Johnson Research Team

Dr. Jennifer Johnson, a C.S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health, is conducting several research projects. Her research team consists of the following members:

Research Assistant Professor

Maji Hailemariam Debena, PhD
Dr. Maji Hailemariam holds a PhD in Mental Health Epidemiology from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia. Her interests include equitable access to mental health care, global mental health, implementation science and behavioral health intervention development. Her previous research work focused on examining the feasibility and acceptability of integration of mental healthcare into primary care facilities in rural Ethiopia, Africa. Her research is guided by understanding barriers to mental health care disproportionately experienced by underserved populations including women, rural residents, individuals with serious mental illness, justice-involved populations and individuals from low socioeconomic backgrounds. She is interested in developing peer-provided mental health interventions that would improve mental health outcomes for individuals experiencing multiple barriers to care. Dr. Hailemariam’s completed and ongoing research engagements are based in low-resource settings of Africa and the United States.

Research Associate Professor

JohnBosco Chika Chukwuorji, PhD
Dr. JohnBosco Chika Chukwuorji is a research associate at Michigan State University supporting the National Center for Health and Justice Integration for Suicide Prevention (NCHATS). He completed his predoctoral research as a Fulbright scholar at Cleveland State University Cleveland, Ohio USA (2019-2020) and earned his PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Nigeria Nsukka in 2021. He holds editorial positions in several reputable journals. His research is focused on finding innovative approaches to provide quality mental healthcare for people living with challenging health conditions, forcibly displaced persons, justice-involved individuals, and other vulnerable populations.

Project Manager

Raven Miller, MS
Raven graduated with an MS in Clinical Research Raven graduated with an MS in Clinical Research Administration from Walden University. She has worked in clinical research for over a decade providing project coordination and regulatory oversite to various multidisciplinary research projects. Raven has been a part of Dr. Johnson’s team for over 5 years. She oversees the ROSE Sustainment Study which enrolled 98 clinics and agencies across the country providing prenatal services to low-income women, and the National Center for Health and Justice Integration for Suicide Prevention (NCHATS) which includes more than 100 stakeholders, 30 investigators, and 15 institutions. She is also responsible for Dr. Johnson’s research team operational needs, personnel recruitment, hiring, training, and provides mentorship to the research support staff. She is passionate about promoting equitable care, prevention, and closing the gap of health disparities.

Project Coordinator

Susan Lamphere, MA

Sue obtained her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame and went on to earn an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Michigan State University. She began working with Dr. Johnson’s team as a Research Assistant for the SPIRIT Study. Sue was drawn to the work because of the translational nature of the mental health research and the intention to apply new, more effective interventions.

Brandon Taylor, MSW

Brandon graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint in 2017 with a B.S. in Research Psychology and a minor in Substance Abuse Treatment. He graduated from Michigan State University with a clinical MSW in 2020. He previously worked on the suicide-prevention trial (SPIRIT) for justice-involved people; a study aimed at treating depression after pregnancy-loss (HeAL); and a community reentry study (MAPS) aimed at supporting people with serious mental illness leaving jail. Brandon previously worked as a mental health practitioner for the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom before becoming the project coordinator for ROSES-II, a study assessing the scalability of the ROSE postpartum depression prevention program. He aims to use his career to help alleviate unnecessary suffering in the world.

Communications and Administration

Morgan Flees Morgan, MS

Morgan graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2011 with her B.S. in Communications and Marketing. She is the Communications Manager for the National Center for Health and Justice Integration for Suicide Prevention (NCHATS). Before becoming an MSU Spartan in November 2017, she worked as a residency coordinator for 6 years at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. For over 7 years, she has dedicated her career to keeping health faculty educators and directors organized, prioritized and efficient. Morgan finds enjoyment in helping people and organizations become successful.

Kerrin Blanchard, BS

Kerrin (She/They) graduated with a High Honors BS in Applied Research Psychology from the University of Michigan - Flint in 2021. She has worked in clinical research for the last 4 years providing data analysis, administration of various developmental assessments from newborn up to 3 years old and is currently working as the primary assistant for the African American Family Health History study with Dr. Kent Key and provides research administrative support to Dr. Jennifer Johnson. She's aiming to begin graduate school in 2025 to obtain a PhD. and continue to work in research to improve lives through public health and psychology.

Research Assistants

Takeya Harris, BS

Takeya graduated with a B.S. from Saginaw Valley State University in 2019 and is currently pursuing an MPH at MSU. She has several years of experience in front line patient care and service. She’s currently a Research Assistant for both The ROSE Sustainment Study and the ROSE Scale Up Study. Takeya finds every day rewarding because she sees how the ROSE program changes the lives of women across the country. She’s very passionate about helping low-income individuals and finds enjoyment in giving back to community through volunteer services. Her goal is to take on a career in public health to address health disparities in rural communities.

Haneen Hammad, BS

Haneen Hammad is currently pursuing her MSc in Psychology and Neuroscience of Mental Health from Kings College London. She has a Bachelor’s in Chemistry and is hoping to pursue a Doctorate in Cognitive Neuroscience. Haneen’s passion stems from wanting to build culturally relevant and trauma-informed interventions. She is interested in closing the gap in women’s mental health through biomedical research, clinical practice, and psychoeducation. She has experience in community mental health and has worked towards understanding barriers to mental health care. Haneen enjoys spending her free time with family, exploring local coffee shops, reading nonfiction, and traveling to new countries.

Christine Huff, MBA

Christine graduated from Baker College, Center for Graduate Studies with an MBA in Leadership in 2012. Her Bachelor’s degree is in Health Services Administration. Before coming to MSU, she worked for Genesys PHO as a Business Analyst and Baker College as an Academic Advisor. She was also an adjunct faculty member at Baker College, teaching Healthcare and Business courses. Christine focuses on Servant Leadership and has volunteered at the North End Soup Kitchen, and the Burton V.F.W. volunteering with “My Heart Supports the Troops,” where boxes are sent to deployed military men and women who are from Michigan. She is also on the board for the Freedom for Veterans Race, which helps local veterans and programs in Genesee County. This is her first job as a Research Technologist and because of her background in leadership and healthcare, she felt the calling to continue her work as a Servant Leader in helping others through research and healing. Christine is working on the HeAL project with Dr. Johnson’s team.

Alanna Foulon, BA

Alanna graduated from the University of Windsor in Canada with a B.A in Political Science in 2017 and a B.A. in Psychology in 2022. She has research experience in substance use and related mental health disorders. Through her education and clinical experiences, she developed a passion for helping vulnerable populations. She hopes to attend graduate school in clinical psychology or clinical social work so that she can work as a clinician, researcher, and advocate at the community level. Alanna is thrilled to be apart of the ROSES-II team!

Quincy Kittle, BA

Quincy (she/her) graduated from Michigan State University in 2017 with a BA in Comparative Cultures and Politics. She obtained Minors in Spanish, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and Science, Technology, the Environment, and Public Policy. She is a Research Assistant with the ROSES Scale-up Study. Prior to ROSES, she has worked in the nonprofit sector advocating for people with disabilities and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic. She is passionate about reproductive access and justice and serves as a birth and pregnancy-loss Doula. She hopes to dedicate her career to advancing community health for children and pregnant people.

Alexandra Pawlaczyk, BA

Alexandra graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in Psychology in 2021. She is a research assistant for HeAL, a study aimed at treating depression after pregnancy-loss. Prior to taking on this role, Alexandra worked in health care settings aimed at providing comprehensive crisis prevention and intervention in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Understanding firsthand the gaps between treatment and prevention in the mental health space, Alexandra was excited about the opportunity to join the team. She hopes that her skillset can be an asset in providing mother’s the resources they need to receive adequate care and support after experiencing pregnancy loss.

Tiffany Vedo, BS, BA

Tiffany graduated from Purdue University with a BS in Psychology and a BA in Sociology in 2020 and is currently pursuing an MS in Forensic Psychology. She is a research assistant for the NCHATS study which will examine how to scale successful pilot projects and evaluate both the clinical and cost-effectiveness of suicide prevention activities. Prior to taking on this role Tiffany worked briefly as a research assistant in an intergroup relations and inclusion lab which studied the psychology behind hate and prejudice. She was also an active volunteer at her local Youth Services center which allowed her to gain familiarity with the juvenile judicial system and for relationships with local probation and police officers. Tiffany hopes to learn more about reducing cases of suicide and how to help people in their time of crisis.

Data Analysts

Garrett Brown, MA

Garrett first came to MSU as a research assistant for Dr. Jennifer Johnson on the suicide-prevention trial (SPIRIT) for justice-involved people. After working in this role for 2 years, he moved on to further his education as a graduate student at the University of West Florida where he obtained his M.A. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology in 2022. Since, his experience has mostly focused around understanding and enhancing the experiences of people in the workplace. Garrett enjoys expanding his knowledge of the mechanisms and barriers involved in making a workplace more productive and efficient. With vast experience in qualitative interviewing, analysis, and coding, Garrett returned to MSU in 2023 as a Qualitative Research Analyst with the ROSES and ROSES-II studies and enjoys gaining a deeper understanding of the various barriers and mechanisms associated with the implementation of public health interventions.

Morgan Cinader, MS

Morgan graduated from Hope College in 2018 with a B.S. in Biochemistry and a minor in Neuroscience. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2020 with a M.S. in Systems Medicine and Biostatistics. She has experience in child clinical psychology focusing on understanding early predictors of the development of depression. Morgan hopes to earn a M.D. and Ph.D. with a goal of discovering the social, behavioral, and molecular mechanisms of risk, resilience, and impulsivity in children and adults with a history of depression and trauma/adversity. Her overall goal is to implement peer-reviewed research techniques in the clinic to provide holistic options for patients struggling with trauma.

Aisling Nolan, MS

Aisling graduated from the MSU Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in 2017 with an M.S. in Epidemiology and has One Health and translational research experience. She has a wealth of knowledge and experience in qualitative interviewing, analysis, and coding. Aisling joined the team in 2023 as a Qualitative Research Analyst supporting the ROSES and ROSES-II studies. She enjoys the qualitative/quantitative analysis, business intelligence, and facilitation aspects of meaningful research and is excited to support Dr. Johnson’s ROSES study.

Lab Alumni

Juan Contreras, AM
Psychotherapist at Roamer’s Therapy
Research Assistant at the University of Chicago

Brianca Nuby, BS

Fallon Richie, MA
Clinical Health Psychology doctoral student at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte

Joshua Sinclair, MSW
Clinical Social Worker at Great Lakes Psychology Group and We Are Many, PLLC

Sara Hughes, MSW
Lead Social Worker at Centennial Peaks Hospital in Colorado

Jamil B. Scott, PhD, MPH
Senior Scientific Program Analyst
National Institutes of Health
National Human Genome Research Institute 
Office of the Director

Stephanie Anthony

Melissa Rainey

Esme Roddy

Ashley Batsios

Kent Key, PhD, MPH
Dr. Kent Key is a Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities Researcher and a faculty member at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in the Charles Stewart Mott Department of Public Health. Dr. Key is an expert in building equitable relationships between community and academic partners for health research and elevating community-identified health priorities to the research enterprise.

Pictured, left to right, Jennifer Johnson, Maji Hailemariam Debena, Brandon Taylor, Fallon Richie, and Rick Sadler

Our team is committed to respect for people of all races, colors, genders, religions, national origins, sexual orientations, history of criminal involvement, marital status, disability, height, weight, veteran status and age. We support Michigan State University’s goal of increasing diversity, ensuring equity, promoting inclusion, and enhancing outreach and engagement. Our work seeks to address structural racism and sexism, empower the unempowered, and elevate community and patient contributions to solutions.


Scholarly Interests

  • Mental health and substance use interventions for vulnerable populations 
  • Perinatal women and justice-involved populations (e.g., prisoners and jail detainees)
  • Community-engaged and participatory approaches to research, leadership, and governance

Dr. Johnson’s CV


  • x logo @JJohnsPhD
  • Email:
  • Office Phone: 810-600-5669
  • Address:
    Charles Stewart Mott Department of Public Health, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University
    200 East 1st Street, Room 366, Flint, MI 48502

Intervention Manuals