November Boston College Social Work Research Highlights

Research RoundupIn the short time since we returned to campus for the fall semester, a significant group of faculty and students at BC Social Work have been recognized for their work on critical research studies and creative projects serving the community.

While this sampling of commendations represents a diversity of subject matter and methods of inquiry, all of these projects share the same principal mission: to support work to create social change.

Student Awards 

MSW candidate Vanessa Corbera is a winner of the 2014 Consuelo W. Gosnell Memorial Scholarship, given by the National Association of Social Workers Foundation (NASWF) to graduate students committed to “helping Native American and Hispanic communities through creative problem solving.” Corbera has developed a smart phone application to allow individuals to donate to the homeless.

MSW candidate M. Josh McNeil was named a recipient of the Verne LaMarr Lyons Memorial MSW scholarship from the NASWF for “improving the quality of life in African American communities using techniques ranging from music therapy to professional development.” Josh tells the Foundation that, in the future, he would like to run a non-profit that focuses on “decreasing psychosocial stresses and increasing coping and motivational skills, through workshops and training.”

PhD candidate Jooyoung Kong’s paper The Effect of Childhood Abuse on Intergenerational Support to Aging Parents has been acknowledged by The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) with the Emerging Scholar and Professional Organization Interdisciplinary Paper Award for the GSA’s Annual Scientific Meeting 2014.

Faculty Grants and Awards

The first group of student HRSA grant winners.  First row seated (left to right):  Hilary Kunnanz, Megan Van Ness, Mixi Lopez, Megan O’Hara Second row (left to Right):  Dan Halloran, Chelsea Goldstein-Walsh, Kate Gasparrini, Dan Rone, Erin Ramsey-Tooher, Bernice Fedestin-Ruiz, Juli Smith

The first group of student HRSA grant winners.
First row seated (left to right): Hilary Kunnanz, Megan Van Ness, Mixi Lopez, Megan O’Hara
Second row (left to right): Dan Halloran, Chelsea Goldstein-Walsh, Kate Gasparrini, Dan Rone, Erin Ramsey-Tooher, Bernice Fedestin-Ruiz, Juli Smith

Associate Professor Marylou Sudders earned a major grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the US Department of Health and Human Services. The award, totaling $664,000, is earmarked for a program that will provide critical on-the-ground behavioral health training for 53 second-year master’s level students at the school. Eleven students have already been selected for the inaugural cohort: Bernice Fedestin-Ruiz, Kate Gasparrini, Daniel Halloran, Hilary Kunnanz, Mixi Lopez, Megan O’Hara, Erin Ramsey, Daniel Rome, Juli Smith, Megan Van Ness, and Chelsea Goldstein-Walsh.

Assistant Professor Scott Easton was awarded an R03 grant from the National Institute on Aging to study male survivors of child sexual abuse, a vulnerable, often isolated, and vastly underserved population that is in serious need of practical support and interventions.

Assistant Professor Erika Sabbath was awarded a K01 grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to research the economic and health effects of psychosocial workplace exposures.

Assistant Professor Christina Matz-Costa has won the Patricia B. Elmore Award for Outstanding Research in Measurement and Evaluation for work conducted with Lynch School of Education Professor Larry Ludlow. The award, given out by the Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling (AARC), cites two recent publications from the research team, including Measuring Engagement in Later Life Activities: Rasch-Based Scenario Scales for Work, Caregiving, Informal Helping, and Volunteering.

PhD Presentations

The following PhD students have been accepted to present papers or workshop sessions at upcoming events.

The GSA Annual Meeting

Sara Keary
“How do sexual minority older adults negotiate sexual orientation disclosure to health care providers?”

Kaipeng Wang
“Using a statistical package for social work research”

Society for Social Work and Research Annual Conference 2015 (SSWR)

Aakanksha Sinha
“Examining effects of food security and food choices on health outcomes in households in poverty” and “Health and social protection for orphans and vulnerable children: household cash transfers as mitigators of risk”

Drew Reynolds
“Household stress and adolescent behaviors in urban families: the mediating roles of parent mental health and social supports”

Leia Saltzman
[A paper examining the relationship between exposure to war and violence on mental health]

Melissa Harry
“Cultural inequivalence of CESD over time for Native Americans and White younger adults”

Hae Nim Lee
“The relationship between depression and obesity among Hispanic adolescents in three-generational households”

Jie Yang
“Age diversity in the workplace: the effect of relative age within supervisor-employee dyads on engagement”

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