Akila-Ka Ma'at Ma'at (Jennifer R. Warren)

Akila-Ka Ma'at Ma'at (Jennifer R. Warren)

Akila-Ka Ma'at Ma'at (Jennifer R. Warren)

Assistant Professor

Critical Health Communication, Black Health, Translational Research, Critical Methodologies, Chronic Disease/Outcomes, Health Disparities/Inequities, Racism, Racial Stress, Resilience, Digital Health, Health Information Seeking, Participatory Intervention Development and Dissemination

Dr. Akila Ka Ma'at (www.drakilakamaat.com) holds joint positions in the Department of Communication, the Women and Gender Studies, and the African and African American Studies Programs. Jennifer R. Warren is Dr. Ma'at's given name and the one she publishes under. Dr. Ma'at is also the Principal Consultant at the Center for African American Health Disparities Education & Research, Inc. 501(c)(3).

Dr. Ma'at is the Director of the 'Communicating Equity and Healing Justice' (CEHJ) Lab at GMU and is an expert in social scientific and behavioral health research and qualitative research methodologies, curricula development, community-based participatory engagement, digital health, translational research, and targeted evidence-based health message development/dissemination and community-engaged health work to motivate behavior change.

She has more than two decades of experience in conceptualizing, managing, and developing health programs and is a seasoned health communication expert who uses various modalities to disseminate innovative messages to community members, health practitioners, and stakeholders. Dr. Ma'at works effectively across diverse peoples, systems, and environments. As an advocate and educator, Dr. Ma'at is an internationally awarded scholar who has more than 30 peer-reviewed articles, chapters, and reports and over 70 presentations at scientific venues and has received numerous awards/honors for her research.

Dr. Ma'at served as an Assistant Professor of Health Communication at Rutgers University for 10 years, until she chose to leave to found the Center for African American Health Disparities Education and Research (CAAHDER), Inc. 501(c)3 in 2018, a community-based health organization serving Black American populations primarily through community-based intervention, health education, and mentorship of Black women college/university students in health disparities research, health services, health research, and outreach, which has gained national status and international recognition. CAAHDER has partnered with community organizations across the nation.

To continue and expand her research into the Metro DC area, in 2021 Dr. Ma'at stepped down as Executive Director of CAAHDER to assume the position as the organization's lead consultant in order to bridge her new role as faculty and student experiences at George Mason University with CAAHDER’s critical community outreach. 

Dr. Ma'at is obtaining certification as a life coach to help her be a better person, educator, and mentor. She is currently certified as a Professional Health Coach (PHC), which provides her a depth of insight into the management of chronic disease to assist her family, community members, and participants in her research as necessary. This training is critical in the development of useful health interventions. Dr. Ma'at also holds certifications in Diversity and Inclusive Leadership from the University of Colorado, CITI, HIPPA, and Cultural Competence. During the pandemic, Dr. Ma'at received training from the World Health Organization in COVID-19 Infection Control, Prevention, and Operational Planning.  

 

Current Research

Dr. Ma’at seeks an understanding of the negotiation of multiple types of racism and stressors at the individual and communal level and the impact of intersecting racism/stressors on self-perception and the capacity to be self-determinant among Black women. This work informs her investigation of how internalized racism or appropriated racism impacts how individuals perceive, take up, communicate, and enact health with an eye toward resilience, health risks, and outcomes. In addition, Dr. Ma'at's research is an act of healing or restorative justice in her life. With space of research as one of healing, as a testimony to her parts of her life and experience, Dr. Ma'at is interested in 'testifying' as healing justice to foster individual and community resilience, resistance, and reclamation of health and the Black body.

Please See CEHJ Lab.

Selected Publications

  1. Warren, J. R. (2021). A retrospective quasi-qualitative synthesis of the literature to identify and evaluate communication processes in community-campus partnerships to address health disparities. Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice.
  2. Warren, J. R. (2021). COVID-19: A epidemiological and empirical investigation of Non-Hispanic Black American seniors and low income congregate housing. International Journal of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics.
  3. Warren, J. (2020) We have a Role to Play: American Sierra Leoneans communicating the impact of the Ebola Virus locally and across the Diaspora. Public Health
  4. Warren, J. R. & White, B. M. (2020). A translational science approach to community-based participatory research using methodological triangulation. Journal of Public Health
  5. White, B. M., Rochell, J., Warren, J. R. (2019) Promoting cardiovascular health for African American women: An Integrative Review of Journal of Women’s Health, DOI: 10.1089/jwh.2018.7580.
  6. Warren, J. R. & White, B. M. (2018) Rationale, design and methods of “Set the Rules”: a tailored peer-to- peer health information International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health,15(11), 2391.
  7. Williams, A. O., Warren, J. R., Kurlander, L & Suaray, M. (2018) Critical communications: A retrospective look at the use of social media among American Sierra Leoneans during the Ebola Outbreak. Journal of Social Media and Society, (7)1, 366-380
  8. Warren, J. R. (2016). Communicating identity congruence in e-health information seeking: A preliminary Health Systems, (5)1, 43-51. DOI: 10.1057/hs.2014.24/. Published online January 16, 2015: https://secure.palgravejournals.com/hs/journal/v5/n1/abs/hs201424a.html. DOI: 10.1057/hs.2014.24/.

Expanded Publication List

PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS (Student names underlined)

  1. Warren, J. R. (Accepted). A retrospective quasi-qualitative synthesis of the literature to identify and evaluate communication processes in community-campus partnerships to address health disparities. Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice.
  2. Warren, J. R. (2021). COVID-19: A epidemiological and empirical investigation of Non-Hispanic Black American seniors and low income congregate housing. International Journal of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics.
  3. Warren, J. (2020) We have a Role to Play: American Sierra Leoneans communicating the impact of the Ebola Virus locally and across the Diaspora. Public Health
  4. Warren, J. R. & White, B. M. (2020). A translational science approach to community-based participatory research using methodological triangulation. Journal of Public Health
  5. White, B. M., Rochell, J., Warren, J. R. (2019) Promoting cardiovascular health for African American women: An Integrative Review of Journal of Women’s Health, DOI: 10.1089/jwh.2018.7580.
  6. Warren, J. R. & White, B. M. (2018) Rationale, design and methods of “Set the Rules”: a tailored peer-to- peer health information International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health,15(11), 2391.
  7. Williams, A. O., Warren, J. R., Kurlander, L & Suaray, M. (2018) Critical communications: A retrospective look at the use of social media among American Sierra Leoneans during the Ebola Outbreak. Journal of Social Media and Society, (7)1, 366-380
  8. Warren, J. R. (2016). Communicating identity congruence in e-health information seeking: A preliminary Health Systems, (5)1, 43-51. DOI: 10.1057/hs.2014.24/. Published online January 16, 2015: https://secure.palgravejournals.com/hs/journal/v5/n1/abs/hs201424a.html. DOI: 10.1057/hs.2014.24/.
  9. Warren, J. R. & Cantona, D. (2013) Urban, low income African American light smokers: Perceptions of cessation counseling. Journal for Health Care of the Poor and Underserved, (24)3, 1306-1316.
  10. Warren, J. R. & Sukumar, A. (2013). Identity-congruent communication in web interface design: The case of medically underserved Howard Journal of Communications, (24)4, 348-369.
  11. Warren, R. (2013). Community-based preferences for e-smoking cessation. Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, (14)1, 1-9.
  12. Warren, J. R., Sloan, P., Allen, M., & Okuyemi, K. S. (2010). Young children's secondhand smoke: Insights from a community-based participatory research project. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, (39)6S1, S44-S47.
  13. Okuyemi, , Thomas, J., Warren, J. R., Hongfei, G, & Ahluwalia, J. (2010). Relationship between smoking reduction and cessation among light smokers. Journal of Nicotine and Tobacco Research, (12)10, 1005-1010.
  14. Warren, J. R., Thomas, J., Lundgren, B., Okuyemi, K., & Ahluwalia, J. (2010). Development and validation of the multidimensional measure of stress (MMoS) among African American light Journal of the National Medical Association, (102)10, 890-897.
  15. Warren, J. R., Allen M. L, Hopfer, S & Okuyemi, K. S. (2010) Contextualizing single parent- preadolescent drug use Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, (11)1, 29-33.
  16. Warren, J. R., Hecht, M.L., Jung, E., Kvasny, L., & Henderson, M. (2010). Ethnic and class-based identities on the World Wide Web: Moderating the effects of self-perceived information seeking/finding and internet self-efficacy. Communication Research (37)5, 674-702.
  17. Warren, J. R., Kvasny, L., Hecht, M. L., Burgess, D., Ahluwalia, J. S., & Okuyemi, K. S. (2010). Barriers, control and identity in health information seeking: Listening to lower income African American women. Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice (3)3, 68-90.
  1. Warren, J. R., Okuyemi, K., Hongfei, G, Thomas, J. & Ahluwalia, J. (2010). Predicting secondhand smoke restrictions among African American light smokers. American Journal of Health Behavior (34)1, 110-118
  2. Burgess, , Warren, J. R., Phelan, S., Dovidio, J., & van Ryn, M (2010). Stereotype threat and health disparities: What medical educators and future physicians need to know. Journal of Internal General Medicine (34)Supplement 2, 169-177.
  3. Warren, J. R., Allen, M., Okuyemi, K., Kvasny, L., & Hecht, M. L. (2009). Targeting single parents in preadolescent substance use prevention: Internet characteristics and information relevance. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 7(4), 400-412.
  4. Warren, J.R., Wagstaff, D.A., Hecht, M.L., & Elek, E. (2008). The effects of Mexican origin family structure on parental monitoring and preadolescent substance use expectancies and substance Journal of Substance Use (13)4, 283-292.
  5. Ndiaye, K., Krieger, J. R., Warren, J. R., Hecht, M, & Okuyemi, K. (2008). Health disparities and discrimination: Three Journal of Health Disparities and Research (2)2, 51-72
  6. Hecht, L, Warren, J. R., Wagstaff, D., & Elek, E. (2008). Substance use, resistance skills, decision making, and refusal efficacy among Mexican and Mexican American preadolescents. Health Communication (23)4, 329- 357.
  • Warren, R., Hecht, M. L, Wagstaff, D., Elek, E., Ndiaye, K., Marsiglia, F. F., & Dustman, P. (2006).Communicating prevention: The effects of the keepin’ it REAL classroom videotapes and televised PSAs on middle-school students’ substance use. Journal of Applied Communication Research. (34)2, 210- 228.
  1. Hendrix, G., Jackson II, R. L., & Warren, J. R. (2003). Shifting academic landscapes: Exploring co- identities and critical progressive pedagogy. Communication Education (52)3/4, 177-190.
  2. Warren, J. R. (2014). Personal influences on health disparities. In T. L. Thompson & T. G. Golson (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Health Communication, 2nd Edition, (pp. 1017-1018). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
  3. Ndiaye, K., Krieger, J. R., Warren, J. R., & Hecht, M. (2011). Communication and health disparities. In L. Thompson, R. Parrot, & J. F. Nussbaum (Ed). The Routledge Handbook of Health Communication, 1st Edition, (pp 469-481). New York, NY: Routledge Publishing
  4. Jackson, R. L., Warren, J. R., Pitts, J., & Wilson, K. B. (2007). It is not my responsibility to teach culture! White graduate teaching assistants negotiating identity and pedagogy. In L. Cooks (Ed.), Whiteness, pedagogy, and performance, (pp. 67-86), Landham, MD: Lexington Books.
  5. Kvasny, L & Warren, J. R. (2006). The representation and performance of menu-driven identities in online health portals. In E. Trauth (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Information Technology and Gender, (pp. 745-751), Hershey: Idea Group
  6. Hecht, M. L. & Warren, J. R. (2006). Constructing mentoring relationships through everyday talk. In J. Wood and S. Duck (Eds.), Composing Relationships, (pp 156-165). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
  7. Hecht, M. L., Warren, J. R., Jung, E., & Krieger, J. (2005). The communication theory of identity: Development, theoretical perspective, and future directions. In W. Gudykunst (Ed), Theorizing about Intercultural Communication, (pp. 257-278). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

 

 

Grants and Fellowships

In Progress: Intramural:

2021 Community Assessment of Racial Stressors and Coping among Perinatal Black women

Applicants: Akila-Ka Ma'at & Leah Adams (Psychology)

Funding Agency: ORIEI, George Mason University

Approved - Intramural:

2021-2022 “Pilot Testing a Survey to Access Racial Stress and Related Factors ”.

Applicant: Akila-Ka Ma'at (Jennifer R. Warren)

Funding Agency: FRDA, George Mason University

Role: PI

Approved - Extramural:

2021-2022 “Know your heart:” Cardiovascular education campaign for African American women.

Applicant: Center for African American Health Disparities Education and Research, Inc. 501(c)3.

Funding Agency: Abbott Medical Devices

Role: Principal Investigator

2019 - 2021 “Perceptions of cardiovascular health among African-American women in public housing” College of Health Sciences, University of Kentucky 

BM White (PI) | Role: Co-investigator

2018-2020 “Moving toward a healthier future: nutritional and physical activity programming for public housing residents”

Applicant Organizations: Trenton Housing Authority and Center for African American Health Disparities Education and Research, Inc. (501(c)3)

Funding Agency: New Jersey Healthy Communities Network (Amount: $20,000)

Role: PI/Project Director

Other Approved – Intramural:

2017-2018  “Housing, health, and life quality: senior/disabled residents of multi-unit public housing”

Funding Agency: School of Communication, Rutgers University (Amount: $15,000)

Role: PI

2016-2017 “Validating Identity-Congruence in e-Health Information Seeking”

Funding Agency: University Research Council, Rutgers University (Amount: $10,000)

Role: PI

2015-2016  “Barriers to crisis communication within U.S. Sierra Leone communities” Funding Agency: University Research Council Grant Program, Rutgers University 

Role: PI

Courses Taught

Fall 2021

COMM 304 Foundations of Health Communication

Spring 2022

AFAM 390 Social Constructions of Black Health

Upcoming: Fall 2022

COMM 304 Foundations of Health Communication

WGST 410 Feminist Approaches to Social Research

Upcoming: Spring 2022

WMST 550: Current Topics in Women and Gender Studies

 

Education

2006-2009 Post-Doctoral Associate: Program in Health Disparities Research (PHDR), University of Minnesota Medical School – Twin Cities

2002-2006 PhD: Communication Arts and Sciences (Study area: Health Communication), Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA. (conferred August 2006)

1999-2001 MA: Culture and Communication (Study area: Computer-Mediated Communication), New York University, New York, NY (conferred September 2001)

1997-1999 BS: Culture and Communication (Minor: Anthropology), New York 

Recent Presentations

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS (Student names underlined)

  1. Warren, J. R . Contextualizing COVID-19 Epidemiological Data: A Retrospective Study of Black Seniors Living in Congregant Public Housing. Poster, June 2021, Annual Research Meeting.
  2. Warren, J. Structural Racism and Internalized Racial Oppression: Implications for Cardiovascular Health and Health Care. Poster, June 2021, Annual Research Meeting
  3. Warren, J. R. Public housing and seniors: An incongruent match for COVID-19. Oral. 2021 Black Summit Conference, Denver, CO.
  4. Warren, J. R. Health self-advocacy. Oral/Workshop. 2021 Black Summit Conference, Denver, CO.
  5. Warren, J. R. & White, B. M. Ideology of Oppression and its impact on cardiovascular health among African American women living in public Oral. 2020 American Public Health Annual Conference. San Francisco, CA.
  6. Rochel, J., Walker, L., Sullivan, A., Smith, I., Brigham, L, James, C., Warren, J. R., White, B. M. “Perceptions of healthy eating to promote heart health among Black women living in public housing: A Pilot Study. 2020 American Public Health Annual Conference. Poster. San Francisco, CA
  7. Rochel, J, Walker, T., Rochel, J., Sullivan, A., James, C, Brunson, J.,Warren, J. R., White, B. M. Barriers to physical inactivity among Black women in public housing. 2020 American Public Health Annual Conference. Poster. San Francisco, CA.
  8. White, B. M., Rochel, J., Warren, J. R. Strategies used to tailor cardiovascular risk reduction programs for African American women: An integrative review. Roundtable. 2019 American Public Health Annual Conference, Philadelphia,
  9. Warren, R,. White, B. M. Brunson, J. Public Housing Health: A pilot survey of African American senior health and those seniors living with disabilities (categorized by smoking status). Poster. Upcoming 2019 American Public Health Annual Conference.

In the Media

“Frustrated Trent Center East residents describe complex as ‘unlivable’.” The Trentonian 11/10/15. http://www.trentonian.com/health/20151110/frustrated-trent-center-east-residents-describe- complex-as-unlivable

“Professor: Trenton seniors facing ‘discriminatory and abusive housing policies’.” The Trentonian 9/4/2015. http://www.trentonian.com/health/20150904/professor-trenton-seniors-facing- discriminatory-and-abusive-housing-policies

“Trenton senior housing complex denies coercing tenants.” The Trentonian 9/2/2015. http://www.trentonian.com/general-news/20150902/trenton-senior-housing-complex-denies- coercing-tenants

“Jennifer Warren Honored With 2013-14 Leaders in Faculty Diversity Awards” School of Communication and Information; News & Events Website. http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/news/jennifer-warren-vikki-katz-honored-with-2013-14-leaders- in-faculty-diversity-awards.html

Quoted in “Obamacare: The good, the bad and the ugly.” Asbury Park Press 3/6/2014. http://investing.businessweek.com/research/markets/news/article.asp?docKey=600- 201403262359KRTRIB BUSNEWS_12013_64599-1

“Research Interest Propels Professor Jennifer Warren’s Recent Trenton Housing Authority Commissioner Appointment.” School of Communication and Information; News & Events Website. http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/news/research-interests-propels-prof-jennifer-warren-s- recent-trenton-housing-authority-commissioner-appointment.html

Dr. Jennifer Warren Receives NIH Health Disparities Loan Repayment Program Award. School of Communication and Information; New & Events Website. http://comminfo.rutgers.edu/comm- dept-news/dr-jennifer-warren-receives-nih-health-disparities-loan-repayment-program- award.html

Dr. Jennifer Warren guest expert, six-minute segment Sept. 17, 2012, on the International TV news program Ebru Today, which airs everyday 9am. In her six-minute segment she discussed the benefits and potential dangers of electronic cigarettes for harm reduction for smokers.

Youtube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5n3UNFBD7jA

Dr. Jennifer Warren guest expert, six-minute segment Aug 3, 2012, on the International TV news program Ebru Today, which airs everyday 9am. In her six-minute segment she discussed with Bryan Jenkins research aligned with her NIH award--stereotype threat, identity, smoking health outcomes, and how health communication can help reduce this threat for minorities.

EbruToday - http://ebrutoday.com/2012-06-12-20-56-48/health/503-diagnosis-bais.html Youtube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plJnbnsMruM&feature=youtu.be

Dr. Jennifer Warren guest expert, six-minute segment July 13, 2012 to the integration of service, teaching and research (Interviewed by Laura Jones).

TV news program hosted by Bryan Jenkins and Laura Jones. Ebru Today is an hour-long live morning TV newscast featuring the latest in United States and international news, weather, and interviews with world-renowned scholars on a variety of topics. Ebru Today reaches over 8 million households in New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia and the Lehigh Valley, PA.

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWk_LiX2k9c&feature=plcp Ebrunews: http://www.ebrutoday.com/ebrutoday-insight.html

Dr. Jennifer Warren and her integration of teaching, research, and service in her Communication and Social Change class with ShapingNJ (a funded New Jersey based mobilization against obesity) was covered in a recent Rutgers Focus article June 22, 2102: Rutgers Students Help Shape a Healthier New Jersey http://news.rutgers.edu/focus/issue.2012-05-30.4224061348/article.2012- 06-20.3013761733

Dr. Jennifer Warren on six-minute segment June 11, 2012 to discuss e-health and health disparities (Interviewed by Bryan Jenkins).

TV news program hosted by Bryan Jenkins and Laura Jones. Ebru Today is an hour-long live morning TV newscast featuring the latest in United States and international news, weather, and interviews with world-renowned scholars on a variety of topics. Ebru Today reaches over 8 million households in New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia and the Lehigh Valley, PA.

Ebrunews: http://ebrunews.com/en/video/e-health

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bo33s6lRNgE&feature=youtu.be

Dr. Jennifer Warren on six-minute segment June 1, 2012 to discuss health literacy, smoking, and asthma issues (Interviewed by Bryan Jenkins).

TV news program hosted by Bryan Jenkins and Laura Jones. Ebru Today is an hour-long live morning TV newscast featuring the latest in United States and international news, weather, and interviews with world-renowned scholars on a variety of topics. Ebru Today reaches over 8 million households in New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia and the Lehigh Valley, PA.

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAY-nchuDNo

Ebrunews: http://ebrunews.com/en/video/health-literacy

Dr. Jennifer Warren interviewed by Steve Adubato on his Caucus: New Jersey broadcast as part of a 30 minutes panel on childhood asthma, during the following times:

Thirteen:   Saturday 5/12 at 12:30pm

NJTV:     Saturday 5/12 at 12:00pm, 6:00pm; Sunday 5/13 at 8:30am, 11:30am WHYY:   Tuesday 5/15 at 5:30pm

WLIW:     Wednesday 5/16 at 11:30pm; Friday 5/18 at 7:00am

Protecting Kids from 2nd & 3rd –Hand Smoke, Nov. 23, 2012, North News, MN, MyNorthNews.com

Professor Jennifer Warren Spearheads Program to Battle Childhood Asthma, Nov. 16, 2011, Rutgers Today, NJ, news.rutgers.edu/medrel/q-and-a-hot-topic/professor-jennifer-w-20111116.