Core research areas

The School of Social Work and the Center for Social Work Research strive to conduct and disseminate research and forge community partnerships in six core areas of practice and research. Listed below are SSW Full-time Faculty and their core research areas. Selecting names will direct you to faculty profiles, where you can learn more about specific research projects and interests.

Aging

The Aging research area focuses on addressing the diverse needs of older adults in urban areas. Topics include health promotion for older adults, moving and transitions for older adults, and older adult service provision.

Associate Professor Joy Ernst
Associate Professor Faith Hopp
Associate Professor Fayetta Keys
Associate Professor Tam Perry
Lecturer Judith Wineman

Child Welfare

The Child Welfare research area seeks to understand the needs of and services for vulnerable youth and the people and systems that serve them. Topics include access to higher education for foster care youth, Child Welfare workforce training, foster parent support, and the health needs of foster care youth.

Assistant Professor Viktor Burlaka
Lecturer Takisa LaShore
Lecturer Susan Lebold
Assistant Professor Anwar Najor-Durack
Assistant Professor Kristina Nikolova
Associate Professor Joanne Sobeck
Assistant Professor Shirley Thomas
Lecturer Judith Wineman

Community, Policy, & Program Development

The Community, Policy, & Program Development research area looks at the impact of systems, organizations, and institutions on the individual and larger community and works to improve experiences and remove impediments to goals. Topics include economic development, sustainability, neighborhood change, social entrepreneurship, issue advocacy, capacity building, and origanizational assessment and evaluation.

Assistant Professor Viktor Burlaka
Assistant Professor Jason Carbone
Associate Professor Erin Comartin
Lecturer Susan Lebold
Associate Professor Richard Smith
Associate Professor Joanne Sobeck
Lecturer Marjo Upshaw

Criminal Justice

The Criminal Justice research area aims to provide communities, organizations, and behavioral health and law enforcement agencies with expertise, evaluation, support, training, and technical assistance to optimize diversion of individuals from jail and prison through the implementation of best and innovative practices at every intercept of the criminal justice continuum (SSW Center for Behavioral Health & Justice). Topics include jail diversion, recidivism, treatment of individuals who are incarcerated, and juvenile justice.

Dean and Professor Sheryl Kubiak
Associate Professor Erin Comartin
Professor Poco Kernsmith
Lecturer Susan Lebold
Associate Professor Bradley Ray

Health/Behavioral Health

The Health/Behavioral Health research area examines the health and behavioral health risk and protective factors for under-served populations. Topic areas include substance abuse, trauma, gambling, suicide, LGBTQ+, mental health, and infant mental health.

Dean and Professor Sheryl Kubiak
Assistant Professor J. Lloyd Allen
Associate Professor Suzanne Brown
Assistant Professor Viktor Burlaka
Assistant Professor Jason Carbone
Associate Professor Carolyn Dayton
Senior Lecturer, Lauree Emery
Associate Professor Antonio Gonzalez-Prendes
Associate Professor Kim Jaffee
Assistant Professor Athena Kheibari
Associate Professor Michael Kral
Assistant Professor Anwar Najor-Durack
Assistant Professor Kristina Nikolova
Assistant Professor Lisa O'Donnell
Associate Professor Bradley Ray
Associate Professor Stella Resko
Assistant Professor Shirley Thomas

Interpersonal Violence

The Interpersonal Violence research area looks at prevalence, prevention, and risk and protective factors for relational violence or coercion and support for the vulnerable groups affected. Topics include teen dating violence, sexual assault and rape, domestic violence, and bullying and peer victimization.

Associate Professor Jun Sung Hong
Professor Poco Kernsmith
Assistant Professor Kristina Nikolova
Associate Professor Debra Patterson
Associate Professor Stella Resko