Moynihan Institute

Meet Our Researchers

About The Moynihan Institute

Dr. Jeffrey Shears


Jeffrey Shears is a joint appointed Professor in the Social Work Departments at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University & UNC Greensboro, where he is also the Director of the Joint Masters Social Work Program (JMSW).

Dr. Shears earned his BSW and Masters in Education Administration from North Carolina A&T State University and his PhD in Social Work from the University of Denver.

His research interest is men (fathering, multicultural issues, HIV and AIDS) and quantitative research with an emphasis on data sharing among social service agencies. In addition, Dr. Shears has an extensive list of academic publications on fathering featured in national and internationally refereed journals. He is co-author of the acclaimed “What all Dads Should Know” (Createaspace Publishers, 2011).

Dr. Cassandra Bolar

Dr. Cassandra Bolar is a healthy relationship advocate who truly believes in the capacity for change and positive transformation for couples. She has committed her life to improving the relational well-being of couples and families. She brings a wealth of experience in counseling, relationship education, and research, and she has been making contributions to the field for the past twelve years.

Cassandra received her Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Development from the University of Georgia. She attended Auburn University for her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, and she also received her doctoral degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Auburn University. She holds a Certified Family Life Educator credential from the National Council on Family Relations.

Dr. Jeff Gardere

Dr. Jeff Gardere, better known as “America’s Psychologist”, was born in Manhattan and raised in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. His parents were born in Haiti. Dr. Jeff attended Brooklyn Technical High School and earned his BA from The University of Rochester. He earned a Masters degree from Columbia University, and a Masters and Ph.D. in philosophy and clinical psychology from the George Washington University.

Dr. Jeff is a Board Certified Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor and Course Director of Behavioral Medicine, Cultural Competence and Behavior and Public Health, at the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City

Dr. Janice Kelly

Dr. Janice Kelly has an earned doctorate from Columbia University, Teachers College in Communication and Education. She serves as a board member on Fathers Incorporated and the editorial board for the Center for the study of Men and Masculinity at Stony Brook University. She conducts workshops on ‘Family, School, and Community Engagement,’ ‘Inclusive vs. Command Language: Building Bridges through Effective Communication,’ and ‘Diversity and Multigenerational Training.’

Her academic articles have appeared in several journals and was a guest editor for Fathering: A Journal of Theory, Research and Practice about Men as Fathers. She is a co-author of Deconstructing Dads: Changing Images of Fathers in Popular Culture. She serves as the Chair of the Department of Communication at Molloy College.

David Miller, M.Ed.

Baltimore native, David Miller, has received international acclaim for Dare to Be King: What If the Prince Lives. A Survival Workbook for African American Males, a thought-provoking, 52-week curriculum teaching adolescent males how to survive and thrive in toxic environments.

Armed with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from The University of Baltimore and a Master’s degree in Education from Goucher College, Miller frequently leads conversations with men and boys focused on boyhood, fatherhood, parenting, mental health, managing anger, decision making, and alternatives to violence. Miller has provided extensive training for juvenile justice, youth development, and mentoring organizations in the U.S. and abroad.

Dr. Armon R. Perry

Dr. Armon R. Perry is a Professor and Director of the BSW Program at the University of Louisville’s Kent School of Social Work. Dr. Perry teaches Introduction to Social Work. Dr. Perry’s research interests include fathers’ involvement in the lives of their children, leading him to co-edit, Fatherhood in America: Social Work Perspectives in a Changing Society, a comprehensive edited volume addressing the micro and macro factors shaping paternal involvement.

Currently, Dr. Perry serves as the Principal Investigator of the 4 Your Child Program, a federally funded multi-site project that aims to increase non-resident fathers’ capacity for paternal involvement. In addition to his teaching and research, Dr. Perry has professional experience in the areas of child protective services and as a parent education curriculum facilitator.

Dr. Matisa Wilbon

Dr. Matisa Wilbon is a wife, mother, author, speaker, educator and consultant. She earned her B.A. in Anthropology/Sociology from Centre College in Danville, KY. She received her Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Sociology from The Ohio State University. A tenured associate professor, she teaches university courses centered on her research interests: introduction to sociology, crime and the media, juvenile delinquency, race and ethnicity and structural inequality.

Dr. Wilbon has a unique way of communicating her scholarship practically to transform families, communities and the church. In addition to teaching, Dr. Wilbon is an active researcher. She has conducted research on substance prevention and intervention and neighborhood violence prevention, publishing articles in these areas.

Dr. Gerry White

Dr. Gerry L. White is currently an Assistant Professor with Clark Atlanta University, Whitney M. Young, Jr School of Social Work where he teaches Social Policy and Research Methods in the doctoral program. He has given nearly 23 years to the Social Work profession providing group and family counseling services and promoting the importance of father involvement.

He is the owner of Program Evaluation Station, LLC, an organization that provides psycho-educational groups, family sessions and program evaluations.