P3H People

Jennifer Karas Montez | Co-Director

Prof. Jennifer Montez

Jennifer Karas Montez is a Professor of Sociology, the Gerald B. Cramer Faculty Scholar in Aging Studies, and a 2018-2020 Andrew Carnegie Fellow. She received her PhD in Sociology with a Demography Specialization from the University of Texas at Austin and did her postdoctoral training as a Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar at Harvard University.

Her research examines the large and growing gaps in life expectancy among US adults and how changes in US state policies have contributed to those gaps. She is particularly interested in why the trends in life expectancy have been most troubling for women, adults with low levels of formal education, and the Southern and Midwestern parts of the country.

Email Jennifer: jmontez@maxwell.syr.edu

Curriculum Vitae

Shannon Monnat | Co-Director

Shannon Monnat

Shannon Monnat is an Associate Professor of Sociology and the Lerner Chair for Public Health Promotion. She received her PhD in Sociology at the State University of New York at Albany. Monnat’s research interests broadly fall at the intersection of place, public policy, and health. A common theme binding much of her research is a concern for rural people and places. Her most recent research has focused on geographic variation in fatal drug overdoses and other diseases and deaths of despair, particularly trying to understand why rates of substance abuse and mortality are higher in some places than others.

Email Shannon: smmonnat@maxwell.syr.edu

Curriculum Vitae

Janet Wilmoth | Director, Aging Studies Institute

Janet Wilmoth has a Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography, with a minor in Gerontology, from the Pennsylvania State University.  She is a Professor of Sociology, Director of the Aging Studies Institute, Senior Research Affiliate in the Center for Policy Research, and Senior Fellow in the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University.  Her research utilizes quantitative methods to understand later life well-being from a life course perspective.  She has published in the areas of older adult migration, living arrangements, and health status.  Her recent research explores how military service shapes various life course outcomes related to marriage and family, economic well-being, and disability. Her research has received funding from the National Institute on Aging, the Social Security Administration, and the National Poverty Center. Professor Wilmoth has authored over 50 articles and book chapters, and coedited Gerontology: Perspectives and Issues, 3rd and 4th Editions, and Life Course Perspectives on Military Service.

Email Janet: jwilmoth@syr.edu

Curriculum Vitae

Postdoctoral Scholars and Graduate Students

Erin Bisesti | PhD Student

Erin Bisesti is a PhD student in Sociology at Syracuse University. She received a BA in Sociology from the University of North Florida in 2014.

Currently, her research interests include education, health, gender, disability, and mortality. She is particularly interested in how gendered differences in health outcomes vary by education of research that examines the protective effect of education on health and mortality.

Email Erin: embisest@syr.edu 

Curriculum Vitae

Jennifer D. Brooks | PhD Student

Jennifer Brooks is a PhD candidate and STEM Graduate Fellow in the Sociology department at Syracuse University. She received her CAS in Disability Studies in 2019, and her Master’s in sociology in 2017.

Her research examines the labor market disadvantages (LMD) of people with disabilities through an intersectional  lens, and how health may be both a cause and consequence of this LMD. Her current work explores how factors such as gender, race, state, timing of disability onset, and limitation type shape LMD.

Her work has been published in Social Science Quarterly (SSQ) and the Lerner Center for Publish Health Promotion Research Brief Series. Jennifer was the recipient of the American Sociological Association Disability and Society Section 2017 Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award.

Email Jen: jdbro100@syr.edu

Curriculum Vitae

Kent Cheng | PhD Student

Kent is a PhD Social Science student who is interested in the economic implications of the aging population. Prior to enrolling in the PhD program, he worked as a health policy researcher in the premier health sciences center in the Philippines. Some of his notable involvements in research of nationwide scope include the cost-effectiveness of dengue vaccination, cost-effectiveness of influenza vaccination, and the modelling of viral hepatitis burden.

Email Kent: kgcheng@syr.edu

Curriculum Vitae

Julene Kemp Cooney | PhD Student

Julene Kemp CooneyJulene Cooney is a PhD student in Sociology at Syracuse University.  She has earned both an MS in Statistics from Brigham Young University and an MA in Community and Economic Development with a Certificate in Workforce Development from SUNY Empire State.

She is researching the effects that education has on the physical and mental health of US women and their children throughout the life course.  She is particularly interested in the protective effects that advanced education might have on premature mortality as a result of drug abuse, domestic violence and/or suicide.

Julene is returning to scholarly pursuits after a fruitful career split between the manufacturing sector, the education sector, and an extended sabbatical during which she raised and launched three children into society.

Email Julene: jkcooney@syr.edu

Curriculum Vitae

Zeyd Koytak | PhD Student

Zeyd KoytakZeyd Koytak is currently a PhD student in the Sociology Department at Syracuse University. He completed his MA degree in Sociology from Istanbul Sehir University and Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Bogazici University. Prior to attending Syracuse University, he worked as a teaching assistant for Istanbul Sehir University.

His research interests include social inequality, stratification, mobility, social determinants of health and illness, social demography and comparative political economy.  His masters thesis focused on social factors associated with cross-national disparities in the perception of inequality.

Email Zeyd: hkoytak@syr.edu

Curriculum Vitae

Sarah Mawhorter | Visiting Research Fellow

Sarah Mawhorter is a Visiting Scholar at the Syracuse University Aging Studies Institute and Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. She holds a PhD in Urban Planning and Development and a Master of Planning from the University of Southern California Price School of Public Policy, and a Bachelor of Arts in English and Art History from Carleton College. Before coming to Syracuse University, she worked at the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley.

Sarah studies housing affordability, with a focus on the housing trajectories of both younger and older adults. She investigates the demographic forces that shape the housing market, particularly the ways in which regional population shifts and housing supply constraints contribute to neighborhood change. Much of her research concerns the flexibility of the housing supply to meet changing housing needs. She combines methods from urban economics, demography, geography, and sociology in her research.

Email Sarah: smawhort@syr.edu

Curriculum Vitae

Claire Pendergrast | PhD Student

Claire Pendergrast is a Sociology PhD student interested in aging, social policy, and health disparities. She received her Master of Public Health from the University of Washington in 2019, where her research focused on public health policy, healthy aging, and community resilience to disasters. Claire has worked at the New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services, where she focused on environmental health communications and community engagement, and as the Research Translation assistant for the Dartmouth Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program, where she supported science policy and risk communication programming and research. Claire is passionate about working in partnership with communities and policy stakeholders to support evidence-based public health.

Email Claire: cpenderg@syr.edu

Curriculum Vitae

Yue Sun | PhD Student

Yue Sun is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology. She holds a Master of Sociology from Zhejiang University and a Bachelor of Public Administration from East China University of Science and Technology. Her research interests include health inequality, environmental health, demography, aging and life course, and social networks. Specifically, Yue is interested in how environment shapes health inequality.

Email Yue: ysun46@syr.edu

Curriculum Vitae

P3h  Alumni

Blakelee Kemp. 2018-2020, Assistant Research Professor, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Key Collaborators

Mark D. Hayward, The University of Texas Austin
Anna Zajacova, Western University
Jason Beckfield, Harvard University
Steven Woolf, Virginia Commonwealth University
Derek Chapman, Virginia Commonwealth University
Ashton Verdery, Penn State University
Glenn Sterner, Penn State Abington
Katherine McLean, Penn State Greater Allegheny
Khary Rigg, University of South Florida