Program Highlights

Thursday – January 17, 2019

8:00 am – 12:00 pm                                 Research Methods Workshops (click here)
8:00 am – 12:15 pm                                  Special Sessions on Research Priorities & Capacity Building (click here)

Sponsored by: Boston College, School of Social Work

12:15 pm – 1:30 pm                                   “Meet the Scientist” Luncheon                                                                                          

Union Square 22 Tower 3, 4th Floor

Welcome and Introductions: Elizabeth Aparicio, University of Maryland, Emma Carpenter, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Senior Scholars: Ron Astor, University of Southern California, Michael Austin, University of California, Berkeley, Kimberly A. Bender, University of Denver, Robert Chaskin, The University of Chicago, Todd I. Herrenkohl, University of Michigan, Melissa Jonson-Reid, Washington University in St. Louis, Ramesh Raghavan, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Stephanie Robert, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Gail Steketee, Boston University, Karina Walters, University of Washington (view photos and bios)
Sponsored by: The Texas University at Austin, Steve Hicks School of Social Work

The Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) will be holding the “Meet the Scientist” Luncheon to be held at the SSWR 23rd Annual Conference in San Francisco, CA. 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.

3:15 pm – 4:45 pm                                     Invited Journal Editors Workshop I: Publishing Research in Peer-Reviewed Journals: Talk with the Editors                       

Golden Gate 8, Lobby Level

Chair and Speaker: Jeffrey M. Jenson, University of Denver
Speakers: Mark E. Courtney, The University of Chicago, Bruce E. Thyer, Florida State University, Kirk A. Foster, University of South Carolina

This symposium brings together a panel of editors from four generalist research journals in social work: 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.

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm                                    Opening Plenary Session                                                                                                     

Continental Ballroom 6, Ballroom Level

Welcome and Introductions: Ruth Dunkle, SSWR president, University of Michigan
Keynote Speaker: XinQi Dong, Rutgers University’s Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research (view photos and bios)
Sponsored by: Boston University, School of Social Work, Council on Social Work Education, New York University, Silver School of Social Work, University of Georgia, School of Social Work, University of Houston, Graduate College of Social Work, The University of Texas at Arlington, School of Social Work, University of California, Los Angeles, Luskin School of Public Affairs, University of Toronto, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work

XinQi Dong, a (former) professor of Medicine, Nursing and Behavioral Sciences at the Rush University Medical Center and the Associate Director of the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging, has been named director of Rutgers University’s Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research (IFH). In addition to the institute directorship, Dong will serve as the inaugural Henry Rutgers Professor of Population Health Sciences. He will begin April 1, 2018. Dong, a renowned population epidemiologist and health services researcher, has been a strong advocate for advancing population health issues in underrepresented communities worldwide. He has leveraged the principles of community-based participatory research to conduct multiple large-scale longitudinal population-based studies in the United States and China aimed to investigate the intersections of violence, resilience and health outcomes. Dong has published extensively on the topics of violence prevention, culture and health disparities, with more than 200 peer-reviewed publications. He is the editor of Elder Abuse: Research, Practice and Policy, a textbook comprising the largest collection of research, practice and policy in the field. In addition, he serves on many editorial boards and is guest editor-in-chief for the Journal of Aging Health and the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences. Currently, Dong is the principle investigator of eight federally-funded grants and also has mentored many trainees and faculties to success.

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm                                   Opening Reception                                                                        

Continental Ballroom 4-5, Ballroom Level

Musical performance by Stanford Wind Queertet
Welcome: Ruth Dunkle, SSWR President, University of Michigan
Sponsored by: University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work

Friday – January 18, 2019

9:45 am – 11:15 am                                      RCDC Roots & Wings Roundtable I: Roots Session Preparing Doctoral Students for Impactful Research through Qualifying/Comprehensive Examinations

Golden Gate 8, Lobby Level

Chair: Paula Nurius, University of Washington
Speakers: Elizabeth Aparicio, University of Maryland, Maggie Thomas, Boston University, Julia Henly, The University of Chicago, Nancy Hooyman, University of Washington (view photos and bios)

Increasingly, social work researchers face an imperative to address the “wicked” multi-level problems and grand challenges of our time. This roundtable discusses how to optimize preparation of our doctoral students to be effective contributors in these scientific pursuits and in translating findings to policy, practice, and/or community impact. This roundtable brings together featured participants and audience members to explore strategies for using qualifying (or comprehensive) exams as a pedagogical tool toward preparing for high impact research careers. Speakers will provide relatively brief comments on the following topics toward a common foundation for a very active Roundtable conversation with the audience.

·         Identification of select competencies needed to produce or engage with teams in high impact research in the contemporary research landscape.

·         Evaluation of different pedagogical goals and types of PhD examinations with audience consideration of their merits/limitations in preparing for impact-oriented research.

·         Review of key findings from a GADE survey focused on the current state of PhD exams vis a vis 1) the purpose, structure, and content of exams and 2) preparation to use scientific evidence in contributing to evidence-based practice and policy that advances social work’s equity and social justice aims for impact science.

·         Presentation of examples of how PhD exams can be used to better prepare students to produce rigorous scholarship from both student and faculty perspectives

11:30 am – 12:30 pm                                SSWR and Washington University in St. Louis, George Warren Brown School of Social Work Aaron Rosen Lecture

Mismeasurement in social work: Building evidence-based practice one measure at a time

Continental Ballroom 6, Ballroom Level

Welcome and Introductions: Ruth Dunkle, SSWR President, University of Michigan, Mary McKay, Dean, Washington University in St. Louis, Brown School
Keynote speaker: Craig Winston LeCroy, Arizona State University (view photos and bios)

Dr. Craig Winston LeCroy is the Communitas Professor of Social Work, Tucson Campus, School of Social Work, Arizona State University.  He also holds an appointments at the University of Arizona in the John & Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences, Family Studies and Human Development division and is a faculty member with the Arizona LEND program ( at the University of Arizona, College of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, the Zellerbach Visiting Professor at the University of California–Berkeley, and a senior Fulbright specialist.

Professor LeCroy has focused his research in the areas of home visitation services, social competence in adolesence, and evidence based practice for social work. In home visitation he has conducted randomized trials of the Healthy Families America program of home visitation, serves on the research to practice committee of Prevent Child Abuse America, and has developed a widely used outcome instrument, The Healthy Families Parenting Inventory,  Dr. LeCroy’s work in social competence with youth spans efforts toward implementation of evidence based practice models (See, Handbook of Evidence-based Practice Manuals with Children and Adolescents), juvenile justice with youth, and the development of a primary prevention program for early adolescent females (See, Empowering Adolescent Girls). He is currently developing and evaluating new programs for sexual risk reduction with adolecent females and males. He continues to conduct research on issues related to mental illness and conducted an in-depth study of how parents manage their children’s mental illness (See Parenting Mentally Ill Children) and collected a series of first person accounts of people with mental illness. Dr. LeCroy is the author of 14 books and over 100 articles and book chapters. He was elected Fellow status by the American Psychological Association in 2016 and elected Fellow status by the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare in 2017.

His web page is:

1:45 pm – 3:15 pm                                      Invited Symposium I: Connecting the Dots: Bridging Research and Practice to Prevent Multiple Forms of Violence

Golden Gate 8, Lobby Level

Chair: Patricia Kohl, Washington University in St. Louis
Speakers: Alisa Somji, Abena Asare, Prevention Institute (view photos and bios)

Violence in many forms—including community violence, intimate partner violence, and child maltreatment—is a leading cause of injury, disability, and premature death. This session will highlight research on shared risk and protective factors among multiple forms of violence, drawing from “Connecting the Dots: An Overview of the Links Among Multiple Forms of Violence,” a 2014 report by Prevention Institute and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that informed the CDC Division of Violence Prevention’s current five-year  strategic vision. Learn about how communities across the country are leveraging research to operationalize efficient and effective solutions to concurrently prevent many types of violence in the first place. Also, engage in a dialogue on how to better bridge research and practice to prevent violence in all of its forms.

3:30 pm – 5:00 pm                                   Invited Journal Editors Workshop II: Forum on Publishing Qualitative Research

Golden Gate 8, Lobby Level

Chair and Speaker: Jane Gilgun, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Speakers: Sondra Fogel, University of South Florida, Karen Staller, University of Michigan, Susan Robbins, University of Houston, Rupaleem Bhuyan, University of Toronto, Yoosun Park, Smith College, Stephanie Wahab, Portland State University

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.

Saturday – January 19, 2019


8:00 am – 9:30 am                                   Invited Symposium II: Decriminalizing Domestic Violence: A Balanced Policy Approach to Intimate Partner Violence

Golden Gate 8, Lobby Level

Chair: Shanti Kulkarni, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
Speaker: Leigh Goodmark, University of Maryland (view photos and bios)

For the last thirty years, the United States has relied on the criminal legal system to respond to intimate partner violence. But that system has been ineffective in deterring violence and has had problematic consequences for people subjected to abuse, people who use violence, and their communities.  Handling intimate partner violence in the criminal legal system has also contributed to the rise of mass incarceration in the United States. This talk will argue for taking a different path.  Rather than continuing to rely on the criminal legal system, the response to intimate partner violence policy should incorporate insights from economic, public health, community, and human rights policies.  Decriminalizing domestic violence—deepmphasizing the criminal legal system’s role in responding to intimate partner violence—will enable the United States to develop a multi-faceted policy approach and could be a first step in rethinking our response to violent crime.

9:45 am – 11:15 am                                    Brief and Brilliant Session

Continental Ballroom 6, Ballroom Level

Moderator: Kimberly Bender, University of Denver
Speakers: Anita Barbee, University of Louisville, Kristie Seelman, Georgia State University,
Henrika McCoy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Mieko Yoshihama, University of Michigan,
Jama Shelton, Hunter College
Sponsored by: University of Denver, Graduate School of Social Work

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.

11:30 am – 12:30 pm                                 Annual Social Policy Forum (TBD)

Improving Employment Quality for Marginalized Workers: A Social Work Approach to Social Policy

Continental Ballroom 6, Ballroom Level

Moderator: Anna Haley, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Speaker: Susan J. Lambert, The University of Chicago (view photos and bios)
Sponsored by: University of Washington, School of Social Work

Susan J. Lambert is a Russell Sage Visiting Scholar (2016-17), Associate Professor in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago, and co-Director of the Employment Instability, Family Well-Being, and Social Policy Scholars Network (EINet). Lambert received a B.A. summa cum laude in Psychology from Eastern Michigan University, a M.S.W. (Social Program Evaluation) and a Ph.D. in Social Work and Social Science (Organizational Psychology) from the University of Michigan.

Lambert studies how employer practices shape the quality of low-level jobs, the lives of low-paid workers, and inequality in society. The sites for Lambert’s research span both production and non-production industries, including retail, hospitality, financial services, transportation, and manufacturing, and both publicly-held and family-owned firms. Her research includes comparative organizational case-studies and randomized workplace experiments as well as analyses of national data on the prevalence of precarious scheduling practices in today’s U.S. labor market. Lambert just completed a randomized experiment at Gap, Inc., in conjunction with Professor Joan Williams of the University of California Hastings School of Law. The experiment assesses the potential effects of an intervention designed to improve multiple dimensions of employees’ work schedules (schedule stability, predictability, control, and adequacy) on both business and employee outcomes. Her research is supported by grants from the Russell Sage Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, Ford Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Center for Popular Democracy, and Washington Center for Equitable Growth. Lambert regularly advises policy advocates, labor groups, employers, and government officials on strategies to improve scheduling practices in hourly jobs.

12:30 pm – 1:45 pm                                   Doctoral Student Session and Luncheon: We are the Future of SSWR: Building a Strong Network of Social Work Doctoral Students

Imperial Ballroom, Ballroom Level

Moderator: Emma Carpenter, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Panelists: Catherine Kramer, University of Albany-SUNY, Kyle T. Ganson, Simmons College,
Kess L. Ballentine, University of Pittsburgh
Sponsored by: University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy and Practice

Join us for the annual doctoral student luncheon! The 2019 Doctoral Student luncheon will be a space for structured networking with fellow doctoral students, learn about opportunities to be involved in SSWR, and meet your doctoral student leaders. This year’s luncheon will focus on leveraging strong peer networks and making space for doctoral student voices in SSWR and in Social Work research more broadly. All students are welcome. Lunch will be provided for doctoral students.

12:45 pm – 1:45 pm                                   Grand Challenges for Social Work Roundtable

Vision, Mission, Principles, and Guideposts for Action

Golden Gate 8, Lobby Level

Speakers: Karina Walters, University of Washington, Charles Lewis, Trina Shanks, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Michael Sherraden, Washington University in Saint Louis, Edwina Uehara, University of Washington

2:00 pm – 2:30 pm                                    Fellows and Awards

Continental Ballroom 6, Ballroom Level

Presenters: Ruth E. Dunkle, SSWR president, University of Michigan, Laura Abrams, awards committee chair, University of California, Los Angeles

2:45 pm – 3:45 pm                                     Presidential Plenary

Violence Against Women and the Ongoing Challenge to Racism

Continental Ballroom 6, Ballroom Level

Welcome and Introductions: Tonya Edmond, SSWR vice president and conference chair, Washington University in St. Louis
Keynote Speaker: Angela Davis, University of California Santa Cruz (view photos and bios)
Sponsored by: University of Michigan, School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis, George Warren Brown School of Social Work

Through her activism and scholarship over many decades, Angela Davis has been deeply involved in movements for social justice around the world. Her work as an educator – both at the university level and in the larger public sphere – has always emphasized the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial, and gender justice.

Professor Davis’ teaching career has taken her to San Francisco State University, Mills College, and UC Berkeley. She also has taught at UCLA, Vassar, Syracuse University the Claremont Colleges, and Stanford University. Mostly recently she spent fifteen years at the University of California Santa Cruz where she is now Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness – an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program – and of Feminist Studies.

Angela Davis is the author of nine books and has lectured throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America. In recent years, a persistent theme of her work has been the range of social problems associated with incarceration and the generalized criminalization of those communities that are most affected by poverty and racial discrimination. She draws upon her own experiences in the early seventies as a person who spent eighteen months in jail and on trial, after being placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted List.” She also has conducted extensive research on numerous issues related to race, gender and imprisonment. Her recent books include Abolition Democracy and Are Prisons Obsolete? about the abolition of the prison industrial complex, a new edition of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, and a collection of essays entitled The Meaning of Freedom. Her most recent book of essays is called Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement will be published in October 2015.

Angela Davis is a founding member of Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to the dismantling of the prison industrial complex. Internationally, she is affiliated with Sisters Inside, an abolitionist organization based in Queensland, Australia that works in solidarity with women in prison.

Like many educators, Professor Davis is especially concerned with the general tendency to devote more resources and attention to the prison system than to educational institutions. Having helped to popularize the notion of a “prison industrial complex,” she now urges her audiences to think seriously about the future possibility of a world without prisons and to help forge a 21st-century abolitionist movement.

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm                                   Invited Symposium III: Perilous Participation: Research into the Violence Against Transgender People

Golden Gate 8, Lobby Level

Chair: Tonya Edmond, Washington University in St. Louis
Speakers: Rebecca Stotzer, University of Hawaii, Jody Herman, University of California, Los Angeles, Sandy James, FreeState Justice
(view photos and bios)

Violence against transgender people is common, occurring at structural, societal, interpersonal, and intrapersonal levels, and everything in between. However, research documenting that violence and its correlates has only proliferated in the last 20 years, and violence against people of varying gender identities is a new and emerging area of study, particularly for social work. This session will focus on three main themes to aid social work researchers in their knowledge about, and conceptualization of, violence based on gender identity to assist participants in producing more culturally competent and useful research that benefits the lives of gender minority individuals and communities. First, the speakers will focus on the overall state of the research literature examining the nature and extent of violence against transgender people, as well as some methodological concerns with existing data. Second, the speakers will focus more closely on the 2015 United States Transgender Survey, the largest and most comprehensive nation-wide survey of gender minorities in the world. The findings related to violence against transgender people will be discussed as well as the process of creating and launching such a large-scale survey. Last, speakers will discuss the ongoing challenges related to doing high quality research with gender minorities, with a particular focus on where to find existing quality data, best practices for asking about gender identity, and where social work researchers can advocate for the inclusion of more than male/female options in federal, state, or local data collection efforts.

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm                                   RCDC Roots & Wings Roundtable 2: Fusing Empiricism and Activism: The Role of Social Work Research in Fueling Social Change

Chair and Speaker: Laina Bay-Cheng, University at Buffalo
Speakers: Amy Baker, University of Pennsylvania, Daria Mueller, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Michael Reisch, University of Maryland, Sheila P. Vakharia, Drug Policy Alliance
(view photos and bios)

A primary aim of early social work research was to provide empirical evidence of social and material inequalities with the goal of provoking needed change in public opinion, policy, and practice. Despite this original allegiance with activism, social work researchers often experience tension between their commitments to scientific methods and to social change. Ironically, biased notions of objectivity dominate perceptions of empirical rigor and validity. As a result, research operating under a values-neutral pretense is often deemed more credible than explicitly values-driven research. This roundtable will bring together featured participants and audience members to consider the relation between research and activism and its particular ramifications for social work research. Central questions up for discussion will include:

·         What is the appropriate (i.e., ethically, socially, intellectually) balance between empiricism and activism?

·         How should social work rebut claims that activist or values-driven research is less (or not at all) scientific?

·         How are sociopolitical and economic conditions (e.g., denials of fact, corporatization of universities, threats to unions and tenure) affecting social work research and its role in social change efforts?

·         How can established social work scholars enable early career researchers’ empirical contributions to social justice?

5:45 pm – 6:15 pm                                    Membership Meeting

Continental Ballroom 6, Ballroom Level

Chair: Ruth E. Dunkle, SSWR president, University of Michigan
Sponsored by: University of California, Berkeley, School of Social Welfare

6:15 pm – 7:15 pm                                     President’s Reception  (musical performance by The Friendly Visitors)

Imperial Ballroom, Ballroom Level

Welcome and Introductions: Ruth E. Dunkle, SSWR president, University of Michigan
Sponsored by: University of Denver, Graduate School of Social Work

If you have any questions, please contact: DeeJay Garringo, CAE, SSWR Program Director,, 703-352-7797, ext. 218

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