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College of Social Work Faculty and Staff

Recent Research & Engagement of College Faculty

Assessing the Impact of Race-based Trauma

Assistant Professor of Practice Carmen Foster, along with research partners Dr. Mary Held, and College alumna Adrianna Carter (MSSW), have been awarded one of the university’s Diversity Challenge Grants from the Division of Diversity and Engagement.
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Tele-Social Work Grant Funds Development of Student Training

The College of Social Work is partnering with Centerstone Research Institute to develop a new training for students and social work practitioners on best practices in using technology in social work practice.
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Results from Guaranteed Income Study Released

Dr. Stacia Martin-West, and her research partner Dr. Amy Castro-Baker of UPenn, released their preliminary analysis from the first year of SEED (Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration) study on guaranteed income. The results have received nationwide recognition.
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Dr. Courtney Cronley Publishes Study on Racial and Gender Bias in the VI-SPDAT

In a recently published study, Dr. Cronley analyzed the VI-SPDAT (Vulnerability Index – Service Prioritization and Decision Tool) scores for over 1,300 adults experiencing homelessness. The VI-SPDAT is widely used by service providers across the U.S. and in Canada to assess individual vulnerability in situations of homelessness and prioritize housing based on VI-SPDAT scores.
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Dr. Jennifer First Receives Grant from the Natural Hazards Center

Dr. Jennifer First received a grant from the Natural Hazards Center focused on Weather Ready Research. The research focuses on Tornado and Flash Flood Warnings: Examining Climatology, Vulnerability, and Protective Decision-Making.
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Dr. Michael Blackwell and Program for Pet Health Equity Granted Monetary Award from PetSmart Charities

Dr. Michael Blackwell and the Program for Pet Health Equity have been granted a $250,000 award from PetSmart Charities.  This award will support their AlignCare work with a special focus of expanding it and studying its application in BIPOC communities in the US. 
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Dr. Kristen Ravi Awarded a Professional and Scholarly Development Award

The UT Office of Research and Development funded Dr. Kristen Ravi’s application for a Professional and Scholarly Development Award (PSDA) to study how the daily lives, activities, and stresses of mothers living in intimate violent centers, their psycho-emotional well-being, and their children’s psycho-emotional well-being influence critical maternal-child bonds.
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Dr. Mary Held Receives Funding for Study on “Stress, Resilience, and Mental Health in Latinx Adults”

Dr. Mary Held’s recent application to the UT Office of Research and Development for her study on Stress, Resilience, and Mental Health in Latinx Adults received funding. Held will study how stress due to discrimination, enforcement of new immigration policies, and COVID -19 may influence mental wellness and whether resilience factors buffer those influences.
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Faculty, Staff, and Students of the College Present at Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR)

The Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) is dedicated to the advancement of social work research. Like so many other conferences, this year’s annual conference was moved online. The College of Social Work is well-represented at this year’s conference with a number of faculty, staff, and students having been accepted for presentations, papers, and posters. Read more.

Dr. Stacia West to co-lead Newly Launched Center for Guaranteed Income Research

College of Social Work Assistant Professor Dr. Stacia West, along with Dr. Amy Castro Baker, Assistant Professor at University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2), were recently named as co-leaders of the Center for Guaranteed Income Research.
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Faculty and Students Present at CSWE Annual Program Meeting

The Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Annual Program Meeting (APM) is the place where social work education professionals collaborate, learn, teach, and grow. A number of College faculty and students presented and conducted workshops at the Meeting this year.
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College develops Outreach and Support Field Placement Unit to Work with UT COVID Contact Tracing Team

As the University of Tennessee, Knoxville ramped up preparations for the fall semester, one of the first priorities was to develop a robust system for contact tracing. Graduate students from the College of Social Work were recruited and hired as contact tracers and valued for their unique skillset. Read more.

Treating Young Adult Cannabis Use Disorder Study Seeking Participants

Endowed Professors Michael J. Mason, Ph.D. and J. Douglas Coatsworth, Ph.D., along with researchers at Colorado State University, have recently put out a call for participants for their newest research study on “Treating Young Adult Cannabis Use Disorder with Text Messaged-Delivered Peer Network Counseling.”
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Dr. Stephen McGarity (Co-PI) Awarded FINRA Foundation Grant for Research on Extra Costs of Disability

Dr. McGarity and Co-PI Dr. Morris were awarded an $88,749 grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation to research the economic disadvantages experienced by people with disabilities.
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For more news from the College, be sure to visit the News from the College page.