Meet the School of Social Work’s three new faculty members: Salem Professor in Global Practice Theresa Betancourt and assistant professors Vincent Fusaro and Praveen Kumar. Betancourt’s research delves into issues of global mental health, Kumar focuses on environmental inequities and poverty, and Fusaro examines poverty policy in the United States.
Salem Professor in Global Practice
Theresa Betancourt’s research draws upon child development, humanitarian responses, global mental health, and implementation science to develop sustainable, evidence-based mental health and preventive interventions for children, youth, and families in communities characterized by extreme resource constraints. She is principal investigator of projects funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the National Institute on Minority Health. Betancourt comes to BC from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health where she also earned her ScD, and she brings with her the Research Program on Children and Adversity (RPCA).
Vincent Fusaro’s research examines poverty and poverty policy in the United States, especially with respect to households with children. Jointly trained as a social work researcher and a political scientist, his work is focused on the relationship between low-wage work and social welfare program participation, material hardships such as food insecurity and homelessness, the role of geography in sustaining social and economic disparities, and the evaluation of policies and programs to improve economic stability. Fusaro holds a PhD in Social Work and Political Science from the University of Michigan, where he was the recipient of the School of Social Work’s Doctoral Poster Award for his dissertation “Children in Immigrant Families & Economic Hardship.”
Praveen Kumar’s scholarship exists at the intersection of environmental inequities, poverty, and global health. A significant focus of his research explores economic, social, and behavioral determinants impacting the well-being of resource constrained rural communities of South Asia. Currently, he is a co-investigator of an NIH-funded study wherein he has deployed monitoring technologies to accurately record cookstoves’ usage patterns in below poverty line households of rural India. Kumar holds a PhD from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, and he has extensive professional experience in global development including his position as a management consultant at KPMG.