, research professor, Survey Research Center and research professor, Research Center for Group Dynamics; Toni Antonucci, the Elizabeth M. Douvan Collegiate Professor of Psychology, professor of psychology and faculty associate, Institute of Gerontology; and Letha Chadiha, School of Social Work.

For more information about the AASIST fellowships or MCUAAAR, go to

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