Social Work expands postdoctoral fellow community with two new trainees

Wayne State University is a premier research university in the heart of Detroit. This thriving academic community includes approximately 250 postdoctoral fellows across the University and four within the School of Social Work. These skilled and talented scholars play an essential role in advancing our goal to empower social change in Detroit. Postdoctoral fellows work closely with faculty mentors to develop their professional and academic skills, refine their research goals, expand their publication record, and apply for grant funding.

In 2021, the School of Social Work welcomed two new postdoctoral trainees, Killian Kinney and Bakari Wallace. Below you will find brief research spotlights on all of our current fellows. We encourage you to reach out and connect with these valuable members our social work community.

Killian Kinney smiling


Killian Kinney, PhD
Faculty Mentor: Heather Walter-McCabe, PhD

Kinney’s research is guided by the ethos by, with, and for the community. They leverage qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methodologies to broadly explore LGBTQ health equity and wellbeing, specializing in participatory action research with trans and nonbinary populations. In their current doctoral fellowship, Kinney is co-conducting a legal epidemiological study of LGBTQ-related federal, state, and local legislation across all 50 states and DC. 

Allison Laskey smling


Allison Laskey, PhD
Faculty Mentor: Richard Smith, PhD

Laskey uses ethnographic methods to study how working class Black residents assert demands for equitable development and racial justice in Detroit. In particular, she is interested in the roles that knowledge and organization play in the activism of working class Black Detroiters and how factors such as historical memory, institutional dynamics, and community morale influence that activism. Additionally, her interests include sustainability and resilience of critical urban systems. 

Guijin Lee smiling


Guijin Lee, PhD
Faculty Mentors: Sheryl Kubiak, PhD and Stella Resko, PhD 

Lee holds a joint School of Social Work and Center for Behavioral Health and Justice appointment. Her research interests focus on the way in which social environmental factors impact depressive symptoms and substance use behaviors among immigrant and ethnic minority adolescents. Specifically, Lee’s dissertation tested how social cohesion, sense of belonging, and community safety impact depressive symptoms, while it tested how depressive symptoms mediate the relationship between social environmental factors to substance misuse behaviors for Asian American adolescents. 

Bakari Wallace smiling


Bakari Wallace, PhD
Faculty Mentors: Elizabeth Agius and Carolyn Dayton, PhD

Wallace’s research focuses on how racial-structural paradigms like antiblackness shape the experiences, perceptions, knowledge, and behaviors of those who identify, and are identified as, Black men and boys. For example, Wallace’s dissertation explored the link between personal histories of a select group of Black fathers, their perceptions of how society views Black men, and, subsequently, their approach to the racial socialization of their children.

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