PhD Alumni

Meet some of our PhD alumni

Select PhD Alumni

Stacey Barker is a Professor, Department Chair and Program Director for the BSW program at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, MA. Her research interests center around the integration of spirituality and social work. She was one of the recipients of Eastern Nazarene College’s Professional Achievement Awards in 2010. She is also the Associate Editor for the Social Work and Christianity Journal, published by the North American Association of the Christians in Social Work. In the spring of 2013 she was on sabbatical at the Caribbean Nazarene College in Trinidad, where she extended her previous research and explored the integration of spirituality and social work in Trinidad.

Ching-Wen Chang is Assistant Professor of Social Work,, Chinese University at Hong Kong. Dr. Chang’s research interests include social support of individuals with serious mental illness, recovery from mental illness and evidence based practice in mental health field. She is also interested in exploring effective social work interventions with an emphasis on cultural differences. She recently defended her dissertation entitled “Factors Affecting Mental Health Service Utilization among Latinos and Asians.” Dr. Chang’s research has been published in leading mental health journals including the Community Mental Health Journal, Family Relations, and the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal.

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 nonprofit 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 a social worker specialized in fundraising, marketing, and strategic planning. At the Mandel School, he is interested in further studying interdisciplinary aspects of urban poverty, neighborhood stressors, mental health racial/ethnic disparities, and community-based mental health initiatives. As a doctoral candidate, he is currently writing his dissertation exploring the effects of neighborhood stressors and diverse sources of social support on older adults’ depressive symptoms.

Julian Chun-Chung Chow is the Hutto-Patterson Charitable Foundation Professor at the School of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley. He is a leading thinker in community practice, service delivery, and urban poverty. Dr. Chow’s current research interests include community practice and service delivery in urban poverty, ethnic and immigrant neighborhoods; community analysis and needs assessment; program planning and development; and cultural competency services. In 2011, Dr. Chow received a Fulbright Scholarship to teach at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he studied the development of social service systems and infrastructure in China. He also conducted research as part of a larger comparative study looking at how recent Chinese immigrants fare in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the San Francisco Bay area.

Richard L. Jones is an award winning administrator of large public and private human service agency systems. Currently, he is Director of the Cuyahoga County Division of Senior and Adult Services in Cleveland, Ohio. Previous positions include serving as Vice President for the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, Administrator of Employment and Family Services and the Child Support Enforcement Agency for Cuyahoga County, and as President of Metropolitan Family Services of Chicago, Illinois. In 2010, Dr. Jones received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Social Workers’ Illinois Chapter.

Hyunsoo Kim graduated from the Mandel School in May, 2012 after successfully defending his dissertation entitled “Organizational culture and mental health service engagement of transition age youth.” He recently accepted a position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Welfare at Dong-guk University, which is ranked as one of the Top 20 Korean Universities. Dr. Kim’s research interests are mental health, children & youth and their mental health service delivery issues.

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.

Amy Krentzman is Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work and at the Center for Spirituality and Healing, University of Minnesota. She also serves as an Adjunct Research Investigator in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School. Dr. Krentman’s research focuses on factors that promote the initiation and maintenance of recovery from alcohol and other substance use disorders, particularly the mechanisms of therapeutic change that are precipitated by professional treatment, recovery community organizations, and 12 step programs. Current research projects include the development and testing of positive psychology interventions for individuals with alcohol and substance use disorders, the relationship between spirituality and alcoholism recovery, and the role of sober living houses on long-term abstinence.

Daniel Lai is Professor and Associate Dean of Research & Partnerships, Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary, Canada. Daniel Lai’s teaching and research interests include health and aging, culture and health, racism, mental health, immigrants and immigration. Dr. Lai’s research projects examine issues of health and mental health, healthy aging, social exclusion, elder abuse, and family caregiving in visible minority populations. He has received research funding support and research career support from the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research and served as Alberta Heritage Health Scholar from 2003 to 2009. As a prolific scholar, he also receives funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and many other research institutes and funding sources.

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 an MSSA from Case Western Reserve University in 2010. The Master’s program allowed her to gain various experiences with 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 an improvement of interventions for the older population.

Pamela Maimer is Senior Program Officer in the International Studies Division within the Office of International and Foreign Language Education at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, DC. She provides programmatic assistance for multiple grant programs in international education and is responsible for the Fulbright Hays Group Projects Abroad—Short Term and the Title VI International Research and Studies Programs. Dr. Maimer has 15 years of experience in postsecondary education policy issues, including budget formulation, research and policy development for low-income, first generation college students. She has served as the policy lead for low-income and disadvantaged populations in a number of federal higher education programs.

Heehyul Moon is Assistant Professor at the Kent School of Social Work at the University of Louisville. After receiving her Ph.D., Dr. Moon completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute on Aging of the University of North Carolina in 2014. Her long-term research interest lies in enhancing quality of life of vulnerable and underserved elderly and their families through interdisciplinary and translational research. Dr. Moon’s prior and current research centers on the study of physical and mental health of elderly and the consequences of stress related to caregiving of people with chronic illness (e.g., early-stage Alzheimer’s disease) and transition of care. In particular, she is very interested in dyadic interpretation of caregiving when both patients and their family members serve as sources of data and its impact on their dyadic relationship quality and physical and mental health.

David Pedlar is the Director of Research at the National Headquarters of Veterans Affairs Canada in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, a position that he has held since 2001. He was a Canada-US Fulbright Scholar, Rotary Foundation|Rotary Foundation Scholar and co-recipient of an International Psychogeriatric Association/Bayer Research Award in Psychogeriatrics. He has recently held university affiliations in Medicine at Dalhousie University and Nursing at the University of Prince Edward Island. Dr. Pedlar has been responsible for over forty research studies on Veteran health and has been an investigator in a number of Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) funded studies. Dr. Pedlar was a Co-Director of the Prince Edward Island study center in two waves of the Canadian Study of Health and Aging. He conducts applied research, has an extensive record of scholarly publications and speaks on military and veteran health topics.

Mary Rawlings is the chair of the BSW and MSW programs at Azusa Pacific University, overseeing a program of approximately 400 students. Dr. Rawlings is interested in competency-based education, helping students develop skills necessary for entry-level practice, assessing outcomes of social work education and experiential learning models (such as service-learning) that can enhance student educational outcomes. She conducts research in developing observed structured clinical exams for evaluation of social work skills. She is the North American book editor for Social Work Education: The International Journal. Her dissertation research was recently published in the Journal of Social Work Education.

Amy Restorick Roberts, PhD 2013, MSSA, LSW, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Studies and Social Work at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a Scripps Research Fellow at the Scripps Center for Gerontology. With nearly a decade of post-masters practice experience in a continuing care retirement community, her scholarship aims to improve the quality of life of older people. Within this realm, her research focuses on the risk and protective factors that influence quality of life in old age, for older adults living in age-segregated environments as well as those who are aging in place within the community, for the purpose of strengthening systems of long-term care services and supports. Her interests also extend to the role of social work internationally to support the well-being of older adults worldwide.

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 a 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. 

Gautam N. Yadama is Professor and Assistant Vice Chancellor for International Affairs-India, at the George Warren Brown School, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri. He is also the Washington University McDonnell International Scholar’s Academy Ambassador to the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India and the Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. Professor Yadama’s work focuses on understanding the social and environmental challenges of rural poor in the regions of South Asia and China.  His research examines the interconnection and interdependent nature of households and communities with a particular focus on solutions to improve the social, economic, and environmental and health outcomes. Serving as a faculty scholar in Washington University’s Institute for Public Health, he’s been conducted extensive community based research specifically in India, Nepal and China.

Miyoung Yoon is a doctoral candidate at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. Miyoung’s research agenda focuses on socio-environmental factors that influence problem behaviors among at-risk youth, specifically child welfare-involved youth and prenatally substance-exposed youth. The overarching goal of her research is to understand how socio-environmental risk and protective factors (e.g., neighborhood disadvantage, neighborhood social support) interact with individual and family-environmental risk and protective factors (e.g., prenatal substance exposure, child maltreatment, child-parent attachment, out-of-home placement) in determining problem behaviors (e.g., substance use, risky sexual behavior, conduct problems) among at-risk youth. Miyoung has experience teaching foundation and advanced courses for masters of social work students as a sole instructor. She has taught “Anti-Poverty Strategies,” “Human Development in Context I: Child and Adolescent,” and “Research Methods” within various formats including the traditional weekly classroom, the intensive-weekend format, and the online format. Miyoung has both direct and community practice experience. Miyoung worked as a project coordinator for a community-engaged project on youth programming. Furthermore, she is currently working as a clinical mental health counseling intern and program director at a mental health institute, providing mental health services and conducting community organizing for immigrant children and families. Miyoung earned her MSW at the University of Michigan and her BA, BBA, and MA at Ewha Womans University, South Korea.