Core Staff

Tony L. Whitehead, PhD, MPH

Tony L. Whitehead, PhD, MPH
Director and Founder | 301-405-1419

Tony Whitehead is a senior Professor in the Department of Anthropology at University of Maryland College Park (UM).  He is also Director (and founder) of the Department's "Cultural Systems Analysis Group" (CuSAG). The CuSAG website ( provides a detailed account of Dr. Whitehead’s current and recent past research and other professional activities.

Dr. Whitehead’s research expertise includes the following: (1) applied ethnographic research methods; (2) community and cultural assessment research methods; (3) ethnographic assessment and evaluation methods. His theoretical expertise includes: (1) the application of cultural and related theories from anthropology, sociology, community psychology, health behavior and promotion to community health research, program planning, implementation, and evaluation; and (2) constructs of gender identity and social issues. He has used his methodological and theoretical expertise in carrying out research, training, and/or professional activities in the United States, the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe, and across a broad array of health related issues such as: (1) adolescent pregnancy and early parenthood; (2) males and family planning attitudes and practices; (3) food, culture, and such chronic conditions as obesity and hypertension; (4) HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs); and (4) urban violence, crime, incarceration, and community reentry.

Dr. Whitehead received a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Shaw University in 1965, and a Master of Science in Hygiene degree in Public Health and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1969 and 1976 respectively.  Prior to coming to the University of Maryland in 1988, he was a faculty member in the Health Education Department, School of Public Health at University of North Carolina (UNC) from 1976 to 1987.  It was while at UNC that he developed his research and program development models that integrate anthropological methods and theories with health program applications, particularly in community based settings (See

Over his career, Whitehead’s research has received support from the Russell Sage, Rockefeller, and Annie E. Casey Foundations, the National Research Council, the Agency for International Development, the Centers for Disease Control, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the National Cancer Institute, Health Resources and Services Administration, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institutes of Child Health and Development, the National Park Service, Court Services and Offenders Supervision Agency, and local health care agencies such as the Baltimore City and Prince Georges County Health Departments, the AIDS Administration of the Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Liberty Medical Center of Baltimore, Maryland.  


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Faculty and University-Based Associates
Faculty and university-based associates may apply for Faculty Associate membership.

Michael Paolisso, Ph.D.

Michael J. Paolisso, PhD | 301-405-1433

Dr. Paolisso is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Maryland, College Park. His areas of specialization include environmental change, household economics, gender and development, and research methods. He has undertaken short- and long-term fieldwork in numerous countries in Latin America, and in Kenya, and Nepal. His current fieldwork focuses on the gendered use of natural resources in Honduras, and the cultural construction of knowledge related to the causes and consequences of Pfiesteria, a toxic microorganism recently identified in Maryland waterways. In addition, Dr. Paolisso is currently the principal investigator of a three year study funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to study cultural models of pollution and environment. Dr. Paolisso is also co-director of the Resource Management and Cultural Processes track within the Department of Anthropology, University of Maryland, which trains students in the application of anthropological theory and methods to the management of cultural and natural resources. His publications include edited volumes, monographs, journal articles and technical reports. He received his PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Judith Freidenberg, Ph.D.

Judith Freidenberg, PhD
| 301-405-1420

Dr. Freidenberg joined the Department of Anthropology in 1995. She previously held joint appointments at the City University of New York (Mt. Sinai School of Medicine and Center for Urban Research) where her research on the medical anthropology and community development of a neighborhood culminated in, The Anthropology of Low-Income Urban Enclaves: The Case of East Harlem; (New York Academy of Sciences, 1995), and Growing Old in El Barrio (New York University Press, forthcoming 2000). Her interest in reaching community groups, service providers and policy makers led her to curate a bi-lingual exhibit of ethnographic and photographic explorations of Spanish Harlem displayed in New York and Mexico City. Since arriving on campus, she has been affiliated with CuSAG, the Center for Latin American Studies, the Center on Aging, the Department of American Studies, and the Department of Women’s Studies. Currently researching health care and employment needs of Latin American immigrant retirees in Langley Park, she coordinates the Network for Latino Research to foster research on social issues affecting local immigrant populations from Latin America. She has also taught as a Fullbright Scholar in her hometown, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Joseph Richardson, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of African American Studies, University of Maryland, College Park

Michael Lindsey, PhD
Assistant Professor, Morgan State University, School of Social Work

Charles Williams, PhD
Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Memphis
Charles Williams, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Anthropology at The University of Memphis and the former Director of African and African American Studies. Since his tenure at the University of Memphis, he has either directed or been involved in basic, applied and evaluation research related to community health, alcoholism and drug abuse, mental health, the homeless, religion, mutual aid societies and community development. He is the founder and executive director of the Alcohol and Drug Prevention Research Center (ADPRC) at the University of Memphis, and has conducted research and evaluation in the field of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD) and HIV/AIDS prevention. For his work in alcohol and drug abuse, Williams was recognized as one of the leading minority researchers in the field by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Williams has published over 100 journal articles, book chapters and manuscripts in his areas of research interest. He is presently collaborating with a team of scholars on several projects, ranging from the publication of a reader on the subject of the Black Church and Health Care to the writing of several articles on the subject of HIV/AIDS and its impact on Communities of Color.


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Professional Associates and Consultants
Professionals and consultants may apply for Professional Associate membership.

Mary Odell Butler, PhD

Mary Odell Butler, PhD
Senior Ethnographic Evaluation Specialist
Dr. Butler is an anthropologist with 20 years experience evaluating public health programs for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and other federal clients. She has taught courses in evaluation anthropology at the American Anthropological Meetings, at the Society for Applied Anthropology and CDC. She is co-editor of Creating Evaluation Anthropology: Introduction of an Emerging Sub-field. Dr. Butler is President-elect of the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology.


Kathleen Rand Reed, MAA

Kathleen Rand Reed, MAA | 202-234-2506
Reed is a practicing applied biocultural anthropologist and ethnomarketer. She is president of The Rand Reed Group, with offices in Menlo Park, CA, Washington, DC and Portland, OR.  She is also a strategic partner with the New Jersey-based Breakthrough Marketing Technology, LLC.

Reed focuses on three specific interest areas: 

  • Using culture as a value-added method for service
    delivery in public administration and brand positioning in private product development and assessment.
  • Training science, medical and health professionals in the geomarketing and transcultural aspects of science, technology, medicine, public health and bioethics.
  • The development of knowledge management models using the key disciplines of anthropology, epidemiology, ethnohistory, genealogy, genetics, geography, and migration.

She is a graduate of San Francisco State University, with a specially designed triple major in biology, behavioral science and media--- "Culture and Media in Biomedical Geomarkets."  She is a UMCP Applied Anthropology alumna. 

Reed serves as a longtime appointed member of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute (NHLBI); a member of the American Anthropological Association (AAA), and Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University.  As a former journalist and media executive, Reed is currently Associate Editor and Special White House Correspondent for about…time Magazine (Rochester, NY). 

Among her honors are a Commission appointment by the late San Francisco Mayor, George C. Moscone, a California Joint Assembly and Senate tribute, and a Congressional Record tribute [103rd Cong. Vol. 139.  No. 25].

Kyle Olin, MA

Kyle Olin, MA

Mr. Olin is an applied anthropologist with interest in issues surrounding alcohol and drug abuse, socioeconomic and racial health disparities, and technological integration with anthropological research, including use of Geographic Information Systems in ethnography. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Ball State University in 2004, and Master of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Memphis in 2006. He worked with CuSAG as a Faculty Research Assistant coordinating the operations of CuSAG's work with prison-to-community reentry from July 2008 until May 2010, and previously worked in program evaluation with Dr. Charles Williams at the University of Memphis.


Antoinette Brown, PhD
Senior Evaluation and Caribbean Specialist

Charles Barlow, PhD
Specialist on India

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Student Associates
Students Involved in CuSAG projects, or training, may apply for Student Associate membership.


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CuSAG: The Cultural Systems Analysis Group
Department of Anthropology  |  University of Maryland
0123 Woods Hall  |  College Park, MD 20742 USA
tel. 301-405-1419  |
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Last updated 08/07/2012
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