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Dr. Kyler James Sherman-Wilkins (he/him/his) is an Associate Professor of Sociology, Faculty Affiliate in the Gerontology program, and Director of the Health Equity Research Collective at Missouri State University. A social demographer and life course sociologist by training, Dr. Sherman-Wilkins’ research centers around the social and structural determinants of health and health inequities, particularly as it pertains to cognitive health, across the life course. His work has appeared in leading research outlets such as Health Equity, the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Geriatrics, and the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

 He is a dedicated and award-winning teacher and advisor who focuses on empowering students to address challenges in their communities through activism and policy. As director of HERC, he leads of team of student researchers committed to health equity advocacy and research. 

 In addition to teaching and research Dr.  Sherman-Wilkins is engaged in professional and community service and sits on the Board of Trustees for PRB, a population research organization in Washington D.C., Board of Directors for the Missouri Foundation for Health, and is the Inaugural Secretary for the Missouri Council on Aging. Locally, he is the current First Vice President and Education Chair for the NAACP-Springfield Chapter. 

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Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography

The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 


M.A. in Sociology and Demography

Certificate in Quantitative Methods

The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA


B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies

Concentration in Aging and Health

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Honors and Awards


  • 2021 Mellon Emerging Faculty Leaders Award, Institute for Citizens & Scholars

  • 2021 Missouri State University Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching

  • 2021 Curtis P. Lawrence Award for Excellence in Advising, Missouri State

  • 2019 Division of Student Affairs' Bridge Builder Award, Missouri State

  • 2017 Diversity Scholar Award, Missouri State University

Scholarships, Grants, Fellowships, and Traineeships 

  • 2020 Principal Investigator, Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning Curriculum Innovation Grant, Missouri State University 

  • 2020 Consultant, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Grant, National Institutes of Health

  • 2019 Participant, National Institute on Aging's Butler-Williams Program, National Institutes of Health 

  • 2019 Awardee, Research Internship, Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center

  • 2016 Awardee, Fellow, U.S. Policy Communications Program, PRB

  • 2016 Participant, Summer Institute's Mini-Medical School for Social Scientists, RAND Corporation

  • 2013-2015, Trainee, Pre-Doctoral Traineeship, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health

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