Eastern Michigan University professors named recipients of Darrell H. Cooper Presidential Endowment Academic Research Award

YPSILANTI – Two Eastern Michigan University professors are recipients of the Darrell H. Cooper Presidential Endowment Academic Research Award, which promotes upward mobility through research, leadership and management. Alankrita Pandey, associate professor of management, and Jillian Graves, associate professor of social work, are studying COVID-19 and the role of leadership and coworker relationships on employee outcomes, stress, and wellbeing.

Alankrita Pandey
Alankrita Pandey

Pandey specializes in role relationships among employee groups and their impact on employee outcomes and strategic human resource management. Her studies examine workplace outcomes and the impact of organizational processes such as the leader-follower relationship and role relationships.

According to Pandey, the roles of leaders and coworkers are impacted by how individuals in organizations interact and work individually and together. “Understanding these processes in how people and organizations work, especially among extreme stressful events like the pandemic, will help us build more resilient workplaces in the face of change.” 

Graves focuses her research on caregiving, family members of people with schizophrenia, emerging adulthood, trauma-reactive violence and now, mental health in the workplace. “Mental health issues created by the pandemic are significant and essential workers in retail spaces are vulnerable,” said Graves. “Collaborations between healthcare and business are essential in addressing their needs which is why this study is so important.” 

Established in 1993 by Darrell H. Cooper, chairman of the board and owner of Fernco, Inc., the Darrell H. Cooper Presidential Endowment Academic Research Award serves EMU’s students and faculty by supporting research, education and the community. Research awards are distributed every academic year to management department faculty to use in research related to leadership and all management disciplines.

Jillian Graves
Jillian Graves

"The Cooper Presidential Endowment is excited to fund this important project to help us better understand pay disparity and the trends going forward,” said Megan Endres, Darrel H. Cooper Endowed leadership chair and professor of management at EMU. “Effective leaders must realize the new challenges due to COVID and adopt strategic plans to deal with employee stress and strain,” Endres added.

Pandey has nine years of research in her studies and serves as director of the EMU masters of science in Human Resources and Organizational Development program in China. Graves began working as a social worker in 1999 and spent several years in mental health-related roles. Graves was a full-time interim lecturer in social work for three years at Bryn Mawr before starting her career at Eastern Michigan University.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 15,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

May 11, 2022

Written by:
Brittany Mobley

Media Contact:
Brittany Mobley