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Nicolaus Espitia

Assistant Professor of Social Work
[email protected]
(248) 370-2747
524 Varner
Rochester, MI 48309

Espitia, MSW, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of social work at Oakland University. He earned his Ph.D. in the joint social work and sociology program at the University of Michigan. His dissertation focused on the political participation of undocumented Latinx Immigrants in the Midwest. Before completing his Ph.D., he completed his MSW and BA at the University of Michigan. Dr. Espitia has practice experience as a policy consultant, policy advocate, community organizer, and program evaluator.

Research interests

  • Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration
  • Undocumented populations
  • Community based methods
  • Social Policy
  • Political Participation
  • Qualitative Methods

Teaching Interests

  • Immigration
  • Social Policy
  • Macro-Practice
  • Research Methods
  • Community Organizing

Selected Publications

  1. Hawkins, J., Kieffer, E. C., Sinco, B., Piatt, G., Jones, L., Mitchell, J., Espitia, N., LeBron, A. M. W., Kloss, K., Kurnick, K., Palmisano, G., & Spencer, M. S. (2022). Using Path Analysis and Linear Regression to Test for Gender and Participation: Effects in a Culturally Tailored Diabetes Intervention for Latino Adults. International Journal of Environment Research and Public Health, 19.
  2. LeBrón A.M.W., Espitia N., Kieffer E., Sinco B., Hawkins J., Nicklett E.J., Palmisano G., Heisler M., Spencer M. (2022) Using Path Analysis to Model the Process of Change in HbA1c among African Americans and Latinos in a Community Health Worker Diabetes Intervention. Patient Education & Counseling, 105(7) 2166-2173. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2021.11.025
  3. Richards-Schuester, K., Espitia, N., & Rodems, R. (2019). Exploring Values and Actions: Definitions of Social Justice and the Civic Engagement of Undergraduate Students. Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics, 16(1)
  4. Spencer, M., Kieffer, E., Sinco, B., Hawkins, J., Lebron, A., Palmisano, G., Espitia, N., Piatt, G., Tang, T., Funnell, M., & Heisler, M. (2018). Outcomes at 18 Months From a Community Health Worker and Peer Leader Diabetes Self-Management Program for Latino Adults. Diabetes Care. 41(7) 1414-1422.
  5. Hawkins, J., Watkins, D. C., Kieffer, E., Spencer, M. S., Nicklett, E. J., Piatt, G., Espitia, N., Lebron, A., & Palmisano, G. (2017). An Exploratory Study of the Impact of Gender on Health Behavior Among African American and Latino Men With Type 2 Diabetes. American Journal of Men’s Health, 11(2), 344–356.
  6. Hawkins, J.,Watkins, D. C., Keiffer, E., Spencer, M., Espitia, N., Sinco, B., & Anderson, M. (2015). Structural and psychosocial factors that influence health care use and self-management for African American and Latino men with type 2 diabetes: An exploratory study. The Journal of Men’s Studies, 23(2), 161-176.
  7. Spencer, M., Hawkins, J., Espitia, N., Sinco, B., Jennings, T., Lewis, C., Palmisano, G., & Kieffer, E. (2013). Influence of a Community Health Worker Intervention on Mental Health Outcomes among Low-Income Latino and African American Adults with Type 2 Diabetes.Race and Social Problems., 1-10.
  8. Lebron, A. M., Valerio, M. A., Kieffer, E., Sinco, B., Rosland, A. M., Hawkins, J., Espitia, N., Palmisano, G., & Spencer, M. (2013). Everyday Discrimination, Diabetes-Related Distress, and Depressive Symptoms Among African Americans and Latinos with Diabetes. Journal of immigrant and minority health/Center for Minority Public Health, 16(6), 1208-16.

Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work & Criminal Justice

Varner Hall Room 518
371 Varner Drive
Rochester , MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-2420
fax: (248) 370-4608

Social Work
Varner, Room 513
371 Varner Dr.
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(248) 370-2371
[email protected]