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Ph.D. Student Profiles

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Fall 2016

Katherine J. Crawford, Ph.D.
Research interests - Implementation and evaluation of trauma-Informed care practices; utilizing the Collective Impact framework for cross-sector collaboration; organizational innovation; transfer of knowledge & implementation of best practices; trauma issues among individuals receiving services in the public service system.

Spring 2017

Kimberly Huggins-Hoyt, Ph.D.
Research interests - Child Welfare research and policy analysis; organizational development and structure; poverty and income inequality/mobility; community development; program and economic evaluations; professional development of minorities in academia.



Candidate - passed comprehensive exams
ABD - "All But Dissertation" (passed dissertation prospectus defense)

Barbara Arnold
Research interests - clinical social work; trauma treatment using integrative modalities; international social work.

Junghee Bae (Candidate)
Research interests - nonprofit management; social enterprise; social entrepreneurship; social economy; sustainability of community; education welfare service.

Giselle Balfour (ABD)
Research interests -  sexual abuse and exploitation of children; child welfare; HIV/AIDS.

Shena Brown
Research interests -  social work field education as it relates to prevention of compassion fatigue and/or professional impairment; the legacy of American slavery and its implications for social work practice; faith-based initiatives and the use of spirituality in mental health and substance abuse recovery. 

Dana Dillard (ABD)
Research interests - the burn community; fire service; trauma; interprofessional education. 

Lindsey Disney (ABD)
Research interests - mental health and crossing cultural boundaries, the effects of underemployment on refugee mental health, and the underutilization of mental health services by ethnic and racial minorities.

Katherine Gower
Research interests – environmental justice; food justice and insecurity; policy advocacy; dialogue in social justice.

Amanda Ham (Candidate)
Research interests - culturally and linguistic Deaf Community; mental health; women studies; empowerment; policy; field practicum education; mentoring; qualitative methodology.

Catherine Harm (Candidate)
Research interests - trauma; trauma among foster children; foster parent training; foster parent's knowledge of trauma; animal assisted therapy; LGBTQ issues including homelessness, mental health, and trauma; working with at risk youth.

Christi Hardeman (Candidate)
Research interests -child-  parent bonding and attachment; prison daycare benefits; aging with dignity including issues of autonomy as well as quality of care and life.

Leslie Herbert (ABD)
Research interests - disordered gambling, substance abuse and other addictive disorders; self-care; psychometric measurement and research methodology.

Hollie Hutchinson (ABD)
Research interests - substance abuse addiction and treatments; child welfare; foster care; permanency; policy.

Joel Izlar (ABD)
Research interests -community organization; social welfare; social policy; anti-authoritarian practice; feminist methods; qualitative inquiry.

Porter Jennings (Candidate)
Research interests - utilization of cultural competent practice with the Hispanic population; implementation of systematic and organizational trauma-informed care; issues of trauma associated with foster care and child welfare; trauma associated with immigration-related issues, and program evaluation.

Eunhye Kim (Candidate)
Research interests: mental health disparities among ethnic minorities and elderly immigrants; NGO management; international social work; qualitative research.

Megan Lee
Research interests: mental health; integration of services in schools; early intervention; prevention; integration of services; measurement of services; program improvement

Sunwoo Lee
Research interests - social welfare administration; social exclusion of minorities; public assistance systems.

Tenesha Littleton (Candidate)
Research interests - ecological approaches to the prevention of child maltreatment; life span outcomes of children involved in the child welfare system; trauma-informed systems of care; child and family social policy.

Yolanda Machado-Escudero (Candidate)
Research interests - intersections of inequality; race and ethnicity among Latino immigrant communities; health care disparities.

Stephen McGarity (ABD)
Research interests - social policy; program evaluation; poverty; adults with developmental disabilities.

George Mois
Research interests - older adults aging in place and effective social work teaching; impact of technology on the aging in place process.  

Tatiana Villarreal-Otálora
Research interests - mental health issues Latinx communities face due to human rights violations and anti-immigration legislation; the criminalization of Latinx youth; culturally competent practices. 

Jana Pruett (ABD)
Research interests - healthcare and behavioral health policy; service delivery systems; access to equitable care for vulnerable populations.

Greg Purser (ABD)
Research interests - poverty and homelessness; substance use; mental health .

Abha Rai
Research interests - issues about acculturation in the context of intimate partner violence among South Asian immigrant women in the U.S.

Sherinah Saasa (ABD)
Research interests - orphans and vulnerable children; adolescent HIV/AIDS risk; education inequality; youth development; the wellbeing of African immigrants in the United States.

Brian W. Simmons, Ph.D.

Sara Skinner (ABD)
Research interests - child victimization; sexual abuse and criminal justice systems; juvenile crime victimization; child advocacy centers; forensic interviewing; multi-disciplinary teams.

Trasie Topple (ABD)
Research interests -  impact of adverse experiences and trauma on infant and toddler development, protective factors of attachment and caregiving environments for young children, and epigenetic changes in early childhood.

Xiaochuan Wang (ABD)
Research interests - racial/ethnic mental health disparities and service underutilization; productive aging; end-of-life issues and culturally sensitive services; program evaluation; quantitative research methods; applying Geographical Information System (GIS) to social capital and health research.

Taylor Yates
Research interests - strengths and resiliency; HIV and AIDS in families; effective social work teaching and supervision methods.