Lena Boraggina-Ballard

Lena Boraggina-Ballard

Research Associate



Lena Boraggina-Ballard


Boraggina-Ballard joined Wayne State University School of Social Work as a Research Associate in 2018. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Studies - Concentration in Urban Education in April 2017. Her dissertation study, Voices of the Invisible: A Critical Ethnography of Youth Put at Risk in an Age of Disposability was nominated by Eastern Michigan University’s College of Education for the 2018 AACTE Outstanding Dissertation Award. As a doctoral fellow, she has a record of accomplishment in grant writing and evaluation related to Infant Mental Health and Substance Abuse Prevention. She also received her M.S.W. and B.S.W. degrees from Eastern Michigan University. 



Boraggina-Ballard will be working on a new study related to child welfare retention examining factors that influence why child welfare workers stay and leave the workforce. She will also work on evaluation projects of the Center for Social Work Research. 

Degrees and Certifications

  • Ph.D. in Education Studies, Urban Education concentration, Eastern Michigan University
  • M.S.W., Eastern Michigan University
  • B.S.W., Eastern Michigan University

Areas of Expertise

  • At-risk youth
  • Social justice education
  • Civic engagement
  • Critical pedagogy
  • Resistance theory

Research Interests

  • The relationship between one’s “lived reality” and resistance
  • Resilience and identity formation
  • Evidence-based trauma-related interventions

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