Featured Speakers

Opening Plenary Session, Thursday – January 11, 2018, 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Dr. Linda Tuhiwai Smith (Ngāti Awa and Ngāti Porou, Māori)

Dr. Linda Tuhiwai Smith (Ngāti Awa and Ngāti Porou, Māori) is Professor of Education and Māori Development at the University of Waikato and  has served as Pro-Vice Chancellor Māori, Dean of the School of Māori and Pacific Development and Director of Te Kotahi Research Institute at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. She is Principal Investigator on the NPM Project – In Pursuit of the Possible: Indigenous Well-being, an international comparative study of the conditions, strategies, catalysts and meanings that indigenous people employ to realize their aspirations for well-being.

She has worked in the field of Māori education, research, and health for many years as an educator and researcher and is well known for her work in Kaupapa Māori research. Smith has published widely in journals and books. Her book Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples (2nd ed., 2012), has been one of the most widely cited publications relating to decolonizing research practices in the world since its initial publication in 1999. She is well known internationally as a public speaker.

Dr. Smith was a founding Joint Director of New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence from 2002-2007 and a Professor of Education at the University of Auckland.

She is a member of New Zealand’s Health Research Council and the Marsden Fund Council, Chair of the Māori Health Research Committee, President of the New Zealand Association for Research in Education and Convener of the Social Sciences Assessment Panel. Most recently she was appointed to the Constitutional Advisory Panel Committee in New Zealand and the High Panel – Science, Technology and Innovation for Development in Paris.

In her groundbreaking 1999 book, Decolonizing Methodologies, Smith traces the history of scientific knowledge as it developed through racist practices and the exploitation of indigenous peoples, and asserts a challenging vision for how research and education can be used to confront colonialism and oppression. Re-released in 2012, this book launched a wave of indigenous-led critiques of academic power and proposals for indigenized methodological interventions.

Linda Tuhiwai Smith has continued to expand her work, most recently linking critiques of scientific authority to analyses of colonialism and anti-Māori bias in the Aotearoa (New Zealand) health care system. Decolonizing Methodologies remains the essential text in confronting colonialism in the academy and indigenising research methodologies and has sparked a major turn in methodological scholarship and perspectives on colonialism and research. Important works building on Decolonizing Methodologies including excellent works including (but certainly not limited to) Indigenizing the Academy by Devon Abbot Mihesuah and Angela Cavender Wilson (2004), Indigenous Methodologies by Margaret Kovach (2009), and Research is Ceremony by Shawn Wilson (2009). In 2013, she was named a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for her work in support of Māori research and education.

Presidential Plenary, Saturday – January 13, 2018, 2:45 pm – 3:45 pm 

Morris Dees

Morris Dees was born in 1936 at Shorter, Alabama, the son of cotton farmers.  As a young boy he worked the fields with blacks, witnessing first-hand social and economic depravation and Jim Crow treatment at its worse.

While at the University of Alabama Law School, he met Millard Fuller.  The two formed a highly successful publishing company during their time in law school.  After graduation, they moved the business to Montgomery, Alabama.  Fuller left the company in 1965 and later founded Habitat for Humanity.  Mr. Dees continued the business and also began taking controversial civil rights cases.

Mr. Dees sold his publishing company to a major national firm in 1970 and formed the Southern Poverty Law Center, along with Julian Bond and Joseph Levin.  Early Center cases included integrating the Alabama State Troopers and desegregating the Montgomery YMCA.  The Center, funded by donations from over 300,000 citizens across the nation, quickly grew into one of America’s most successful and innovative public interest law firms.

In 1980, the Center founded the Intelligence Project in response to resurgence in organized racist activity.  The project monitors hate groups and develops legal strategies for protecting citizens from violence-prone groups.  A made-for-television movie about Mr. Dees aired on NBC.  “Line of Fire” describes his successful fight against the Ku Klux Klan.  It included the $7 million precedent-setting judgment against the United Klans of America on behalf of the mother of Michael Donald, a young black man lynched by the Klan in Mobile, Alabama.  Wayne Rogers portrayed him in the feature film “Ghosts of Mississippi” about the murder of civil rights worker Medgar Evers.

Other victories against hate groups include a $6 million judgment that bankrupted the Aryan Nations, a $12.5 million jury verdict against the California-based White Aryan Resistance for the death of a black student and a $26 million verdict against the Carolina Klan for burning black churches.

Klansmen burned the Center offices in1983.  The arsonists were convicted but not before their leader plotted to kill Mr. Dees.  More than thirty men have since been imprisoned for plots to harm him or destroy Center property.  This threat requires a high degree of security during public appearances.

To promote acceptance and tolerance, the Center founded Teaching Tolerance in 1990.  Over 80,000 schools use the project’s free videos and teaching materials and over 400,000 teachers receive the award winning Teaching Tolerance magazine.  The Center has won two Oscars for its tolerance education films and received five Oscar nominations.  Mr. Dees believes that it is important to teach tolerance in the classroom as well as fight hate in the courtroom.

Mr. Dees has received numerous awards in conjunction with his work.  The U.S. Jaycees chose him as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of America for his early business success.  Trial Lawyers for Public Justice named him Trial Lawyer of the Year in 1987.  In 2009, he was inducted into the Trial Lawyers’ Hall of Fame by the National Trial Lawyers Association.  The American Bar Association honored him in 2012 with the ABA Medal, their highest honor, and The American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) honored him with their Courageous Advocacy Award in 2015.  He received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Nonviolence Peace Prize in April 2016 from The King Center in Atlanta and the National Education Association President’s Award for Human and Civil Rights in July 2016.  Dees was honored again by the National Trial Lawyers in 2017 when he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.  He received the Champion of Justice Award from the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights in 2017.

Mr. Dees is the author of three books, A Lawyers Journey, his autobiography, Hate on Trial and Gathering Storm, America’s Militia Threat.  He remains actively engaged in litigation. He and his wife, Katie, reside in Montgomery, Aabama.

Invited Symposia Theme: The Grandest Challenge: Unearthing the Deep Roots of Social Problems

On  August 3rd  2017 a small group of colleagues from around the country gathered in Seattle for a day-long “think tank” to reflect on ways the Grand Challenges Initiative can ‘expand its tent’, extend its hand, and otherwise incorporate important voices and viewpoints not yet fully represented. Across the country, other social work research groups were having similar conversations.  As one outcome of these conversations, these invited symposia strategically build upon one another, addressing a shared thematic commitment to excavating and illuminating the underlying roots of social problems, and providing examples of the rich diversity of perspectives, knowledges, and practices in social work research and in communities that we serve.

Invited Symposium I: “Excavating Constructs for Grand Challenges: Unearthing White Supremacy, Neoliberal Racism, and Neocolonialism” – Friday, January 12, 2018, 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm

Given our political and social climate, excavating and illuminating ideological and epistemological forces that undergird societal problems are key to formulating culturally valid research and practice solutions. Specifically, this opening session for the symposia provides the initial deep dive into unearthing how white supremacy, neoliberal racism and neocolonialism as interlocked systems of oppression, will continue to operate unchecked if they are not explicitly addressed in the social work Grand Challenges Initiatives. From this perspective, social work researchers and community partners can consider not only how to react to Grand Challenges, but how to counter the normative and ideological forces that produce them.

Edwina Uehara, PhD
University of Washington (Chair)

Edwina (“Eddie”) Uehara, MSW, PhD, is former president of SSWR and Professor and Dean, School of Social Work, University of Washington, where she previously served the School as Associate Dean for Educational Initiatives (1998-2002). Dr. Uehara’s scholarly interests center on understanding the interplay of social structure and the cultural construction of health, illness and healing. Her research has been published in a range of journals in social work and related disciplines, including American Journal of Sociology; Journal of Health and Social Behavior; Archives of General Psychiatry; Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology; American Journal of Community Psychology; Social Science and Medicine; Social Work; and Gerontology.  Recipient of the University of Washington’s Distinguished Teaching Award (1996), the School of Social Work’s Students’ Award for Classroom Excellence (1994), and the Edith Abbott Award for Scholarly and Career Excellence from the University of Chicago’s School of Social Service Administration (2007), Dr. Uehara is the inaugural holder of the Ballmer Endowed Deanship in Social Work, the first position of its kind in a public university.  She has taught and mentored scores of masters, doctoral, and post-doctoral students, particularly those specializing in ethnography, grounded theory, narrative analysis, social networks analysis, and the intersection of race, culture, socioeconomic class and mental health.


Sean Joe, PhD
Washington University in St. Louis

Sean Joe, PhD, MSW, began his position as the Associate Dean for the Brown School July 1, 2015. Dr. Joe also co-chairs the Brown School’s Community-based Partnership Committee.  As founding Director of the Race and Opportunity Lab, his current research examines race, opportunity, and social mobility with an emphasis on informing policies, interventions, and intra-professional practice to improve familial and community capacity to reduce ethnic gaps in inequality in adolescents’ healthy transition to adulthood.  The lab leading study is an applied research project, HomeGrown STL, which is a multi-systemic regional capacity building intervention to enhance programs use of evidence to better serve and support the well-being and health of Black males ages 12-29 years in the St. Louis region (i.e. City and County).

His epistemological work focuses on the role of race in science that features a journal club for doctoral students and faculty and the planning for an upcoming 2018 symposium and book project.

Dr. Joe is a nationally recognized authority on suicidal behavior among Black Americans, and is expanding the evidence base for effective practice with Black boys and young men. He is the 2009 recipient of the Edwin Shneidman Award from the American Association of Suicidology for outstanding contributions in research to the field of suicide studies and the 2008 recipient of the Early Career Achievement Award from the Society for Social Work and Research. He has published in the areas of suicide, violence, and firearm-related violence.

Previously, he held a joint position as associate professor in the School of Social Work and the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan’s School of Medicine. He also served as a faculty associate and Associate Director for Research and Training at the Program for Research on Black Americans at the Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan.

Dr. Joe serves on the Steering Committee of the national Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC). He was a member of the board of directors for the Society for Social Work and Research (2013-2016).  He is the Founder and Director of the Emerging Scholars Interdisciplinary Network, a national interdisciplinary and mutli-ethnic professional development network for early career social and behavior scientist.  Dr. Joe is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and the Society for Social Work and Research.  In January 2018, Dr. Joe will be inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.

Laina Bay-Cheng, PhD
University at Buffalo

Dr. Laina Y. Bay-Cheng is Associate Professor and PhD Program Director at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work. Her research concentrates on the social determinants of young women’s sexual well-being. In contrast to the dominant equation of youth sexuality with risk, she contends that young women’s vulnerability to negative sexual experiences stems from unjust social norms and material conditions. Beyond her own scholarship, she is a member of SSWR’s Research Capacity Development Committee and GADE’s Board of Directors and directs the University at Buffalo’s PhD Program. Through service on these fronts, she works to support student scholars in pursuing intellectually rigorous and socially meaningful research.





Debora Ortega, PhD
University of Denver

Professor, Debora Ortega, is the founding director of the University of Denver Latino Center on Community Engagement and Scholarship.  a consortium of interdisciplinary faculty dedicated to creating and advancing knowledge that gives voice to the history, politics, culture, and legacies of Latino communities. She joined the faculty of the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work in 2005. Prior to her appointment at DU, she was faculty member at the University of Kansas, School of Social Welfare.

Her funded research includes grants from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children and Families as well as a number of state and foundation grants.

Among her publications, Ortega’s research and scholarship focuses on improving services to families involved in the child welfare system, structural inequities across a variety of clients’ systems, immigration, health disparities and the effects of everyday racism on the Latino community.

She is a proud to be a part of the community of first generation Latino college students.


Invited Symposium II: “Building Authentic Alliances: Addressing the Denial and Significance of Race, Whiteness, Gender, and Indigeneity in Research Partnerships” –  Saturday, January 13, 2018, 8:00 am – 9:30 am

Effectively addressing “wicked” social problems requires active stakeholder engagement in the design, implementation, and evaluation of intervention and prevention strategies. The participants in this session explore “authentic alliances” from diverse perspectives. Dr. Orellana will discuss the importance of epistemic alliances. Dr. Duran will present a community/academic partnership study that identified contextual and partnership practices associated with successful community-based participatory research outcomes. Dr. Evans- Campbell will discuss intersectionality and indigeneity in research partnerships. Dr. Wheeler will address the enduring question of the true benefit of research in service to non-White and marginalized groups in the United States. Participants are also welcome to discuss their own experiences with building alliances to tackle contemporary Grand Challenges.

Susan Kemp, PhD
University of Washington (Chair)

Susan P. Kemp PhD is Charles O. Cressey Endowed Professor at the University of Washington School of Social Work, Seattle and Professor of Social Work at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Her research interests focus on environment, place, and community as foci of social work practice; low-income children, youth and families; public child welfare; and social work history and theory. She is co-author of Person-Environment Practice: The Social Ecology of Interpersonal Helping (Aldine de Gruyter, 1997), and co-editor of The Paradox of Urban Space: Inequality and Transformation in Marginalized Communities (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), and Communities, Neighborhoods, and Health: Expanding the Boundaries of Place (Springer, 2011). Her current work engages questions related to urban environments, marginalized populations, and environmental change, including social work’s early history of urban environmental activism. A Fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare, she serves as national co-chair of the AASWSW Grand Challenge for Social Work, Create Social Responses to a Changing Environment.



Bonnie Duran, PhD
University of Washington

Bonnie Duran Dr.PH (mixed race Opelousas/Coushatta descendent) is a Professor in the Schools of Social Work and Public Health at the University of Washington, and is the Director of the Center for Indigenous Health Research at the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (http://health.iwri.org ). She received her Dr.PH from UC Berkeley School of Public Health in 1997. Bonnie teaches graduate courses in Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR), Health Promotion/Disease Prevention, Social Justice and Health, Critical Social Theory and Mindfulness in Social Work Practice. She has worked in public health research, evaluation and education among Tribes, Native Organizations and other communities of color for over 40 years.

Dr. Duran is currently the Principal Investigator of 2 NIH funded research projects in “Indian Country”. Working with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium and 25 Tribal Colleges, she is conducting 2 studies; (a) a psychiatric epidemiology prevalence and correlates study (N=3,202, and (b) a TCU-cultural adaptation of Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS).  Dr. Duran is also Co-PI of an NIMH funded R25 HIV and Mental Health research training program. Her past work includes partnering with the Navajo Nation, Indian Health Service, the National Congress of American Indians Policy Research Center, and other Indigenous Community Based Organizations on projects aimed at health equity, improving health services, and developing culture-centered health promotion.

The overall aims of Dr. Duran’s research are to work in partnership with communities to design health treatment and prevention efforts that are empowering, culture-centered, accessible and sustainable and that have maximum public health impact. She has many publications including articles in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and books. (See her profile here and here). Dr. Duran is an Editor of Community-Based Participatory Research for Health: Advancing Social and Health Equity, 3rd Edition published in November 2017. See here.

Bonnie Duran is also a Buddhist mindfulness practitioner and teacher. She teaches long and short mindfulness retreats at the Insight Meditation Society (IMS dharma.org) in Massachusetts and at Spirit Rock Meditation Center (SRMC Spiritrock.org) in California, as well as other venues throughout the US.

E. Roberto Orellana, PhD
Portland State University

Roberto Orellana, PhD, MPH, MSW, is the Associate Dean for Research and Sponsored Projects at Portland State University’s School of Social Work (PSU-SSW). He’s also an affiliate faculty in Public Health and Indigenous Nations Studies at PSU. He’s held visiting research scientist appointments at UCSD’s Department of Global Public Health, and Oregon State University’s College of Public Health. Internationally, he’s a member of the Board of Directors of a research and education non-profit organization in Guatemala, and he’s also on the Research Advisory Council of the International Indigenous Working Group on HIV/AIDS. Both of these international institutions are dedicated to HIV prevention and health promotion among indigenous populations throughout the globe.

Dr. Orellana’s research focuses on the intersecting epidemics of drug abuse, HIV and trauma. He’s been an investigator on several HIV prevention clinical trials in Seattle, New York and Peru. He directed several epidemiologic and mixed methods studies with indigenous populations in the Amazon jungle of Peru and the Highlands of Guatemala. More recently, he examined the nature and impact of structural factors (social, political, environmental) on substance abuse and HIV risk behaviors among vulnerable groups in the Mexico/Guatemala border region. Currently in the U.S., he’s the co-principal investigator of the Portland arm of the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance Study (NHBS), funded by the CDC. NHBS is the primary source for monitoring HIV trends in the United States. The ultimate surveillance goal is a nationwide system that combines information on HIV infection, disease progression, and behaviors and characteristics of people at high risk. By meeting this goal, CDC can direct HIV prevention funding to where it is needed the most. In Oregon, Dr. Orellana is conducting a NIH-funded study examining social and health service utilization by homeless youth; and, he is also the lead evaluator for the Oregon Health Authority’s youth suicide prevention programming, and prescription drug overdose prevention, funded by both the CDC and SAMHSA. The work of his teams has been disseminated through interdisciplinary journals such as the Journal of Sex Research, American Journal of Public Health, PLOS ONE, AIDS and Behavior, and Qualitative Health Research.

Dr. Orellana teaches research and evaluation courses, and the philosophy of science course for doctoral students. He serves as a mentor for under-represented students and junior scholars in several NIH-funded mentoring programs at the University of Washington, Portland State University, Harvard University and Columbia University. He received a BA in Psychology, an MSW and MPH from the University of Washington, and an MPhil and PhD in Social Work from Columbia University.

Darrell Wheeler, PhD
University at Albany

Darrell P. Wheeler was appointed the University at Albany’s Interim Provost in September 2016.

Dr. Wheeler, received his undergraduate degree from Cornell College, a Master’s from Howard University and both a Master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh, is president of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Social Workers.

An active scholar, his work includes HIV prevention and intervention among African-American gay, bisexual and transgender communities. He was previously Dean and Professor of the School of Social Work at Loyola University Chicago, and before that taught at Hunter College, Columbia University, the University of California San Francisco, and the University of North Carolina.

Dr. Wheeler joined the University in July of 2015 as both Dean of the School of Social Welfare and Vice Provost for Public Engagement, a new position aimed at advancing the University’s commitment to public engagement.


Tessa Evans-Campbell, PhD
University of Washington

Dr. Evans-Campbell is Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the University of Washington School of Social Work.  She also serves as co-Director of the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute. Dr. Evans-Campbell is a Snohomish tribal member and a Tribal Councilmember with strong ties to tribal communities and Native organizations that serve children and families. Her research focuses on health equity, trauma and healing, family wellness, and child welfare in tribal communities and she has served as PI or Co-PI on numerous NIH-funded grants. In addition, she sits on numerous boards and committees related to Native family wellness and health disparities research. Dr. Evans-Campbell has won several teaching and mentoring awards including the University of Washington Distinguished Teaching Award. She has considerable experience training and mentoring students, post-doctoral trainees and junior faculty and currently serves as PI or Co-PI on several training grants.




Invited Symposium III: “Decolonizing Research: Generating Community-Grounded Inquiry” – Saturday, January 13, 2018, 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Among community-based scholars, efforts are underway to incorporate culturally based knowledges and practices into the research enterprise. Culturally based knowledges provide the logic and internal validity by which communities live and thrive. Decolonizing research honors communities’ historical, social and political contexts while simultaneously privileging community voice and unearthing community knowledges. In doing so, decolonizing research attenuates the forces that have historically marginalized communities’ epistemologies and practices. This session provides examples of decolonizing research that provokes revolutionary thinking about the roots and roles that culture and community voice can play in the development of effective interventions.

Karina Walters, PhD
University of Washington (Chair)

Karina L. Walters, an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, is the Associate Dean for Research, the Katherine Hall Chambers Scholar, and the Director and Principal Investigator of the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI; NIMHD P60MD006909) at the University of Washington. IWRI is one of 16 National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities Comprehensive Centers of Excellence and one of two devoted to American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) research in the country. Dr. Walters has over 20 years of experience in social epidemiological research on the historical, social, and cultural determinants of health among AIAN populations as well as chronic disease prevention research (e.g., HIV, AOD, obesity). Dr. Walters has presented at over 320+ national and international conferences; was an invited speaker for Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series (WALS) at the NIH; and was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Dr. Walters has served as Principal Investigator or Co-I on over 37 National Institute of Health (NIH) grants (13 as PI) from diverse NIH institutes; has mentored over 90 scholars from historically underrepresented populations including 35 AIAN scholars; and has participated in 14 national research training programs for underrepresented ethnic minority scholars. Dr. Walters received her B.A. (sociology) in 1987, her M.S.W. (clinical) in 1990, and her Ph.D. in 1995 all from the University of California, Los Angeles. After serving on faculty as an Assistant and Associate Professor at Columbia University School of Social Work (1995‐2001), she joined the University of Washington faculty in 2001 and became Full Professor in 2011. She has served as Director of the Doctoral Program (2003‐05) and as Associate Dean for Research (since 2012).  Prior to her career in academia, Dr. Walters was a community-based psychotherapist and served as Commissioner for the Los Angeles County American Indian Commission.

Waldo Johnson, Jr., PhD
University of Chicago

Waldo E. Johnson, Jr., Ph.D., MSW is Associate Professor at the School of Social Service Administration, with affiliation at the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture of the University of Chicago.

Johnson is Co-Investigator of the Fathers and Sons Program Evaluation Study, an NICHD funded intervention study focused on enhancing parent-son bonds between nonresident African American fathers and their 8-12 year old sons residing in Chicago’s Washington Park community and promote positive health behaviors via effective communication, cultural awareness and skill building.

Johnson is also Co-Principal Investigator for the Father-Son Communication Project (FSCP) is a collaborative research initiative funded by the Joint Research Fund of the Chapin Hall Center and the University of Chicago. The FSCP is the first stage in a larger research agenda that aims to generate knowledge about how urban fathers help their sons avoid violence, and proposes to use this knowledge to develop and test curricula designed to enhance the ability of fathers to help their sons safely navigate urban spaces. The current stage is comprised of interviews with a sample of African American fathers and/or father figures and their pre-adolescent and adolescent sons (ages 12-20) residing in low-resourced neighborhoods.

Johnson is also a research consultant with ACF/HHS’ Parent and Children Together (PACT) Study, a longitudinal, mixed-methods evaluation of fatherhood programs, led by Mathematica Policy Research. He is also a research and content consultant for South Carolina Educational Television (SCETV)/ PBS upcoming series, Fathers in America.

His professional memberships include the National Association of Black Social Workers and the Society for Social Work and Research; his affiliations include the Scholars Network on Masculinity, 2025 Network for Black Men and Boys, and the APA Public Interest Directorate’s Working Group on Health Disparities in Men and Boys. Johnson is a member of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Leadership Council. He edited the volume, Social Work with African American Males: Health, Mental Health and Social Policy (2010, Oxford Press). He also serves on the board of the Center for Family Policy and Practice in Madison, Wisconsin.

Michael Lindsey, PhD, MSW, MPH, New York University

Dr. Michael A. Lindsey became Director of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research and McSilver Professor of Poverty Studies at NYU Silver School of Social Work in September 2016. Dr. Lindsey was previously an Associate Professor at NYU Silver.

Prior to joining NYU Silver in 2014, Dr. Lindsey was an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work and concurrently a Faculty Affiliate at the University of Maryland Department of Psychiatry’s Center for School Mental Health.

Dr. Lindsey is a child and adolescent mental health services researcher, and is particularly interested in the prohibitive factors that lead to unmet mental health need among vulnerable youth with serious psychiatric illnesses, including depression. He has received research support from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) to examine the social network influences on perceptual and actual barriers to mental health care among African American adolescent males with depression. He also received NIMH funding to develop and test a treatment engagement intervention that promotes access to and use of mental health services among depressed adolescents in school- and community-based treatment.

Dr. Lindsey’s current research, funded by the Robin Hood Foundation and Annie E. Casey Foundation, involves the delivery of an innovative combination of interventions aimed at decreasing PTSD and depression symptoms, and improving positive parenting skills, among child-welfare involved mothers with trauma-related disorders.

A standing member of the NIMH Services Research Committee, standing member of the National Advisory Council, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and a board member-at-large for the Society for Social Work and Research, Dr. Lindsey is also a member of the Ford Foundation Scholars Network on Masculinity and the Wellbeing of African American Males; the Emerging Scholars Interdisciplinary Network; and the Mental Health Education Integration Consortium. His published research has appeared in the American Journal of Men’s Health, Journal of Adolescent Health, Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, Journal of Black Psychology, General Hospital Psychiatry, Prevention Science, Psychiatric Services, and in the journal Social Work. Dr. Lindsey is also on the editorial board of the journals Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research and Children and Schools.

Dr. Lindsey holds a PhD in social work and MPH from the University of Pittsburgh; an MSW from Howard University; and a BA in sociology from Morehouse College. He also completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in public health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University.

Michael Spencer, PhD
University of Michigan

Mike Spencer is the Fedele F. Fauri Collegiate Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan. His research examines inequities in physical and mental health among low-income populations of color and is currently focused on interventions that promote health among Native Hawaiians through indigenous practices and values.  He is also the Principal Investigator of the REACH Detroit Family Intervention, an NIH-funded, community-based, participatory research (CBPR) project which aims at reducing disparities in type 2 diabetes through the use of community health workers among African American and Latino residents in Detroit.  He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare and the Society for Social Work and Research.

Laura Wernick, PhD
Fordham University

Laura Wernick is an Assistant Professor at Fordham University School of Social Service. Dr. Wernick’s research explores and examines innovative models of transformative community organizing. In particular, they examine how these models creatively address issues of power, privilege and oppression at multiple levels to impact social change while transforming people’s daily lives. This research agenda has been developed through and is grounded in their practice experience, which has focused on community organizing, organizational transformation and leadership, and participatory action research. Dr. Wernick’s current research includes:

  •   Transformative LGBTQI Youth Leadership and Organizing
  •   Domestic Worker & Employer Movement for Dignified Care & Justice
  •   Participatory Action Research in the Public Schools
  •   Youth Leading Community Change: Exploring the Intersections between Community Organizing, Mental Health and Wellness
  •   Leveraging Privilege: Organizing Young People with Wealth to Support Social Justice


Aaron Rosen Lecture, Friday – January 12, 2018, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm   

“Understanding stigmatization and resistance through ethnographic research: Implications for Practice”

Most of the groups of concern to social workers experience some form of stigmatization; that is, they are socially discredited by virtue of physical appearance (for example, a visible disability), by the group to which they belong (for example, an ethnic minority group) or by their behavior (for example, substance misuse or criminality). For the afflicted person, stigmatization is essentially an attack on the inherent worth of the self as a member of the social group. In this talk, I will draw on three ethnographies to understand how adults from different cultural communities scaffold the emerging “self” of children exposed to stigmatization; in other words, how diverse adults support children in resisting what Goffman (1963) termed the “spoiled identity.” We will consider African American children at church in Salt Lake City in the 1990s; Japanese children currently navigating elementary school in East Asia during a time of changing ideas and policies concerning disabilities; and White children from impoverished, substance-involved families in the rural Midwest in the first decade of the 21st century. We will consider socialization practices common across these very different cultural contexts, and also how those practices are culturally nuanced. I’ll argue that the understanding gained through this ethnographic research on how individuals resist stigmatization using resources available in their everyday lives provides important lessons for effective social work practice. If our interventions are informed by an understanding of how others in our clients’ cultural communities have successfully resisted stigmatization or other forms of oppression, then they are more likely to be culturally sensitive; in other words, to make sense to our clients and be effective and sustainable  in their everyday lives.


Wendy Haight

Wendy Haight, PhD, Professor and Gamble-Skogmo Chair in Child Welfare and Youth Policy.  Professor Haight completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Reed College, and her PhD at University of Chicago where she studied human development and culture through a wide interdisciplinary lens. Before joining the faculty at University of Minnesota School of Social Work in 2011, she served on the faculty of University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign for 16 years.  Her research focuses on better understanding and supporting vulnerable children and families in diverse cultural contexts, especially those involved in public child welfare systems. She uses mixed (quantitative and qualitative) methods to better understand complex social issues, and then works within teams to design, implement and evaluate tailored interventions.  She is the author or co-author of 9 books and over 50 articles in peer reviewed journals.



Annual Social Policy Forum, Saturday – January 13, 2018, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm  

“Young Lives at the Brink: How Social Work Can Address the Human Rights Issue of Our Time”

On September 5, 2017, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an administrative effort providing protection from deportation and work authorization to close to 800,000 immigrant youth and young adults. The decision to end a program that has provided opportunities for social mobility, increased mental health, and a sense of belonging—a model of immigrant integration—may be viewed as part of a troubling trend towards anti-immigrant hostility as policy. What’s more, enforcement activity in communities across the country has seen an uptick during this administration. What awaits these young people and their families? And how can social workers respond? While much of the public debate takes place at the 30,000 foot level, undocumented young people and children of mixed-status families have real needs that require immediate and local solutions. But immigrant youth and young adults are not without agency. Over the last decade, their social movement has garnered them significant political power and has captured the attention of the American public. This forum highlights the untenable circumstances of immigrant youth at the margins and, in doing so, reflects on the complex and nuanced ways in which they have responded – and directions for social workers to respond through policy research, advocacy, and other action.

Roberto G. Gonzales

Roberto G. Gonzales is professor of education at Harvard Graduate School of Education. His research centers on contemporary processes of immigration and social inequality, and stems from theoretical interests at the intersection of race and ethnicity, immigration, and policy. In particular, his research examines the effects of legal contexts on the coming of age experiences of vulnerable and hard-to-reach immigrant youth populations. Since 2002 he has carried out one of the most comprehensive studies of undocumented immigrants in the United States. His book, Lives in Limbo: Undocumented and Coming of Age in America (University of California Press), is based on an in-depth study that followed 150 undocumented young adults in Los Angeles for twelve years. To date, Lives in Limbo has won five major book awards, including the Society for the Study of Social Problems C. Wright Mills Award, the American Education Research Association Outstanding Book Award, and the Law and Society Association Herbert Jacob Book Award. It has also been adopted by several universities as a common read and is being used by a couple dozen K-12 schools in teacher and staff training. In addition, Professor Gonzales’ National UnDACAmented Research Project has surveyed nearly 2,700 undocumented young adults and has carried out 500 in-depth interviews on their experiences following President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This fall, he is teaming up with several colleagues to investigate educator responses to school climate issues stemming from immigration policies.

His work has been has been featured in top journals, including the American Sociological Review, Current Anthropology, and the Harvard Educational Review as well as in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, TIME magazine, U.S. News & World Report, and Chronicle of Higher Education.

Gonzales is an associate editor for the journal Social Problems and a research affiliate of the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also participates in a transition to adulthood research network. Prior to his faculty position at Harvard, Gonzales held faculty positions at the University of Chicago and at the University of Washington. He received his B.A. from the Colorado College, an M.A. from the University of Chicago, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California Irvine. His research is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the WT Grant Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the Heising-Simons Foundation, and the James Irvine Foundation.

Greisa Martinez Rosas

Originally from Hidalgo, Mexico, Greisa immigrated to the U.S. with her family at an early age and grew up in Dallas, TX. In 2008, Greisa’s father became a target of this country’s enforcement and deportation machine after he was pulled over, detained, and deported — sparking a flame that led her to becoming a grassroots community organizer. Today, Greisa is a DACA beneficiary and brings the voices of immigrant youth to Washington, D.C. as the Advocacy Director and is UWD’s expert on policy and politics.


Brief and Brilliant Session – Saturday, January 13, 2018, 9:45 am – 11:15 am

In this year’s Brief and Brilliant session, leading social work scholars will engage the audience through TedX-style talks using images, story-telling and media. Each speaker will complete the statement “I dream a world…” to share the most important ideas facing social work research and practice.

Kimberly Bender, PhD
University of Denver (Moderator)

Kimberly Bender, PhD, MSW is a Professor of Social Work in the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver. Her research investigates service needs and psychosocial interventions for homeless youth. She has conducted a five-state multi-site research project with homeless youth through shelter, drop-in, and transitional housing services to better understand risk and protective factors in this population. She serves as principle investigator on a 3-year randomized trial of a mindfulness-based cognitive intervention to prevent victimization and substance among shelter youth funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Dr. Bender has published extensively in the areas of substance use, trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder, and broader mental health concerns experienced by homeless youth, earning her the university-wide Distinguished Scholar Award in 2015. In 2014, she was designated Public Good Faculty of the Year in acknowledgement of outstanding commitment to the public good through community-engaged research.




Nalini Negi, PhD
University of Maryland

Nalini Negi is an associate professor at the School of Social Work (SSW) in the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB). Dr. Negi’s research has emphasized the social etiology and mechanisms that confer risk of psychological distress and substance abuse among migrant populations such as Latino transmigrants (migrants who move back and forth between borders) and day laborers. She has published extensively in scientific journals as well as edited two books, one on social work practice with Latinos by Lyceum Press and one on social work practice with transnational migrants by Columbia University Press. Dr. Negi is currently principal investigator on a grant funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse examining the drug use patterns of Latino migrant day laborers in Baltimore city. In 2012, she received the National Award for Excellence in Research by a New Investigator from the National Hispanic Science Network. She was also awarded the 2012-2013 Exemplary Faculty of the Year Award for her outstanding teaching by the Student Government Association of the SSW UMB. Dr. Negi received her doctoral degree in social work from the University of Texas at Austin in August 2008. Her dissertation work examined the risk and protective factors of psychological well-being and substance use among Latino day laborers. Dr. Negi’s dissertation received the top honor for a dissertation by the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), the largest scientific organization representing social work in the United States. Dr. Negi speaks five languages and has lived in seven countries in five continents.


John Wallace, PhD
University of Pittsburgh

John M. Wallace Jr. earned his PhD and master’s degree in sociology from the University of Michigan and his BA in sociology from the University of Chicago.

He is the principal investigator on the University of Pittsburgh Center on Race and Social Problems’ Comm-Univer-City of Pittsburgh Project, an integrated program of research, teaching, and service designed to investigate and ameliorate social problems that disproportionately impact economically disadvantaged children, families, and communities. This program includes the Homewood Children’s Village. Wallace also is a coinvestigator on the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s ongoing national study of drug use among American young people, Monitoring the Future. His recent research examines comprehensive community revitalization initiatives, racial and ethnic disparities in social and economic well-being, the impact of crime on clergy and congregations, and adolescent problem behaviors including violence and substance abuse.

Most recently, Wallace and Co-PI James Huguley have been awarded a grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation to support the Pitt Assisted Communities and Schools (PACS) Project. PACS’s goal is to harness the resources of the University of Pittsburgh to conduct research and design, implement and evaluate interventions that support university-assisted community schools and other strategies to improve outcomes for low income children, their families and the communities in which they are nested.

His work has appeared in numerous professional journals, books and monographs. In addition to being a professor and a father, he pastors a church in Pittsburgh’s Homewood-Brushton neighborhood.

Daphne C. Watkins, PhD
University of Michigan

Daphne C. Watkins is the director of the Joint PhD Program in Social Work and Social Science. She studies gender disparities and mental health over the adult life course using mixed methods research approaches.

To date, her research has focused on understanding the social determinants of health that explain within group differences among black men; developing evidence-based strategies to improve the physical and mental health of black men; and increasing knowledge about the intersection of culture, ethnicity, age, and gender.

Prior to joining the School of Social Work, Professor Watkins completed a NIMH-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Social Research and a NIH career development award in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, both at the University of Michigan.



Ruth McRoy, PhD
Boston College

In  September 2009, Ruth G. McRoy, PhD, became the first holder of the Donahue and DiFelice Endowed Professorship at Boston College School of Social Work. She is a Co-Founding Director with Tiziana Dearing and David Takeuchi of the Research and Innovations in Social, Economic, and Environmental Equity (RISE) at Boston College.

Prior to joining the Boston College faculty, Dr. McRoy was a member of the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work faculty for 25 years and held the Ruby Lee Piester Centennial Professorship. She received her BA and MSW degrees from the University of Kansas and her PhD degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. McRoy’s teaching focuses on the History and Philosophy of American Social Welfare and Contemporary Issues in Adoption and Foster Care.  Her  research and scholarship has focused on many topics including racial disproportionality in child welfare, family preservation, kinship care, longitudinal study of outcomes of  openness in adoptions for birthmothers, adoptive parents, and adopted children, adoptive family recruitment and retention, minority recruitment, racial identity development, transracial adoptions, older child adoptions, and post-adoption services.

She has published over 100 journal articles and book chapters and twelve  books, including: Openness in Adoption: Family Connections (with H. Grotevant), Challenging Racial Disproportionality in Child Welfare (with D. Green, K. Belanger, and L. Bullard), Building Research Culture and Infrastructure (with J. Flanzer & J. Zlotnik) and Transracial and Intercountry Adoptions: Culturally  Sensitive Guidance for Professionals (with R. Fong)

Over the years, Dr. McRoy has had numerous federal, state, foundation, and local research grants. Currently as part of the federally funded AdoptUSKids project, which is operated through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Children’s Bureau, Dr. McRoy and her research team recently completed two nationwide studies (2002-2007) on barriers to adoption and factors associated with successful special needs adoptions. Currently, she is leading an evaluation team which is conducting a ten year (2007-2017) evaluation of all components of AdoptUSKids.

Dr. McRoy recently completed her term as Board Member of the Society for Social Work and Research,  as Board Member and President of the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC), as Chair of the Council on Social Work Education Commission on Diversity and Social and Economic Justice, and as Senior Research Fellow and Donaldson Adoption Institute Board Member.   She currently is Co-Chair of the Council on Social Work Education’s Diversity Center , Co-lead of the Social Work Grand Challenge Achieving serves  on the Board of Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of Boston, on the Rudd Adoption Advisory Board,  and Program Chair and Board Member of the National Center on Adoption and Permanency.   She is Vice-President of the Black Administrators, Researchers and Scholars (BARS), is a member of the Walker Trieschman Institute for Research and Training’s Professional Advisory Council on Legal Permanency for All Children.

Dr. McRoy’s honors include the following: 2004 Flynn Prize for Social Work Research from the University of Southern California, the 2005 George Silcott Lifetime Achievement Award from the Black Administrators in Child Welfare, the 2006 Distinguished Achievement Award from the Society for Social Work and Research, the 2006-2007 University of Texas at Austin Graduate School’s Outstanding Alumna Award, the 2010 St. John’s Outstanding Scholar in Adoption Award, the 2013 U.S. Children’s Bureau Adoption Excellence Award, the 2014 Child Advocate of the Year Award, and the 2014 Charles I. Wright Distinguished Alumna Award by the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work. In 2010 she was selected as a fellow in the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.


Michael Yellowbird, PhD
North Dakota State University

Dr. Michael Yellow Bird is a citizen of the Three Affiliated Tribes, (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara).  He joined the NDSU faculty in the fall of 2014. He has held faculty and/or academic administrative appointments at the University of British Columbia, University of Kansas, Arizona State University, and Humboldt State University. He is Professor and Director of the Tribal Indigenous Studies program at North Dakota State University.

His teaching, writing, research, and community work focus on Indigenous Peoples’ health, leadership, and cultural rights; the effects of colonization and methods of decolonization; decolonizing social work approaches; decolonizing war and military service; neurodecolonization and mind body approaches; neuroscience and Indigenous Peoples; traditional mindfulness and contemplative practices; ancestral and paleo eating and lifestyle; and the Rights of Mother Earth.





“Meet the Scientist” Luncheon, Thursday – January 11, 2018, 12:15 pm – 1:30 pm

The Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) will be holding the “Meet the Scientist” Luncheon to be held at the SSWR 22nd Annual Conference in Washington, DC. This special session provides a forum for early career scholars and doctoral students to talk and interact with established senior scholars who are leaders in social work research and the Society. Early career scholars and doctoral students will have the opportunity to ask questions about career development, challenges in the field, research initiatives, and where the field might be heading. Each senior scholar will be seated at a table with up to 6 early career scholars and doctoral students.

Mark E. Courtney

Mark E. Courtney is a Professor in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. His fields of special interest are child welfare policy and services, the connection between child welfare services and other institutions serving families living in poverty, the transition to adulthood for vulnerable populations, and the professionalization of social work. He is a faculty affiliate of Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, which he served as Director from 2001 to 2006.  He has also served on the faculties of the University of Wisconsin (1992-2000) and University of Washington (2007-2010). Dr. Courtney is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare and a Fellow of the Society for Social Work and Research. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Career Achievement Award from the Society for Social Work and Research and the Peter W. Forsythe Award for leadership in public child welfare from the National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators.  Dr. Courtney received an A.B. in Social Science from the University of California at Berkeley, and MSW and PhD degrees from the School of Social Welfare there. Before moving into academia, he worked in various capacities providing group care to abused and neglected adolescents.


Jeffrey Edleson

Jeffrey L. Edleson, Ph.D., is Dean and Harry & Riva Specht Chair in Publicly Supported Social Services in the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota School of Social Work and was the founding director of the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse.  Edleson is one of the world’s leading authorities on children exposed to domestic violence and has published over 120 articles and 12 books on domestic violence, groupwork, and program evaluation. He has been cited thousands of times with high impact. He was named one of the dozen highest impact scholars in social work in a 2016 study by Hodge, Kremer & Vaughn published in Research on Social Work Practice.  Prof. Edleson is the co-author with the late Susan Schechter of Effective Intervention in Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment Cases: Guidelines for Policy and Practice (1999, co-authored with Susan Schechter, NCJFCJ). Better known as the “Greenbook”, this best-practices guide has been the subject of six federally-funded and numerous other demonstration sites across the country. Prof. Edleson has also conducted intervention research and provided technical assistance to domestic violence programs and research projects across North America as well as in numerous other countries.


Karen Fredriksen-Goldsen (photo and bio pending)

Dr. Flavio F. Marsiglia

Dr. Flavio F. Marsiglia is a Regents’ Professor in the School of Social Work, College of Public Service and Community Solutions at Arizona State University.   He is the founding director of the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center (SIRC), an exploratory center of excellence on minority heath and health disparities funded by the National Institutes of Health. Marsiglia is also Director of the Center for International Translational Intervention Research (CITIR).  CITIR conducts research and training in partnership with universities in Australia, China, Burundi, Guatemala, Mexico, Pakistan, Spain, Taiwan and Uruguay.  Marsiglia’ s research on cultural diversity and youth substance prevention is widely recognized in the prevention field and credited with a measurable reductions in drug use and other high-risk behaviors among youth in Arizona, across the US and in other countries.  He has developed and tested culturally grounded interventions to prevent substance abuse especially among Latino and other minority populations of the Southwest, including the school-based “keepin’it REAL” substance-abuse model prevention program that has been extensively replicated and tested in the U.S. and internationally. He is a member of the National Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare and has received numerous awards and recognitions for his ongoing mentoring of early career scholars. He received his social work education from the University of the Republic-Uruguay and his Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University. He has published more than 140 peer reviewed articles that have significantly advanced knowledge about Latino adolescent risk and protective factors and the relationship between acculturation and health. He is also the co-author with Stephen Kulis of the widely adopted textbook: Diversity, Oppression and Change (Oxford Press).

Ruth G. McRoy, PhD

Ruth G. McRoy, PhD is the first holder of the Donahue and DiFelice Endowed Professorship at Boston College School of Social Work. She is a Co-Founding Director with Tiziana Dearing and David Takeuchi of the Research and Innovations in Social, Economic, and Environmental Equity (RISE) at Boston College.  Prior to joining the Boston College faculty, Dr. McRoy was a member of the University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work faculty for 25 years and held the Ruby Lee Piester Centennial Professorship. She received her BA and MSW degrees from the University of Kansas and her PhD degree from the University of Texas at Austin.  Dr. McRoy’s teaching focuses on the History and Philosophy of American Social Welfare and Contemporary Issues in Adoption and Foster Care.  Her research and scholarship has focused on many topics including racial disproportionality in child welfare, family preservation, kinship care, longitudinal study of outcomes of  openness in adoptions for birthmothers, adoptive parents, and adopted children, adoptive family recruitment and retention, minority recruitment, racial identity development, transracial adoptions, older child adoptions, and post-adoption services.  She has published over 100 journal articles and book chapters and twelve books.  Over the years, Dr. McRoy has had numerous federal, state, foundation, and local research grants. Currently as part of the federally funded AdoptUSKids project, which is operated through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Children’s Bureau, Dr. McRoy and her research team recently completed two nationwide studies (2002-2007) on barriers to adoption and factors associated with successful special needs adoptions. Currently, she is leading an evaluation team which is conducting a ten year (2007-2017) evaluation of all components of AdoptUSKids.

Enola Proctor

Enola Proctor’s teaching and research are motivated by the question: How do we ensure that people receive the very best possible care? In social work, public health and health care settings ranging from hospitals to community agencies, she studies the processes through which organizations and individual providers can adopt and deliver the most effective programs and interventions. Her research and training programs through the Center for Mental Health Services Research have been funded continuously by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) since 1993.

Proctor leads several national initiatives to advance the science of dissemination and implementation research, including the NIMH-funded Implementation Research Institute (IRI), which trains researchers from across the nation in implementation science for mental health. She directs the Center for Dissemination and Implementation for the Institute for Public Health, and the Dissemination and Implementation Research Core (DIRC) of Washington University’s Institute for Clinical and Translational Science. She is also an inaugural class member of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare and its Board of Directors (2010-11). Proctor teaches doctoral and masters students in areas of mental health and implementation research.

Anna Scheyett

Anna Scheyett is Dean and Professor at the University Of Georgia School Of Social Work She received her PhD from Memorial University, her MSW from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and has a Master’s in Science and Philosophy from Yale University Department of Human Genetics.  Prior to her work in Georgia she was the Dean of the University of South Carolina College of Social Work, and earlier in her career served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of North Carolina School of Social Work.  Dr. Scheyett is passionate about social work education, and is currently the Secretary for the Board of the National Association of Deans and Directors of Social Work.  Her research examines community integration of vulnerable populations, particularly individuals experiencing mental illnesses and those involved in the criminal justice system.




Jane Waldfogel

Jane Waldfogel is the Compton Foundation Centennial Professor at Columbia University School of Social Work, co-director of the Columbia Population Research Center, and visiting professor at the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion at the London School of Economics. Waldfogel received her Ph.D. in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She is currently studying paid family leave and other work-family policies, poverty measurement and anti-poverty policies, inequality in school readiness and achievement, and fragile families and child well-being. Her books include Too Many Children Left Behind (Russell Sage Foundation Press, 2015), Britain’s War on Poverty (Russell Sage, 2010), What Children Need (Harvard University Press, 2006), The Future of Child Protection (Harvard, 1998), and Securing the Future: Investing in Children from Birth to Adulthood (Russell Sage, 2000).  She is also the author of over 150 articles and book chapters.




Professor Yoshihama

Professor Yoshihama’s research interests are violence against women, immigrants, mental health, and community organizing. Combining research and social action at local, state, national, and international levels over the last 25 years, Dr. Yoshihama focuses on the prevention of gender-based violence and promotion of the safety and wellbeing of marginalized populations and communities. Dr. Yoshihama’s research in both the U.S. and Japan is diverse methodologically, spanning from participatory action research to surveys with complex sampling design, from epidemiologic investigation to intervention/prevention research, including a nationwide survey in Japan, a study of Japanese American women in Los Angeles, and Life History Calendar studies of battered women in Michigan, Tokyo, and San Francisco. In Michigan, she directs participatory action research projects aimed at organizing and mobilizing local community members to promote collective action to prevent domestic violence. One recent project involves developing, implementing, and evaluating a broad communications campaign in a local Indian community. In addition to serving on the steering committee of the Asian & Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence, Dr. Yoshihama serves on advisory committees of various organizations dedicated to ending domestic violence.



Luis H. Zayas, Ph.D.

Luis H. Zayas, Ph.D., is Dean and the Robert Lee Sutherland Chair in Mental Health and Social Policy at the School of Social Work, and Professor of Psychiatry at the Dell Medical School, of the University of Texas at Austin.  His practice, research, and teaching career spans over 40 years, all focused primarily on disadvantaged urban families and children with special interest on child development, child and parent mental health, and family functioning.  He is the author of Forgotten Citizens: Deportation, Children, and the Making of American Exiles and Orphans (Oxford, 2015) and Latinas Attempting Suicide: When Culture, Families, and Daughters Collide (Oxford, 2011).

Doctoral Student Session and Luncheon, Saturday – January 13, 2018, 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm 

Please join us for food, conversation, and networking.  This year’s doctoral student panel will include panelists sharing their thoughts on how to network to enhance research collaboration, to prepare for the job market, and to disseminate your work beyond academia.  Dr. Anderson-Butcher is a Professor at the Ohio State University and the recent author of a book chapter on interprofessional collaboration.  Dr. Kevin Tan is an assistant professor at the University of Illinois and has recent experience on both sides of the job market.  Dr. Anasuya Ray completed her PhD at Rutgers before working as a Congressional Fellow for Senator Bernie Sanders.  Dr. Ray now works as the Special Assistant to the Ambassador of Afghanistan to the United Nations.

Dawn Anderson-Butcher

Dawn Anderson-Butcher is a professor in the College of Social Work at The Ohio State University and a Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW) in the State of Ohio. She also holds a courtesy appointment in Physical Activity and Educational Services in Ohio State’s College of Education and Human Ecology. She has a B.A. in psychology, a B.S. in exercise and sport sciences, and a M.S. in health and sport studies, all from Miami University. She also has a M.S.W. and Ph.D. from the University of Utah. Her primary research interests focus on positive youth development in various social settings, such as schools, afterschool programs, and youth sport. Her secondary research interests include exploring how school-family-community partnerships maximize school- and community-based resources for learning and healthy development, especially in communities serving vulnerable children and families. Her research in these areas has been widely published. At OSU, Dr. Anderson-Butcher serves as the Director of the Community and Youth Development Institute (CAYCI), as well as the Director of Teaching/Research for the OSU LiFEsports Initiative (www.osulifesports.org).  Additionally, Professor Anderson-Butcher chairs the national Mental Health-Education Integration Council, a network of interdisciplinary scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and graduate students focused on workforce preparation issues in school mental health.

Anasuya Ray

Anasuya Ray’s research interests center on the political economy of armed conflict in Middle East and South Asia, countering violent extremism, and impacts of international interventions in conflict. For her Ph.D. in Social Work at Rutgers University, she studied everyday violence and collective memory of the Afghan conflict (1978-2012). Preceding doctoral studies, Anasuya worked in Kashmir, India on forced disappearances, torture testimonials, and human rights. As a consultant in Afghanistan, her work encompassed perception of NATO forces, reconstruction efforts, and the role of aid agencies during transition. After her Ph.D., she was awarded the AAAS/SPSSI James Marshall Public Policy Postdoctoral Fellowship, where she handled the foreign policy portfolio in Senator Bernard Sanders’ office. Currently, she is the Special Assistant to H.E. Ambassador Mahmoud Saikal at the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations. She provides policy and technical advice to the Ambassador and liaises with member states and UN agencies, a role that has helped her gain valuable insight into the functioning of the UN and develop skills pertaining to international diplomacy, negotiations, and networking.

Anasuya is interested in integrating social science research with political decision making and develop evidence-based knowledge to guide policy decisions on the issues of conflict resolution, human rights, and violent extremism.



Dr. Kevin Tan

Dr. Kevin Tan is currently an Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research is on patterns of youth risk and protective factors, their problem behaviors, and their school and family influences on risk. Dr. Tan received his PhD from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He received his Master’s in Social Work from the Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis, and his Bachelors in Social Work (Honors) from the National University of Singapore.

Since arriving to the United States in 2006 to pursue his MSW, Dr. Tan has been actively involved with the School Social Work Association of America. He has developed extensive networks with school social work scholars and practitioners across the country. The relationships that he has developed has been particularly useful in advancing his area of research. Dr. Tan has also found that his connections with researchers and practitioners have been an asset in preparing for the job market. Dr. Tan will share his experience and reflections in establishing networks in the field.

RCDC Research Roots & Wings Roundtable 1, Friday – January 12, 2018, 9:45 am – 11:15 am

“Using the GADE Quality Guidelines to Improve Doctoral Education”

The purpose of this roundtable, co-sponsored by SSWR’s Research Capacity Development Committee and the Group for the Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work (GADE), is to discuss how the GADE Quality Guidelines may lead to PhD program improvement and increase the quality of student outcomes of PhD program graduates. GADE created its Quality Guidelines to help in developing, monitoring, and evaluating PhD Programs. These are not prescriptive, but rather serve as aspirational guidelines that provide PhD programs with a set of educational practices that guide and enhance programs, including a specific emphasis on research development. This roundtable will provide an overview of these guidelines and examples of how students, in addition to faculty and program administrators, can use these to optimize doctoral education. Discussion will be focused on how the GADE Quality Guidelines can help engage doctoral students in their own research development. Participants will be encouraged to offer insights regarding how to apply these guidelines across a range of program-level priorities.

Cynthia Franklin
Cynthia Franklin

Cynthia Franklin, PhD, LCSW is the Associate Dean for Doctoral Education and Stiernberg/Spencer Family Professor in Mental Health at the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Franklin’s primary clinical and research expertise is in using Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) to help at-risk adolescents graduate from high school.  She helped to create the Solution-focused alternative school, Gonzalo Garza Independence High School, in Austin, Texas that has been nationally recognized by The United States Department of Education as a model program for dropout prevention.  Dr. Franklin has over 200 publications and national and international presentations and several books aimed at communicating evidence based practices to social workers and other mental health professionals, and public school teachers. Her books include:  Solution Focused Brief Therapy in Alternative Education: Ensuring Student Success and Preventing Dropout (Routledge); Solution Focused Brief Therapy in Schools (Oxford); The School Services Sourcebook (Oxford); and Solution Focused Brief Therapy: A Handbook of Evidence Based Practice (Oxford).

Dr. Franklin has advanced research and training on SFBT in schools internationally. Her studies include meta-analyses on school mental health services; efficacy and effectiveness studies on SFBT; systematic reviews of SFBT; and mixed methods studies within alternative high schools. Dr. Franklin’s leadership has resulted in SFBT being recognized by Federal agencies such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s National Registry for Evidence-based Programs and Practices (2013). Taking Charge, an intervention that she helped develop for Latina adolescents, was also recognized as a promising practice by Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and was added to the Crime Solutions model programs guide (2013). Dr. Franklin has received several awards for her work in schools including the Gary Lee Shaffer Award for Academic Contributions to the field of School Social Work from the School Social Work Association of America. She currently holds two prominent international leadership positions in the social work profession as the President for The Group for Advancement of Doctoral Education in Social Work (GADE) and the Editor-in-Chief for the Encyclopedia of Social Work, On-line.

Renee Cunningham-Williams (photo and bio pending)

Elizabeth Lightfoot
Elizabeth Lightfoot

Elizabeth Lightfoot is a Professor at the University of Minnesota’s School of Social Work. She has been on faculty at the University of Minnesota since 1999 and has been the doctoral program director there since 2006.  Her current research focuses on the intersections of disability and child welfare, and she has conducted a number of studies about how the child welfare policy system impacts services to children and adults with disabilities, and most recently is studying the prevalence of parents with disabilities within child welfare. She also is currently involved in several community based participatory research projects related to refugee health, and has an ongoing partnership with several community groups that are interested in developing asset based approaches to health prevention among refugees and immigrants, particularly from East Africa. She has taught doctoral seminars in policy and research for sixteen years, and has advised twenty-four doctoral students. She is currently the President of the Group for the Advanced for Doctoral Education (GADE), the Secretary of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), and a Board Member of the Council of Social Work Education.


Paula Nurius

Paula Nurius, Grace Beals-Ferguson Scholar, Professor, and Associate Dean at the University of Washington School of Social Work brings a long history of experience in doctoral education, including mentoring, doctoral program director, and directorship of an NIMH-funded training program on prevention science prioritizing mental health problems, attentive to translational and transdisciplinary research preparation. She has actively supported research advancement in social work, including serving on the Boards for GADE and SSWR, as well as service on research capacity and emerging scholar SSWR committees since 2010. She is active within her university’s Graduate School in advancing innovative models of interdisciplinary and team science training.

Her own research on stress, trauma, and violence focuses on at-risk populations, life course development, prevention, and health and functioning resilience. Current research includes investigating the role of adverse early life experiences in shaping adolescent and young adult psychosocial and physical health and role functioning within a framework of co-occurring risks and protective factors. This work integrates structural, social psychological, and physiological theoretical foundations for ways that stress is experienced and becomes embodied, carrying effects through lifespan development.

Dr. Nurius received her joint doctorate in social work and psychology from the University of Michigan where she also received her MA in psychology. She received her MSW from the University of Hawaii. During her graduate training she was awarded an NIMH traineeship award and the Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship and Dissertation Grant Awards. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare and of the Society for Social Work & Research.

Peter Maramaldi
Peter Maramaldi

Peter Maramaldi, PhD, MPH, LCSW, is currently a Professor and the Director of the PhD Program at the Simmons School of Social Work in Boston. He also holds faculty appointments at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine in Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology, where he teaches and works as a behavioral scientist. Dr. Maramaldi mentors pre- and post-doctoral trainees in research projects that range from population studies of gene-environment interactions to the development and testing of behavioral interventions. He also teaches courses on patient interviewing and interdisciplinary collaboration at the Harvard Medical School. Dr. Maramaldi has received several awards for mentoring doctoral students and promoting the careers of new faculty. In addition to extensive teaching and working across disciplines and professions, he serves on multiple national initiatives in social work, and has had consistent NIH or foundation funding since 2002 for his interprofessional work in evidence-based health promotion. Dr. Maramaldi’s current work includes two NIH-NIDCR funded studies, one promoting patient safety, and another using implementation science to improve providers’ use of dental diagnostic codes. His previous work in health promotion ranges from a past HIH-NINR-funded RCT testing motivational interviewing to promote colorectal cancer screening, to a NIDCR-funded study of oral cancer screening in nursing homes, to a foundation-funded demonstration project that used behavioral interventions to successfully reduce early childhood caries in high-risk populations of children who were under five years of age. Dr. Maramaldi has decades of community and clinical experience serving and collaborating with culturally and economically diverse populations in New York City, where he earned MSSW, MPH, and PhD degrees at Columbia University.

Jelena Todic (photo and bio pending)

RCDC Research Roots & Wings Roundtable 2, Saturday – January 13, 2018, 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

“Open Channels: If, when, and how to communicate social work research beyond academic outlets”

Peer-reviewed publications may be the “coin of the realm” in the social sciences, but alternative modes of sharing scholarship are gaining traction among social work researchers. Multiple motives may drive this: investment in demonstrating community engagement and impact; frustration with academic publishing norms and constraints; concerns about the inaccessibility and unaffordability of journals and consequent disconnect between research and stakeholders; a desire to use our scholarship to shape policy and practice more directly; and excitement over the ways in which the proliferation of digital media has opened up new channels of communication with diverse audiences. Nevertheless, a host of concerns accompany these opportunities: catchy sound bites or hot topics may supplant complex analyses, whose significance is less readily distilled; engaging public audiences may expose researchers to new liabilities (e.g., trolling and harassment); learning to communicate in non-academic modes detracts from researchers’ time for research itself; doctoral students are rarely trained in non-academic communication; and it is unclear how to account for non-academic engagement in faculty hiring and tenure decisions. This roundtable will bring together featured participants and audience members to consider the catalysts and consequences, for better and for worse, of social work researchers’ engagement with diverse media and audiences.   

Dr. Laina Y. Bay-Cheng

Dr. Laina Y. Bay-Cheng (moderator) is Associate Professor and PhD Program Director at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work. Her research concentrates on the social determinants of young women’s sexual well-being. In contrast to the dominant equation of youth sexuality with risk, she contends that young women’s vulnerability to negative sexual experiences stems from unjust social norms and material conditions. Beyond her own scholarship, she is a member of SSWR’s Research Capacity Development Committee and GADE’s Board of Directors and directs the University at Buffalo’s PhD Program. Through service on these fronts, she works to support student scholars in pursuing intellectually rigorous and socially meaningful research.





Tina Barr

Tina Barr is a PhD candidate in the School of Social Work at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She is studying the experiences of exonerees (individuals who were convicted of and imprisoned for crimes of which they were innocent, and eventually exonerated). Earlier this year, she co-produced a short film, Clear, about a woman exoneree’s first day of regained freedom. Tina is also currently working on a study that seeks to understand the meaning of violence from the perspectives of perpetrators. Her professional experiences in social work and public health include direct practice with youth in the juvenile justice system and children in foster care, family and intimate partner homicide surveillance, intimate partner fatality review consultation, program development and evaluation, and project management.





Dr. Sara Goodkind

Dr. Sara Goodkind is Associate Professor of Social Work, Sociology, and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research focuses on marginalized youth and the inequities they experience. This work often engages participants in effecting change in their environments, and she been involved with a number of participatory projects, including multiple Photovoice projects and a year-long project in which her research team trained and mentored high school students as co-researchers. Dr. Goodkind developed her scholarly interests as a result of working for many years with youth, as a teacher, mentor, facilitator, and social worker. She teaches courses on social work practice with diverse populations, feminist social work, global perspectives in social work, theories of gender and sexuality, and research methods.



Dr. JaeRan Kim

Dr. JaeRan Kim is an Assistant Professor at University of Washington Tacoma. JaeRan’s research explores the ways in which disability, culture, race and social constructions of “permanency” affect post-permanency stability with families that have adopted or assumed guardianship of children involved with child welfare systems. JaeRan’s work in public child welfare and as an intercountry adoptee has greatly informed her work. As part of JaeRan’s commitment to community building, she has maintained two blogs, is active social media, and presents at numerous community forums and conferences as a way to connect communities to relevant scholarship and practice.
Desmond Patton (photo and bio pending)

Invited Journal Editors’ Workshop I, Thursday – January 11, 2018, 3:15 pm – 4:45 pm

“Publishing Research in Peer-Reviewed Journals: Talk with the Editors”

Speakers/Presenters: Jeffrey M. Jenson, PhD, University of Denver, Mark E. Courtney, PhD, University of Chicago, Sophia Dziegielewski, PhD, University of Central Florida, Bruce A. Thyer, PhD, Florida State University and James Herbert Williams, PhD, University of Denver

This symposium brings together a panel of editors from five generalist research journals in social work: Journal of Social Service Research, Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, Research on Social Work Practice, Social Service Review, and Social Work Research. The editors will describe their respective journals, offer guidance on submissions, explain the editorial decision-making process, and advise on the process of creating publishable articles. Time will be provided for questions, comments, and suggestions from the audience and responses from the Editors.

Invited Journal Editors’ Workshop II, Friday – January 12, 2018, 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

“Forum on Publishing Qualitative Research”

Chair: Jane Gilgun, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; presenters: Sondra Fogel (Families in Society), Karen Staller (Qualitative Social Work), Susan Robbins (Journal of Social Work Education), Rupaleem Bhuyan, Yoosun Park, & Stephanie Wahab (Affilia)

This workshop is for conference participants seeking to publish qualitative research and scholarly work in social work journals. The workshop brings together a distinguished panel of editors, former editors, and researchers from four journals: Qualitative Social Work, Affillia, Journal of Social Work Education, and Families in Society. These journals are highly regarded in the profession and share commitments to excellence in social work research and publication.

In this session, the editors describe the aim of their respective journals and the editorial decision-making process. Most important, they will create a discussion with participants about what constitutes a publishable qualitative study that influences practice and policy. Before the session starts, participants will write their questions and comments on 3×5 cards. The chair will collect the cards and  and use them to facilitate discussion. In this workshop, the editors contribute to the scholarly development of the participants by building skills related to successful publications.

The editors will discuss several issues, including how to match topics to specific journals, review processes, features of articles they’ve accepted for publication, how to respond to reviewer comments, and how to address the implications of their research for practice and policy.

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