Candi Nwakasi, HDFS Faculty Spotlight, January 2024

Candi NwakasiDr. Candi Nwakasi is gerontologist who joined UConn HDFS as an assistant professor in August 2023. He is also an affiliate faculty of the Africana Studies Institute and a member of the UConn Cancer Survivorship Research Program. Candi’s work is based on using research, practice, and teaching to inform efforts geared towards addressing inequities in the aging and health experiences of minoritized people within and outside the US. His research program includes cancer survivorship and support access, cognitive health/decline and caregiving, and health care access in disadvantaged populations. He is also the co-founder of Black in Gerontology and Geriatrics (BIGG), a non-profit that is making efforts to amplify Black voices and elevate Black scholars and practitioners in the field of Aging. They recently received a 5-year NIA award to expand their work in the United States.

Across his career, Candi has combined work experience in public health care delivery, pharmaceutical, non-profit, and academia. He was initially trained as a Biochemist, before earning his Public Health master’s degree in the United Kingdom, and a Ph.D. in Social Gerontology from Miami University of Ohio. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Southern Indiana, working on a dementia workforce improvement program targeting rural Indiana, before joining Providence College as a tenure-track Health Sciences Assistant Professor in 2020 (during the pandemic).

Currently, Candi is investigating sociocultural factors influencing cancer survivorship experience in Black and Latinx populations. He is also collaborating on projects to identify psychosocial and environmental determinants of cognitive decline in older Black adults, psychosocial support access in aging/older Black cancer survivors, mental health seeking in Black cancer survivors, and understanding motivations for caregiving. Candi is a strong believer in mentorship and appreciates the power of mentorship in minoritized student and scholars in academia.

Beyond work, Candi enjoys watching soccer, playing soccer, playing video games (especially soccer), and discussing soccer. He is a second-generation Arsenal FC of England fan. He also loves to hang out with friends and family.

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