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Ph.D. in Social Work

Jennifer's research interests include international social work, mental health, migration, human rights, pedagogy, and human behavior theory.  She is a member of the University of Kansas Qualitative Research Graduate Student Working Group and a Research Assistant at the Center for Mental Health Research and Innovation.

Family involvement strategies in child welfare, structural barriers to maltreatment prevention and child wellbeing promotion, child welfare reform, economic and social justice, international social work practice and policy

Whitney’s research and scholarship interests include child and adolescent wellbeing. Whitney is particularly interested in early childhood and early adolescent mental health treatment and evidence based practices. Whitney’s prior work experience includes project development for the prevention of early childhood exposure to adverse experiences; adaptation and implementation of strengths-based child and adolescent community-based mental health services; and direct practice experience with children diagnosed with severe emotional or behavioral disturbances.

Kang has a great strength in quantitative analytical method. He is particularly interested in ageism, baby-boom generation, and long-term care. In addition, he is interested in developing a happiness index for immigrants to see their level of adaptation. Social innovation especially fundraising and financial assistance for social enterprises is also his particular field of interest.

Interested in children and youth who have a physical or intellectual disability and are involved in the child welfare system, agency policies regarding children and youth with disabilities, and cultural (specifically Native American) factors influencing children and youth with disabilities.

Kiley’s research and scholarship interests include intimate partner violence, families affected by domestic violence, and co-occuring adverse childhood experiences.  Kiley’s background includes grant-funded program development, implementation, and management; working with children and families affected by intimate partner violence; and direct mental health patient care in the in-patient, outpatient, and group home settings.

Kris’s research interests include interagency collaboration, systems-of-care issues, and the use of proactive and preventative approaches to meet the needs of individuals and families.

Mental Health of ethnic minority and immigrant children, Population-based/community-based/preventive mental health interventions. Spiritual Diversity in Social Work, Multiculturalism, International Social Work, Participatory research paradigm. Mixed Methods.

Research interests in the area of child welfare; specific focus on children of incarcerated parents, Latino youth, social work in the school setting, and elimination of stigma and disparities in welfare system.

Mental health promotion with special interests in co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse disorder, employment, racial/ethnic disparities in service access and utilization.

Beth’s research seeks to improve individual and population health and wellbeing, focusing on health and healthcare disparities and their associated social and economic outcomes. Her research has examined relationships between body image and health, and the co-occurrence of mental and physical health conditions, including their resulting healthcare, health, and employment disadvantages.  Beth’s background includes: program evaluation, quantitative, and qualitative research activities; Master’s-level teaching in social work and public administration; and direct social work practice with child welfare-involved children and families, individuals affected by HIV/AIDS, and hospital social work.

Ashley is a scholar who studies well-being in young adulthood. She is particularly interested in practices and policies that support vulnerable populations, such as low-income individuals, those with mental health disorders, and those with prior systems-involvement, as they transition into young adulthood. Specific research areas of interest include housing, transportation, education, employment, poverty, and inequality and how these areas impact well-being and outcomes in young adulthood. 
Ashley’s direct practice experience includes case management with foster families in Kansas and the provision of in-home therapy services to children in foster care. She also held an administrative role as a program coordinator, a role that required interagency collaboration and coordination with community mental health centers across Kansas to offer respite and professional resource family care services to children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbance.

Research interests include: Child Welfare (specifically foster care and youth aging out of foster care); Child Welfare Workforce Issues (including retention and the identification of compassion satisfaction among workers); Mindfulness.

Patricia's research and scholarship interests include individuals and families affected by violent crime, child maltreatment, and the intersection of social work in the criminal courts. Patricia's background includes program development, implementation, evaluation, and management; grant writing and administration; and policy research and analysis.

Research interests include mental health treatment, the intersection of physical and mental health, social determinants of health, and health care utilization. Previously, Nik has conducted research on economic mobility, family drug court, cross-cultural perception of time, and dieting behavior among college students.

Mental health, people with Serious Mental Illness (SMI), strengths perspective & strengths model case management, medical social work, behavioral health home model, qualitative research, social justice & social policy, disability, and children with medical complexity

Sherry's interests are in spirituality and mindfulness practices, international social work and globalization, women's well-being worldwide, and social work education.

2017-18 Doctoral Candidates Seeking Fall Appointments



Becky Hofer
Director of Graduate Admissions

Margaret Severson
PhD Program Director

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