KU School of Social Welfare announces 2022-23 cohort of MSW Research Scholars

The University of Kansas School of Social Welfare’s Research Office is excited to announce the 2022-23 cohort of MSW Research Scholars. These students work closely with an academic researcher on their research for 22 weeks (11 weeks each semester) for an average of eight hours per week. They are exposed to many phases of the research and publication process. Tasks can include literature reviews, interviewing research subjects according to a protocol, helping construct surveys, coding qualitative data, helping write sections of an article based on the research, and many other possibilities. The researcher introduces them to the exciting world of social work research, showing how research can make a difference for the profession of social work and in our communities; teaching critical thinking about social problems and social solutions and about research data; and depending on the research phase, teaching how to go about structuring a proposal or an article or a research report. 

“Initially, students are often intimidated by research,” explained Associate Dean for Research Amy Mendenhall. “The MSW Research Scholars Program gives students an opportunity to see social work research in action, and for many, it ignites a passion to continue to be involved in research, to ask difficult questions, and work with community partners to find solutions.”

Two student-focused Research Conversations are scheduled for the 2022-23 academic year. The first is scheduled for October 14, 2022, and will feature a panel of current students at all levels who will share their experience in research and answer any questions attendees may have. The second event, tentatively planned for April 29, 2023 will feature this cohort of MSW Research Scholars who will speak to the greater Social Welfare research community and their student colleagues about their work over the past year. 

The 2022-23 MSW Research Scholars are as follows: 

  • Rachel OFlannagan will be working with Juliana Carlson on her Prevention is Possible survey (as a part of KU’s Sexual Assault Prevention & Education Center) funded by the Kansas Department of Health and Education and the Children’s Bureau funded evaluation on adult and child survivor-centered approach to serve child-welfare involved families experiencing domestic violence. 

  • Sydney Iocca will be working with Becci Akin and the Kansas Strong for Children and Families team, a public-private-university collaborative. 

  • Sara Montgomery will be working with Carrie Wendel-Hummell on the federally funded study investigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Medicaid funded Home and Community Based Services in Kansas. 


Learn more on the School of Social Welfare student research webpage.