University of Minnesota Crookston and Duke University Research Collaboration

A long-term collaboration between researchers at the University of Minnesota Crookston and 
Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, has produced a number of major publications in the past months as well as a fourth publication at the end of 2013. U of M Crookston co-authors and contributors are Alvin Killough, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology in the Liberal Arts & Education Department, and Eryn Killough, teaching specialist in UMC's English as a Second Language program. Eryn is also a graduate student completing her Masters' degree in education at University of Minnesota Duluth.  

One publication was a review, summary, and exploration of educational literature focused on processes particularly in the United States that produce disparities in educational outcomes. Based on a historical context of inequity and social and cultural preferences, the authors present education as a microcosm of the larger American system. The paper is distinguished from many previous papers in its identification of problems in the current educational system, but then follows with a series of concrete recommendations for those problems. Lead by Alvin Killough and flanked by a second Minnesota researcher, Eryn Killough, the paper can be found at: Killough, A., Killough, E., Edwards, C.L., Burnett, J. (2014). Beyond America's White Hegemony:  In Response to a Rapidly Emerging Global Multi-Cultural Learning Community.  International Journal of Science, Commerce, and Humanities, 2(5), 93-110

A second project focused on the important role of perception in the risk for the development of depression among chronically ill Black adults. The idea was to derive a deeper understanding of the ways that subpopulations cope with chronic disease-related pain and thereby inform the development of models that better target individual and clinic resource utilizations.  That paper can be found at: Edwards, C.L., Killough, A., Wood, M., Doyle, T., Feliu, M., Barker, C.S., Uppal, P., DeCastro, L., Wellington, C., Whitfield, K.E., O'Garo, K.N., Morgan, K., Alesii, L.Y.E., Byrd, G.S., McCabe, M., Goli, V., Keys, A., Hill, L., Collins-McNeil, J., Trambadia, J., Guinyard, D., Muhammad, M., McDonald, P., Schmechel, D., Robinson. E. (2014). Emotional Reactions to Pain Predict Psychological Distress in Adult Patients with Sickle Cell Disease.  International Journal of Psychiatry and Medicine, 47(1), 1-16

A third project, represented by a published paper focused on treating pain and psychopathology in an African woman afflicted with HIV, also united the expertise of University of Minnesota researchers. In a manner not done previously, the lead researcher suggested that the paper identified "culture" as a primary influence on patient's presentation for care, diagnosis, treatment, and expectations for clinical outcomes." Using a case presentation format, researchers from Duke and Crookston conceptualized cultural influences on psychological and medical outcomes, and based on their previous work with health in an African population and ongoing collaborations, reportedly were committed to a continuation of this line of research. The full article can be found at: Edwards, C.L., Bryson, W.J., McCabe, M., Trambadia, J., Scott, D., Muhammad, M., Killough, A., Sudhakar, S., Keys, A., Feliu, M., McNeil, J., Barker, C.S., Wood, M., Reif, R., Hill, L., O'Garo, K.G.N., Bulthuis, C., Peasant, C., Kidd, A.C., Robinson, E., Treatment of PTSD in an HIV-Positive Rwandan Woman with a Recent Stroke: A Case Report on The Role of Culture, Norms, and Expectations for Psychotherapy. Research, 1, 980.

A fourth project, published in late 2013, critically reviews research from a systematic examination of articles published in PubMed between 1995 and 2013 concerning smoking patterns specific to immigrants of African descent in the U.S. given expected migration patterns to the U.S. and Minnesota.  The paper is distinguished from many previous papers in two ways.  First, it is one of the few attempts to bridge the gaps in scientific literature given the comparatively lack of research directed specifically to immigrants of African descent in the U.S. Second it promotes an acknowledgment of the inadequacy of the contemporary research given the complication of the too often use of the term ―"Black" in research to subsume culturally diverse groups of Africans recently living in the U.S. and emigrating to Minnesota. Lead by Alvin Killough and again flanked by a second Minnesota researcher, Eryn Killough, the full paper can be found at:  Killough, A., Killough, E., Hill, L.K., Edwards, C.L. (2013). Exploring the cultural context of tobacco use for prevention among ethnic groups of African descent. International Journal of Science, Commerce, and Humanities, 1(8), 121-147.   

In the photo, left to right, are Alvin and Eryn Killough with Chancellor Fred Wood.

Contact: Alvin Killough, associate professor, Liberal Arts and Education Dept., 218-281-8028 (