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Kathleen Alman received her BA (double major in sociology and women’s studies) from Smith College in 1991 and her MSW (concentration in administration and program evaluation) from Michigan State University in 1996. Prior to joining the program, she spent ten years in various positions in Washington, DC working with people living with HIV/AIDS providing mental health and substance abuse treatment in both outpatient and residential settings. In addition to her clinical work, she has experience with supervision, program development, and grant writing. Her main areas of interests include substance abuse, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, suicide prevention, and nonprofit organizations (program development and evaluation). During her time in the doctoral program, she was a student representative of the Doctoral Executive Committee for two years. She worked on several projects as research assistant focusing on supportive employment, Ability Based Learning Environment (ABLE) program, and Permanency for Ohio’s Children. This included tasks such as coordinating data collection, data analysis, literature reviews, report writing, and participating on the Outcomes Assessment Committee of ABLE. As an adjunct faculty member, she taught sections of Direct Practice Foundation Methods and Skills and Research Methods for Social Work. She is currently living in the U.K. as she completes her dissertation.

James Andrews is a clinical social worker with expertise in forensic social work. During the past thirty years, he has been practicing in the behavioral health field as a clinical social worker, therapist, administrator, consultant and educator. He has presented workshops at regional and national conferences, is an adjunct faculty at the University of Pittsburgh in the School of Social Work, and Simmons College School of Social Work in Boston, MA. His clinical practice has included work in the states of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, West Virginia and Pennsylvania and he regularly consults nationally as a forensic social worker and legal consultant. James holds degrees in general management, psychology and social work from Rhode Island College in Providence, RI. He also holds advanced licensure in social work including the LCSW in Pennsylvania and LICSW in Massachusetts. He holds national certification as a Board Certified Diplomate (BCD) with the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work. In forensics, he holds credentials in Forensic Counseling, Sentence Mitigation and is a Certified Master Forensic Social Worker with the American College of Forensic Examiners International. Additionally, a Certified Investigator with the Office of Public Welfare in Pennsylvania. James’ is self-employed. He operates two private consulting practices. Forensic Behavioral Associates, a forensic consulting practice where he provides expert witness services in both civil and criminal cases involving such issues as malpractice, wrongful death, sexual abuse allegations and sentence mitigation in capital punishment. He also offers risk management, compliance and clinical supervision services. James also operates Conscious Core, a consulting practice where he provides personal and career development coaching and management consulting services to individuals, other social workers and professionals. He is very active in the National Association of Social Workers, having held several leadership positions over the past several years, including President (2007-2009) NASW4) Chapter, Chair of the NASW-PA Public Policy Committee (2009-2011) and is a current member of the NASW-PA Committee on Leadership and Identification. His interests include clinical practice ethics, community violence, threat assessment and risk assessment.

Rong Bai earned her Bachelor of Art degree in English from ZheJiang Agriculture & Forestry University and graduated from the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences (MSASS) at Case Western Reserve University with her Master of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) and Master of Nonprofit Organizations (MNO).  While in MSASS, Rong did her field placement at Bellefaire JCB and Ohio Guidestone by providing individual counseling services and group counseling to children of all ages. Afterwards, Rong continued to pursue her interests in child welfare through her work as a research assistant at the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development at MSSA.  Rong has actively contributed to various research projects, including Partnering for Family Success, Housing First and Bright Beginnings. These projects not only have helped hone her professional research skills, but also fostered Rong’s passion in the area of child welfare. Rong’s primary research interests include child maltreatment, system collaboration, program development and evaluation, and a comparative study of child welfare between China and the United States.

Anna Bender is excited to be joining the MSASS cohort of 2016.  Anna received her BA in biology and environmental science from Bowdoin College, and she recently earned her MSW from Syracuse University.  Prior to beginning her master’s program, Anna worked as a counselor-advocate at a non-profit agency dedicated to serving individuals and families affected by domestic and sexual violence.  In her capacity there, she provided crisis services, support, advocacy, and education to both children and adults in the aftermath of violence.  Her clinical practice experience, in both school and community outpatient mental health settings, has focused on work with children and their families.  Anna has also been a research assistant for a qualitative research study on workforce issues in youth residential treatment centers.  Her current academic interests include the effects of trauma on child development, cultural competency in violence prevention and intervention models, and direct practice with youth and families impacted by violence.

Kristen Berg earned her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from the University of Georgia and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with her Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Psychology. Prior to beginning her doctoral degree at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Kristen worked for the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services as a rehabilitation counselor assisting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities transitioning to community residence from medical facilities. Kristen’s research in the Mandel School focuses on the ecological well-being of youth, with a specific interest in the impact of physical and social place on adolescents’ identities, self-efficacies, expectations, and behavioral health. She maintains a broader interest in, and dedication to, community revitalization efforts and the role of neighborhood and community in facilitating healthful and safe opportunities for youth health, development, and recreation.

Jamie Cage received her BA in psychology (2007) and her MS in community mental health counseling (2010) from The University of Rochester. The overarching goal of her research is to contribute to the optimal development and overall well-being of maltreated youth involved with the child welfare system by developing studies that influence child welfare policy and practice. She is dedicated to identifying risk and protective factors of developmental outcomes, and understanding the influence that maltreatment has on developmental outcomes for all child welfare involved youth living with their biological families, and living in foster care. She is specifically interested in the adolescent population. Although this age group experiences high rates of maltreatment and disproportionate rates of foster care placement, little research focuses specifically on this population.

Donald A. Caserta graduated from John Carroll University in 1997 with a BS in Psychology, received his MSSA in 2000 from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, and earned his MA in clinical psychology from Kent State University in 2008. As the former Assistant Director of the ADHD Center for Evaluation & Treatment (ACET) at the Children’s Hospital – Cleveland Clinic, he provided behavioral consultation, assessment, and both individual and group therapy for children, adolescents, adults, and their families and actively participated in a number of clinical research studies leading to publication. He has also enjoyed part-time teaching at the undergraduate level at John Carroll and Kent State and has presented didactics to pediatric, psychiatry, and neurology residents during his tenure at the Cleveland Clinic. In June 2015, he accepted a new position as Program Director of Mental Health Counseling Services at Lake Shore Behavioral Health’s Lower West Side in Buffalo, New York. He provides clinical supervision and administrative leadership for an interdisciplinary team of social workers, mental health counselors, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and registered nurses.

Seungjong Cho earned his BA and MSW from Yonsei University in South Korea. During his BA, he worked for two years as a social worker at Haenuri Food Market, where low-income citizens, including North Korean refugees, can afford buying various groceries. During his MSW at Yonsei School of Social Welfare, his research focus was on non-profit management and philanthropic civic engagements. He was also highly interested in mental health disparities. His Master thesis investigated charitable giving and volunteering behaviors of 2,030 low-income citizens in the country. Furthermore, he worked as an editorial coordinator for the Korean Journal of Social Welfare Research at the Yonsei Center for Social Welfare Research. Before entering the MSASS, Seungjong worked at Good Neighbors International, an international humanitarian nonprofit organization as an associate researcher on fundraising and strategic planning. At MSASS, he is interested in further studying interdisciplinary aspects of urban poverty, neighborhood-level mental health disparities and community-based mental health initiatives. As a doctoral candidate, he is currently writing his dissertation exploring the effects of urban neighborhood disadvantage on low-income older adults’ depressive symptoms.

Youngmin Cho graduated from Seoul National University with a BS in social welfare and a double major in economics. He also received his MA from SNU in February 2010 with a focus on labor market inequality. He served his first social work internship in 2006 with the Bon-dong community welfare center. He served his second social work internship in 2009 as a graduate student at Han-wool mental health center. After completing his MA, Youngmin worked as a full-time assistant in the Department of Social Welfare at SNU for 18 months. Currently, he is a Ph.D. candidate and receives his training in program evaluation and poverty research at the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development. His research focuses on the development of children in low-income families.

Chia-Ling Chung received her MSW in 2010 and her BSW in 2007 from National Taiwan University, Taiwan. She became a Licensed Social Worker in Taiwan in 2009. She had worked as a community social worker at Taipei Association on Mental Illness and provided comprehensive case management for people and their families with mental illness working with adults with severe mental illness in community. Her master thesis was focusing on the relationship between social support, empowerment and self-stigmatization among caregivers of adults with mental illness. While at MSASS, she served as a research assistant for two funded research projects, one is to examine the social network of psychosocial Clubhouse members (adults with mental illness), and the other is focusing on family involvement of psychosocial Clubhouse. She has taught two MSW courses at MSASS: “Mental Health Policy and Service Delivery” and “Research Methods in Social Work.” Her research interests involve mental health service utilization among young adults with mental illness and racial/ethnic disparities in mental health care.

Kelly Davis received her BA in psychology in 1996, from Elon University and her MSW from East Carolina University in 2001. She became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in North Carolina in 2004. Kelly has a wide range of experience working in the mental health field in a variety of settings. She has worked in a community mental health center, for an inpatient psychiatric program, and in private practice. She currently works as a clinician for Carolina Psychological Health Services, a large private practice in Jacksonville, NC. Kelly provides individual, family, and marital therapy to consumers who are dealing with a wide range of issues and diagnoses. Jacksonville, NC is home to Camp Lejeune, a large military base, and the majority of Kelly’s caseload contains military families. She works often with active duty military and military family members facing deployment-related issues. Kelly also enjoys working with adult women who are dealing with depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and relationship issues. In addition to her clinical practice, Kelly teaches sociology part-time at a local community college.

Janelle Duda-Banwar received her BSW from Xavier University and in 2006 received her MSW from California State University, Long Beach, with a focus on children and families.  She spent time working with the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services as an investigator of child maltreatment and neglect.  She also worked as a counselor with survivors of sexual assault in Long Beach.  She then moved back to her hometown of Rochester, NY in order to take on a new role as a social science researcher.  During her time working at a local university’s research center (Center for Public Safety Initiatives) she contributed to program development, implementation, evaluation, student researcher supervision, as well as teaching a counseling course for criminal justice students.  Janelle has worked closely with local agencies and regularly engages in applied research methods.  During her time in the PhD program at MSASS she has had experiencing teaching social work courses both in the traditional classroom and online formats.  She has also worked on the Fugitive Safe Surrender project through the Begun Center. Her research interests include ethics, individuals with warrants, strategies to reduce community violence, restorative practices, and gun violence reduction.

Marjorie N. Edguer is a lecturer and doctoral candidate at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. She has worked in the field of social work, primarily with children, adolescents and their families, for more than twenty years. Marjorie has worked as a clinical social worker in outpatient mental health centers, a school social worker, a school-based preventionist (of child risk behavior), and an advocate and crisis hotline worker in a domestic violence program. She developed programming for individual and group treatment for adolescent sexual abuse survivors; children of alcoholics/drug addicts; children and youth experiencing grief; and universal, targeted and selective prevention programming for at-risk youth in school settings around a range of problem areas including suicide, substance use, and school drop-out. Marjorie has supervised social workers, counselors, and social work interns. Her administrative roles have related to program evaluation, quality assurance, and staff education and training. Marjorie has authored six entries in the Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health: Child Immigrants; Child Development and Immigration; Family Immigration; Intergenerational Differences and Immigration; Trauma Exposure and Immigration; and Unaccompanied Minors. Her main areas of academic study are related to youth, youth services, youth development, and resilience. Her current research is looking at a high-risk sample of prenatally substance-exposed youth, and the relationship of risk, protective factors and gender to risky health behaviors in adolescence. Marjorie teaches courses on social work practice, practice evaluation, and child development.

Marjorie’s interests include:

  • Resilience in children and youth, especially immigrant youth; youth who have experienced trauma and loss; and high-risk youth.
  • Social work practice and teaching social work practice

Meredith Francis earned her BA in psychology from Johns Hopkins University and completed the MSW program at Rutgers University with a clinical focus. Between these programs she also served for a year as an Americorps volunteer in a community mental health program. She has worked in mental health and addictions treatment as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in a wide variety of settings, including inpatient and outpatient, housing programs, case management, psychiatric emergency services, and clinical therapeutic work with both individuals and groups. While at the Mandel School, Meredith has worked on two main projects: Examining how women in recovery from substance use and mental health issues use their personal social networks to maximize their success in recovery, and examining the long-term effects of prenatal cocaine exposure on the mental health and risk behaviors of adolescents. Meredith has also worked with a team comprised of researchers from the Mandel School and the Center for Clinical Investigation at Case Western examining how neighborhood problems affect the health and well-being of children. Her interests include examining the factors related to successful recovery from substance use and mental health disorders as well as how to create practical clinical applications based on this information.

Michael Gearhart, MSSA is a research assistant at both the Dr. Semi J. and Ruth W. Begun Center for Violence Prevention, Research and Education; and the National Initiative on Mixed Income Communities.  His research seeks to understand the processes by which communities mobilize to address social issues including neighborhood disorder, health disparities, crime and juvenile delinquency.  He has worked on multiple projects including an evaluation of 10 courts that provide medication assisted treatment to individuals with opiate addictions, a needs assessment pertaining to child abuse and neglect in four Northeast Ohio counties, and a mixed-methods evaluation of the effectiveness of a local intermediary.  His teaching interests include community practice theory, skills, and research.

Tyrone Hamler graduated from the University of Cincinnati with his BSW in 2008. He earned his MSW in 2009 with a specialization in Health and Aging. Tyrone has been a Licensed Social Worker in the state of Ohio since September of 2008. Tyrone spent five years as a dialysis Social Worker in a large, for-profit dialysis corporation. He maintained a caseload of approximately 100 patients living with kidney failure on dialysis. Most recently, Tyrone has also worked for a hospital in downtown Cincinnati, where he worked on several medical floors, including kidney transplant, medical intensive care unit, heart failure, oncology, and telemetry. Tyrone has taught undergraduate courses at the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati State Community and Technical College. He has taught topics in Social Work and Sociology, including Human Behavior in the Social Environment, Introduction to Sociology, Introduction to Social Work, and Introduction to Social Welfare. Tyrone’s research interests are in health care social work practice, kidney disease, translational health research and health inequities. His experiences working with individuals with chronic illnesses have been further informed by perspectives on social determinants of health frameworks and the intersection of race, gender and class and their impacts on navigating through the health care system.

Leon A. Harris III  is a doctoral candidate, who is currently working on his prospectus/dissertation. Leon’s dissertation seeks to identify and examine distinct problem behavior profiles among juvenile justice-involved youth and the effect specific profile assignment has on juvenile recidivism.

In addition to his doctoral status, Leon is also a full-time Research Associate with the Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education at Case Western Reserve University’s Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. His work with the Center currently includes the role of project manager for the Police Assisted Referral (PAR) program. His responsibilities include advising the Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority’s (CMHA) Chief of Police on program performance, interpreting outcomes, and next steps. Additional PAR responsibilities include collaborating with various community partners to strengthen community and police relations. Leon is also an evaluation team member for the City of Cleveland’s MyCom initiative as well as family-centered, neighborhood-centered, and culturally competent services under the jurisdiction of Cuyahoga County’s Family and Children First Council (FCFC). His responsibilities include providing technical assistance to neighborhood agencies; developing assessment tools; identifying evidenced-based practices; analyzing qualitative and quantitative data that facilitate grounded improvements in youth and family competency programs; and reporting findings to funders, service providers, and other stakeholders.  Leon’s research interests include the provision of social and economic opportunities for adults and youthful offenders; examining the link between exposure to traumatic events and mental health problems among youth in community and juvenile justice settings; adult and youth initiatives that achieve measurable improvement in personal health and social health; program evaluation; and policy analysis.

Zane Jennings decided on a career in social work following undergraduate and graduate work in geography. Even as a geographer, he was involved in social service by volunteering at the University of Oklahoma’s crisis center. Zane received his Master of Social Work from the University of Iowa, in 1993, and initially worked at The Benjamin Rose Institute (BRI) in Cleveland. After several years, Zane became a behavioral health case manager at QualChoice Health Plan. Working in these settings provided an opportunity to see how poverty exacerbates all social problems and provided an awareness of both the benefit of a critical look at mental health practice and the problems of for-profit health care provision. Zane has served on the board of the Links East, a consumer-run, drop-in center for individuals with mental illness, and on the Community Relations Board of Ideastream, Cleveland’s public radio and television network. He has taught Social Welfare Policy and Problem Identification, Screening & Assessment/Diagnosis. Zane’s research interests include social theory, poverty, mental health diagnosis and treatment, and the development of critical thinking among social workers.

June-Yung Kim earned her BA with a double major in Social Welfare and Psychology from Handong Global University (HGU) and received her MA in Social Welfare from Seoul National University (SNU), South Korea.  Her diverse multicultural field experiences, including an internship at Services Offering Safety in Kansas, USA, for survivors of domestic violence and child maltreatment and another training at Simei Psychiatric Rehabilitation Centre in Singapore, helped June-Yung develop her interests in the etiology of mental and behavioral health and their related bio-psycho-socio-cultural factors affecting the persistence of health problems within and across generations.  As a graduate research assistant and data analyst at SNU, she collaborated on various health policy studies, including a study of policy design on supporting individuals with developmental disabilities and their families in a life course perspective (funded by the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare, 2011).  Upon graduation, June-Yung worked as a program manager in the SNU Online Mentoring Program, designed to promote the positive development among adolescent mentees of low-socioeconomic status in communities across Korea by building one-to-one mentoring relationships with SNU students.  Her responsibilities involved supervising mentoring activities and program evaluation.  She also taught graduate and undergraduate courses, including Mental Health in Adolescence and Human Development and Social Environment, in the Department of Social Welfare at HGU and neighboring social work schools.  In 2014, June-Yung joined the MSASS cohort.  Her research interests include mental health and substance and behavioral addictions, prevention science and positive human development, and psychosocial rehabilitation.  Recently, June-Yung has increasingly interested in socioeconomic inequalities and their effects on developmental characteristics among vulnerable populations.  Currently, she is actively engaged in multiple research projects, as a research fellow and statistician, investigating health risk behaviors among adolescents and young adults being born to mothers with substance use disorders and/or mental distress, being exposed to childhood trauma, and/or living in poverty.  June-Yung is also interested in quantitative methodology for longitudinal data using structural equation modeling.  Her recent co-authored publication has appeared in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.  She has presented her research at the Society for Social Work and Research conference.

Sun Kyung Kim graduated from Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea with BA in Social Work and also earned her MSW from Yonsei. During her MSW program, she took part in various research projects in collaboration with governmental research institutes. Most of these studies analyzed the effectiveness of social service programs among low-income families and investigated intervention methods to promote families’ quality of life. She served her internship as a mental health social worker at a hospital in South Korea. In her internship, Sun Kyung counseled clients with mental disability and organized programs that could help them recover their mental health status through enhancing their social support. Her primary research interests are mental health problems of socially-excluded people, especially low-income women. Sun Kyung is interested in the effect of poor women’s’ detrimental surroundings without any support for their health/mental health, the prevention of deterioration of their health/mental health, and enhancements of their quality of life. Sun Kyung is also interested in health disparities which are highly likely to appear in populations with low socioeconomic status.

Won Hee Kim earned her BA in social welfare from the Catholic University of Korea, an MSW from Ewha Woman’s University in South Korea, and her MSSA from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. She has experience working with troubled teens and being involved in monitoring social service programs for runaway and sexually exploited female adolescents in Korea. She also worked on a project to develop a policy for abused children in Korea. Working as a case manager for three years at Murtis H. Taylor Mental Health Service Center in Cleveland, Ohio, from 2006 to 2009, she became more interested in children with mental health issues and their families. Her primary research interests are related to children with mental health issues and their family support systems along with mental health service utilization.

Jeong Woo Lee worked as a social worker for 3 years at the Sadang Community Welfare Center in Seoul, Korea after receiving B.A. in social work in 2005. She provided social work services for low-income families (counseling with individuals, families, and groups), and raised funds and organized volunteers in Sadang community. She received a MSSA from Case Western Reserve University in 2010. The Master’s program allowed her to gain various experiences about older adults through research and clinical internships. She joined the MSASS doctoral program in 2010. She continues to focus on older adults with chronic illness and their families. She hopes her research to contribute to improvement of interventions for the older population.

Cristina Nedelcu is a lecturer and a Ph.D. candidate at MSASS. Cristina has worked in the field of Child Welfare for more than 20 years, both in the US and internationally. Cristina has served as an adoption and permanency planning social worker, supervisor of Adoptions and Permanency Planning and Senior Manager of Training and Professional Development at Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services. Before immigrating to the US in 1994, Cristina was an Assistant Director of Training and Development with Holt International Children Services in Bucharest, Romania. Cristina was among the social work pioneers who developed and established a network of foster and adoptive families in Romania to address the urgent problem of institutionalized children. Cristina received an MD degree from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Carol Davila” in Bucharest, Romania in 1991. She graduated with a MSSA from Case Western Reserve University in 2002. Cristina has participated in various research studies for CWRU on Indian and Norwegian adoptions and in emerging adulthood for youth in systems of care. She is the co-author of an encyclopedia entry on the topic of Romanian adoptions in the Historical and Cross-Cultural Encyclopedia of Adoption (2006) and the co-author of a chapter on the Romanian Child Welfare System in the Inter-Country Adoptions: Policies, Practices and Outcomes (2014). Cristina was a presenter at different local and national conferences between 2005 and 2014. Cristina’s current research interests include: child welfare, domestic and international adoptions and child and adolescent mental health. She teaches a variety of courses at MSASS and was very active in the development and implementation of the virtual program at MSASS.

Tugba Olgac earned her BA in Psychological Counseling and Guidance in Hacettepe University in Turkey. She worked as a school counselor upon graduation and meanwhile, she earned a scholarship from Turkish government to study abroad. She completed English as a Second Language course in Cleveland and then received her Master’s degree in the field of Social Work at MSASS. She was specialized in Adult Mental Health during her Master’s education because of her interest in understanding human behavior and helping people who have mental illness. She gained experience in individual and group counseling during her internship at MSASS and worked with people whose mental health issues ranged from serious to mild. Since starting to PhD program at MSASS, she mainly focused on the outcomes of wraparound services for children with emotional and behavioral disorders and their families. By being a part of Begun Center, she expanded her interest to criminal justice and violence issues and conducted literature reviews in other research areas: adult and juvenile recidivism, reentry outcomes and batterer interventions. She is delighted to have a chance to being exposed to different research areas and collaborating with others while developing her skills to become a researcher. Her goal is to return to Turkey upon completion of doctoral program; share her experiences with other colleagues and future social work students. She wants to promote awareness for domestic violence, mental illness, and contribute to the improvement of mental health agencies in her country.

Jiho Park received her BA in social welfare from Seoul Women’s University and her MA in social welfare from Seoul National University (SNU) in South Korea. Her master’s thesis investigated adolescents’ suicidal behavior with a focus on the mediating effects of social support and coping strategies. After graduating, she worked as social worker and counselor at SNU for 4 years, where she mainly facilitated mentoring programs to freshmen with adaptation difficulties in campus life. She also managed a volunteering program, matching volunteers with community welfare agencies. During her study and work at SNU, she was involved in a variety of research projects, one of which was to evaluate the effectiveness of early childhood intervention in impoverished families. Her primary research area focuses on vulnerable child and adolescent development and its related social welfare services and policies. She is especially interested in the relationships between risk factors triggered by poverty as well as the role of poverty itself and children’s’ developmental outcomes.

Gregory Powers earned a BA in liberal arts from Sarah Lawrence College and a MSc. in psychodynamic developmental neuroscience from a joint program between the University College London and Yale. During his MSc. studies, he focused on the neuroscience of addiction and its reinforcement mechanisms as well as their relationship to impulsivity and sensation seeking. Gregory has been involved in a number research projects relating to the criminal justice system and substance use, including evaluations of the Milwaukee County Drug Court and the reentry needs of Baltimore City Jail inmates. He has also contributed to research regarding substance use epidemiology, most recently examining the effect of familial substance abuse density on the alcohol consumption patterns of college students and the risks of alcohol mixed with energy drinks vis-à-vis alcohol consumed alone.  Gregory’s interests include the quantitative evaluation of alternative sentencing projects, substance abuse epidemiology and treatment, and the interaction between substance policies and use outcomes.

Weidi Qin graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with MSW and MPH degrees. Her primary research interests are health promotion for older adults, productive aging, and health and aging policy. She has been selected for the 7th cohort of the AGE SW Gerontological Social Work Pre-Dissertation Initiative, which will provide her with support for the dissertation process. Also, working as a health policy research assistant at Washington University, she had research experience in comparing health and aging policy in China and the US, and assisted in a research project on Medicare and marketplace health insurance. She has also worked for the Center for Social Development (CSD), where she conducted translation work on lifelong asset building and was exposed to research projects on the Individual Development Account Program. In 2015, she had the opportunity to present her study findings on increasing older adult skills and capacity through health program volunteer engagement at the Aging in America Conference held by American Society on Aging (ASA). Her practicum at MSW/MPH program focused on working with older immigrants, and evaluation of health programs for older adults using both quantitative and qualitative analysis.

Gabriela Sehinkman is a clinical therapist with over 20 years of experience in the community mental health field, both in her native Argentina and in the United States. She holds a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina and a master’s degree in social work from Cleveland State University. She was awarded a scholarship by the

Argentine Secretary of Education as a research fellow in London, UK, where she researched psychosocial factors helping intravenous drug-users remain HIV-negative. She is an independently licensed social worker with supervisory designation, by the Ohio Social Work Board. She also is a member of the local chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, as well as the Ohio Latino Mental Health Network. She often collaborates with community agencies, such as Esperanza, Cleveland Public Schools, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Domestic Violence Center by speaking about childhood, adolescence and adult mental health problems to the Cleveland Spanish-speaking community. She is also actively involved as a member of advisory boards for NAMI Greater Cleveland (the multicultural outreach committee) and for the Domestic Violence Center (Latina Project). Gabriela is a full-time clinical supervisor at a local community mental health agency, as well as a private practitioner. Gabriela taught undergraduate and graduate-level courses as adjunct faculty at the University of Akron, School of Social Work, as well as graduate level social work courses at MSASS. Her areas of expertise include mood disorders, anxiety disorders, intimate partner violence, parent/child relationship problems and parent training and education. Research areas she is in interested in include resiliency, as well as culturally effective interventions when working with minorities, especially within the Latino community. She is now a doctoral candidate and has successfully defended her dissertation prospectus in May, 2016.

En-Jung Shon worked at the National Cancer Center (NCC) in South Korea, from 2007 to 2009. She provided Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) programs to cancer patients and their care givers (Project for Examining Efficacy of Web-based Total Care Program, and Decision Aid on Decision Making for Family Member’s Disclosure of Terminally Illness).

In 2011, she received an MSW degree from Washington University in St. Louis. While she was in MSW program, she involved in ‘Qualitative research project for African American breast cancer survivorship’ as well as ‘Interdisciplinary cancer disparity research.’ As a PhD candidate, she is currently majoring in ‘aging and health (cancer; chronic illness)’ and ‘health disparity issue in minority populations.’ Since September (2015), she has worked at the Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhood in Case Western Reserve University. She involves in ‘FreshLink Study’ and ‘FMTrack Project’ to improve community members’ healthy food consumption, which in turn reducing health disparities.

Leigh Taylor is in her fourth year of the doctoral program at MSASS. Building on her background as an addictions counselor, her dissertation draws on data collected as part of Dr. Elizabeth Tracy’s longitudinal examination of personal support networks, and focuses on the impact of social support and self-efficacy on recovery from substance use disorders among women with a history of trauma. Her participation on multiple research projects during her time here at MSASS has provided her with opportunities to develop skills as both a qualitative and quantitative researcher. These activities have led to the preparation of multiple manuscripts and conference presentations. In addition, Leigh has grown her skills as an instructor, moving from a teaching mentee, to teaching assistant, to instructor for Theories of Direct Social Work Practice. Leigh has a specific interest in the successful facilitation of online courses, and hopes to pursue this post-graduation. As for future research, Leigh plans to continue working with women in recovery from substance use disorders, identifying strategies for developing recovery capital, and evaluating the effectiveness of mindfulness practices on sobriety maintenance.

Becky Thomas is a clinical social worker. During the past ten years, she has practiced in the health care and child welfare fields as a clinical social worker, administrator, and educator. She has presented workshops at regional and national conferences, and worked as an adjunct faculty at the University of Akron in the School of Social Work before being employed full time. She holds degrees in psychology from Baldwin Wallace College in Berea, OH and social work from the MSW Program at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, OH. She also holds advanced licensure in social work in Ohio. She holds national certification as an Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW) with the National Association of Social Work. She is active in the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Ohio Chapter. Her interests include caregivers, veterans, health disparities and child welfare.

Aviva Vincent central focus on education reform has been most relevant in her employment prior to pursuing her PhD as she believes that is it the key to changing the lives of countless youth. In this program she is particularly interested in the spaces students seek out and engage in when not in the classroom and the impact such opportunities have on the emotional development. Specifically, Aviva is pursuing research that looks at the intersection of Veterinary Social Work and education spaces. She earned a Master of Social Work from the University of Connecticut and completed a field placement at Ebony Horsewomen, an EAGALA stable in inner-city Hartford. She was awarded the National Afterschool Association’s Next Generation Leaders award in recognition for her work with the United Way. She aspires to earn her PATH Intl. certification to teach therapeutic horseback riding, teach in the macro social work field and work towards employment as a professor post-PhD.

Louis Weigele has over 35 years of social work experience encompassing clinical practice, clinical supervision and program administration.  Mr. Weigele maintains an independent clinical practice in Rocky River, Ohio, serves as the Senior Clinical Consultant at Stella Maris, an addiction treatment agency, and teaches as an adjunct instructor at the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. He has specific expertise in the treatment of severe and persistent mental illness, forensics, dual diagnosis (mental illness and addiction), drug dependency, gambling disorders, and other addictions. His professional qualifications include assessment and treatment of problem gambling and substance use disorders, treating severe and persistent mental illness, and individual, couples and group treatment. Mr. Weigele is an Ohio licensed independent social worker with supervisory designation, (LISW-S), a Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work, (BCD), and is a Nationally Certified Gambling Counselor-II (NCGC-II).  Mr. Weigele serves on the Board of Directors of the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio (PGNO) and has served on the board of the National Council on Problem Gambling. Trainings provided by Mr. Weigele related to problem and pathological gambling include trainings for the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services (ODADAS), the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, the National Council on Problem Gambling, and addiction treatment providers in Poland.

Dalhee Yoon completed her MSW at the University of Washington in the Children, Youth & Families concentration. During her MSW program, she completed her internship at the InterIm Community Development Association WILD program, which is a leadership development program for Asian Pacific Islander high school students. She has joined the mural project as a youth program coordinator intern. Since graduating she has worked as a researcher at the National Youth Policy Institute and Gyunggido Family & Women Research Institute in the Division of Policy Research. Dalhee was involved in a variety of research projects associated with preventing antisocial behavior, positive youth development, and child abuse. Since she started her PhD program at MSASS, she has worked at the Begun Center for Violence Prevention, Research and Education focusing on adolescent behavior problems associated with child maltreatment.

Miyoung Yoon earned her MSW from the University of Michigan with a concentration in community and social systems with management of human services. During her internship at Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County, she contributed to the development of an employment program for ex-offenders and supervised undergraduate international social work summer interns. Miyoung currently works as a research assistant at the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities at MSASS where she explores positive youth development strategies in mixed-income communities. She is also conducting research on the effects of school and neighborhood contexts on youth risk behaviors. Miyoung plans to further examine the influence of school and neighborhood factors on the well-being of low-income minority youth.