Current Doctoral Students
Chad Allee is primarily interested in research that connects leadership principles to the field of social work. He is interested in the enhancement of collaborative efforts between community organizations, evaluation and program planning strategies for non-profit organizations, and macro level policy coordination. Secondary interests include studying the impacts of access to education and mentoring opportunities for at-risk populations.
Cassandra Barragan is interested in the policies and legislation that impact the nursing home industry and specifically, the effective use of social workers in health care as part of interdisciplinary teams. Additional areas include community based program implementation of services for seniors.
Jessica Camp is primarily interested in researching the use of education and educational systems to promote poverty reduction and mental health/ substance abuse recovery for adults. She is also interested in current treatment programs for adults in the Community Mental Health setting and outcome measures.
Ann Carrellas is primarily interested in research concerned with supporting youth and adults who have fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. In particular, her focus is on effective interventions and policy development that promote best practice in terms of supporting youth with FASDs as they transition into adulthood and throughout their lives.
Tina Dykehouse is interested in the abuse and neglect of very young children (ages 0-3), especially in cooperation between agencies that have been created to protect these children from abuse and neglect and those that have been created to preserve the relationship between mothers and infants. She is also interested in developing better training in infant development for agency workers and foster care providers and in the creation of training and assessment to increase workers’ and foster care providers’ reflective functioning capabilities.
Monique D. James is interested in health disparities and the influence of life-course experiences on participation in research, health promotion and longevity amongst aging minority populations. Further interest includes evaluation of aging trends to advocate for effective policy and coordination of service delivery systems with emphasis on positive health outcomes and empowerment for older women and minorities.
Christina Marsack is interested in health care service delivery and opportunities for enhancing quality of life among the elderly. She is also interested in looking at lifespan development and health care issues for older adults, specifically those with Cognitive Impairments.
Sarah Mountain’s background is in women's studies and macro/community organizing social work. Her research interest is adolescent girls in urban communities and the community programs that support them. She is also interested in studying the role that civic engagement plays in the lives of these girls.
Deirdre’s background is in program evaluation, public health, and health services research. Her research interests include studying the social, institutional, and structural causes of health disparities in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. In particular, she is interested in the collection of sexual orientation and gender identity data in service provision and research; disparities in the prevalence of obesity, tobacco and other substance use, the use of preventive care, and other health behaviors; and barriers to health/mental health care for LGBT individuals.
Mickey Sperlich is interested in women’s physical and mental health, in bringing attention to health disparities, and in investigating how trauma, stress, posttraumatic stress disorder, and other comorbid mental health disorders can affect pregnancy, birth, and early mothering and attachment. She is also interested in developing interventions which address these issues.
Sarah Van Zoeren
Sarah VanZoeren’s research interests are centered on issues related to education including school social work practice and factors impacting accessibility to higher education.
Robin Walters Powell’s interests are: resiliency of oppressed populations, GLBT youth support/crisis/health issues, long-term effects of foster care on youth, non-traditional vs. traditional students in higher education; and effects of a positive relationship with social workers on quality of health care treatment
Shantel West is interested in the impact of biopsychosocial factors on juvenile delinquency and school performance among youth in urban communities, primarily youth of color. She is interested in mental health services and disparities among this population, juvenile justice programs, alternative community-based interventions, as well as the use of community-based participatory research and preventative service in urban settings to address risk factors.