Current CNNC Research Fellows

Ali Askerov, Ph.D.
Research interests: refugee studies, conflict transformation, oil politics, ethnic conflicts, peace education, power politics, and human rights
Profile link:

Raleigh Bailey, Ph.D.
Director Emeritus, Center for New North Carolinians
Research interests: refugee/immigrant history and integration in Greensboro and North Carolina, Montagnard integration in North Carolina, Islam with special attention to the Hizmet movement in Turkey, islamophobia

Kelsie M. Bernot, Ph.D.

Mary Anne Busch

Catherine Bush, Ph.D.
Research interests: Ethnobotanical surveys (the medicinal and food uses of plants specifically), antibacterial analyses of medicinal plants, wartime experiences/oral histories, genome analyses of ancestry and disease risk (hypertension, diabetes, etc.), all pertaining to Montagnard community members.

Andrea Dalporto
Research interests: international; public health; social work, community based participatory research; collective impact; (& more)

Jigna Dharod, Ph.D.
Research interests: the relationship between food insecurity and social capital and its influence on health outcomes, different coping mechanisms low-income families use to reduce the severity and incidence of food insecurity, food safety risks in preparation and storage of weaning foods among immigrants and refugee populations settled in the US.

Laura M. Gonzalez, PhD, NCC
Research interests: college access for Latino adolescents, parental involvement for Spanish-speaking parents
Profile link:

Josh Hinson

Dilshad Jaff, MD, MPH
Research interests: public health, refugee and internally displaced health, complex emergencies, mental health, reproductive health, conflict prevention and disaster preparedness, humanitarianism, medicine, medical microbiology

Lynda Kellam

Narayan Khadka, Ph.D.,
Research interests: integration of refugees and immigrants, community building, restorative justice, reconciliation and indigenous models of conflict resolution
Profile link: LinkedIn

Lisa Kiang
Research interests: self and identity, family and social relationships, and culture with a focus on adolescents from immigrant and refugee backgrounds
Profile link:

Michele K. H. Malotky, PhD
Research interests: neuroimmune modulation and autoimmunity, innate immunity and host/pathogen interactions in Caenorhabditus elegans, endocrine disrupting chemicals and endocrine signaling pathways in C. elegans, CBPR- disparities in health care
Profile link:

Thomas Matyók, Ph.D.
Research interests: the role of religion in peace and stability operations, changing global conflict antagonisms, and the widening gap in civil-military relations.
Profile link:

Carmen Monico, Ph.D.
Research interests: children and youth at-risk and migration in Central & North America, migration of unaccompanied minors from the Central American Northern Triangle (CANT) regions, organizations and network of refugees and immigrants in the U.S., delivery of human services to immigration and refugee communities
Profile link:

Beth Moracco

Sharon Morrison, Ph.D
Research interests: the impact of culture and environmental factors in HIV prevention, and how migration (voluntary and forced) and resettlement create challenges, needs and opportunities for newcomer populations.

Maura Nsonwu, PhD, MSW, LCSW
Research interests: social work with immigrants and refugees; human trafficking; child welfare; women’s health; social work education; and violence against women and children.

Zithobile (Zitty) Nxumalo
Research interests: African immigrant mothers, American-raised children of African immigrants, servant leadership, authentic leadership, communication
Profile link:

Deb Reisinger

Daniel Rhodes, PhD, LCSW
Research interests: community mental health, immigrant and refugee populations with a focus on groups from Southeast Asia, conflict resolution, restorative justice, peace and social justice issues, engaged Buddhism, international social work and social development.

Jeremy Rinker, Ph.D.
Research interests:  issues of resistance and resilience in the face of collective trauma and around the themes of restorative justice, political violence, and conflict intervention practices as they relate to underserved and marginalized populations.
Profile link:  or

B. Burgin Ross, MS, RD, LDN
Research interests: nutrition & aging, nutrition & hospice/palliative Care, nutrition and HIV/Aids, refugee/immigrant issues in aging (MS work with elderly Montagnards)

Cathryne L. Schmitz, PhD, MSW
Research interests: analysis of the privilege/oppression nexus, critical multiculturalism, global engagement, environmental sustainability, leadership, interdisciplinary education, organizational development and community building, and peace-building, intercultural global education and knowledge building

Sudha Shreeniwas, Ph.D.
Research interests: focus on adults and older persons, how familial and societal contexts influence health and wellbeing over the life course, especially among ethnic minority immigrants and refugees in the US, gender differences in health care use and health outcomes in India, based on Community Engaged Participatory Action Research methodology, the Montagnard Hypertension Research Project, the Enablers of HIV Testing Among Latina Immigrants in the US South project, and the ARTmail for Alzheimer’s project.

Edna Tan, Ph.D.
Research interests: equity issues in STEM education, informal-formal STEM education mobilities, identity work, critical agency
Profile link: