Social Work Spotlight: Meet Post-Doctoral Research Fellow Grant Victor
Wayne State's commitment to partnering with the Detroit community to advance social justice sealed the deal for Grant Victor on his selection of Wayne State as new home. Prior to joining the School of Social Work, Victor earned his Ph.D. in social work from the University of Kentucky while working on a federally funded research project focused on drug-related high-risk related health consequences, including HIV and HCV, of incarcerated women. In 2019, Victor accepted a position in the School of Social Work and the Center for Behavioral Health and Justice (CBHJ) as a postdoctoral research fellow. Victor is currently working under the guidance of CBHJ Director Brad Ray on multiple state and federally funded projects.
What is the focus of your research?
My research is focused on the overlap between substance use disorder, evidence-based practice, and community-based interventions. The primary aim of my research is to translate and integrate data into improved programs, policies and services for the vulnerable members of communities in Detroit and across the state of Michigan. Recently, my research has focused on investigating fatal drug overdose risk factors by utilizing linked public administration data, and the barriers and facilitators on the implementation and effectiveness of harm reduction services for people who use drugs.
How do you partner with our Detroit community?
My research is reliant on the inclusion of people who use drugs in all stages of the research process. This ensures that I can align my research with the priorities of the communities with which I actively collaborate. Having strong relationships with fellow Detroiters and Michiganders is a must, especially regarding community-based treatment providers and harm reduction agencies. I have also worked closely with local and state partners in the CBHJ statewide Jail Diversion project and the national-level Stepping-Up initiative. For these CBHJ programs I provide technical assistance aimed at integrating jail administration data with community behavioral health data and program evaluation.
Why did you chose Wayne State?
The commitment to community engagement at the CBHJ was a significant motivator for me to move to Detroit and join Wayne State. I consider myself fortunate to take part in ongoing work with a cohort of high-caliber colleagues.
Prior to moving here, the city of Detroit intrigued me, but it was largely an abstraction of great contrasts -- one of a gilded age of prosperity and another of blight and ruin. In my short time here, I have found that neither sentiment is true, there is an abundance of complexity to this city's past and present, and what really sets Detroit apart are the virtues of Detroiters - they are what makes Detroit unlike anywhere else in America. I'm proud to call this my adopted home and to be part of a University whose mission is to serve this uniquely great city.
What kind of classes are you interested in teaching?
I am interested in teaching social welfare policy, human behavior and the social environment, drug policy, and the Inside/Out Prison Exchange Program.