Sugarman Practitioner in Residence Program Expands

Sept. 7, 2022

Princeton University’s Kahneman-Treisman Center for Behavioral Science & Public Policy is pleased to announce the expansion of the inaugural cohort of the Jay Sugarman Practitioner in Residence program. Marking the beginning of the 2022-23 academic year, Sugarman Fellows Bryant Adibe and Chukwuemeka Vincent Chukwuemeka, as well as Associate Practitioners Vivian Burgnon and Sebastien de Ghellinck of SkillSignal, have joined the program. They join Fellows Kristine De Jesus and David Henderson and Associate Practitioner Brian Chapman who launched their projects this past spring.

Established through a gift by Jay S. Sugarman ’84, the program is intended to support practitioners in a variety of fields to pursue a breakthrough solution to a society-relevant problem, the success of which depends on understanding certain aspects of human behavior, and which could benefit from the support, guidance, and mentorship of members of Princeton's academic community. Each Sugarman Fellow has proposed a project, hypothesizing that the gap between the current state and an improved future could be solved by addressing some aspect of human motivation, judgment, decision, or perception, whether individual or collective.

Portrait of smiling man with arms crossed

Chukwuemeka V. Chukwuemeka, who was at the University last year as a Princeton Mellon Fellow in the School of Architecture, is an architect and urbanist who looks closely at the implications of design on human behavior and will specifically be working on reimagining the design, development, uses, and management of sanitation spaces and infrastructures in cities. He will spending time this fall in Japan, hosted by colleagues at the University of Tokyo, to visit the Nippon Foundation's Tokyo Toilet Project, which showcases the world’s leading toilet and sanitation infrastructure innovation. He will learn from the project’s designers, maintenance teams, and project administrators to help inform his own designs, which he will further refine this fall before piloting in local urban settings in the spring. Chukwuemeka obtained his Doctor of Architecture degree from KU Leuven in Belgium and a Master of Arts in Architecture degree from Hochschule Anhalt (DIA Dessau-Bauhaus), where he graduated with the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) Prize, awarded for the outstanding achievements of international students at German universities. He has also led the design and development of several projects in his native Nigeria.


Smiling man seated in office

Bryant Adibe, MD, previously served as System Vice President and Chief Wellness Officer of an academic health system in Chicago, Illinois, where he founded an innovative facility designed to study and treat the effects of burnout and emotional exhaustion on healthcare workers. As a Sugarman Practitioner in Residence, he will be working on understanding the underlying upstream causes and downstream effects of burnout among medical professionals with the hopes of building predictive analytical modeling tools that can lead to interventions to improve the mental health and well-being of these important front-line workers. In aiming to make impact at the system-level, he has already forged partnerships on campus with data scientists and computational designers to build a pilot diagnostic tool to roll out to three to five health systems later this fall. Bryant earned his medical degree from the University of Florida College of Medicine. He completed clinical clerkships in Emergency Medicine at both Harvard Medical School and the Stanford School of Medicine. As a graduate student, he studied health policy research and evidence-based healthcare at Oxford University.


Woman and man in hard hats

Sugarman Associate Practitioners Vivian Burgnon and Sebastien de Ghellinck, co-founders of compliance and safety software company SkillSignal, are similarly interested in understanding and addressing the operational impediments to worker wellbeing within the construction industry. In mid-August, the Center and SkillSignal co-hosted over 40 construction industry professionals at Robertson Hall to launch the Construction Well-being Initiative. The team is currently forming partnerships with many of these industry players to conduct site research to test potential interventions to improve wellbeing outcomes.


Like an “artist-in-residence” program, the Sugarman Practitioner in Residence program provides a sanctuary from everyday responsibilities that can impede breakthrough thinking, along with the opportunity to deepen engagement with the behavioral sciences and related policy tools through collaboration with the university community. In addition to developing their projects while in residence, the cohort members will participate in the full life of the Kahneman-Treisman Center, giving talks and workshops and engaging with Princeton faculty, fellows, and students, who will benefit from the Sugarman Fellows’ knowledge and applied approach to their fields.