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Sarah Mikhail, director of the Grand Challenge at A Way Home America, and social work professors Maurice Gattis and M. Alex Wagaman after Richmond was selected one of 10 Grand Challenge cities at the True Colors United Impact Summit in Washington, D.C. [View Image]

From left, Sarah Mikhail, director of the Grand Challenge at A Way Home America, and social work professors Maurice Gattis and M. Alex Wagaman after Richmond was selected one of 10 Grand Challenge cities at the True Colors United Impact Summit in Washington, D.C., in 2019. (Courtesy photo)


Sharing their stories: Social work-led researchers are studying Horn of Africa migrants in greater Washington

Oct. 8, 2021, from VCU News

Building on her work with Tamil refugees in India, Associate Professor Miriam Kuttkiat, Ph.D., is leading a research team studying migrants closer to home. Sponsored by VCU’s Presidential Research Quest Fund, she and colleagues will study communities from four Horn of Africa countries – Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti – now living in the Greater Washington, D.C., area. On the research team are colleague Kyeongmo Kim, Ph.D., assistant professor, and five social work graduate students.

NIDILRR awards $600K contract to Partnership

Sept. 10, 2021, from School of Education

Associate Professor Matthew Bogenschutz, Ph.D., and doctoral student Sarah Lineberry are part of an interdisciplinary team at VCU’s Partnership for People with Disabilities that was awarded a $600,000 National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research grant. The grant will measure and track personal and health outcomes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who use Medicaid home- and community-based services.

Ten years later: How the KL2 Program at the VCU Wright Center trained a generation of research leaders

Sept. 2, 2021, from Center for Leading Innovation & Collaboration

Sarah Kye Price, Ph.D., was part of the first cohort of junior faculty (KL2 Scholars) focused on clinical and translational health research through VCU’s Wright Center. Now associate dean for faculty development and a professor, Price says her interdisciplinary colleagues “really shaped my ability to engage with interdisciplinary partners – and consider ways to collaborate in creative ways.”

Among LGBTQ+ youth, pets can be an important source of well-being — but also stress

July 16, 2021, from VCU News
A new study with multiple School of Social Work connections has found that pet ownership among sexual and gender minority emerging adults provides positive benefits but also comes with psychological stressors. The lead author is recently departed faculty member Shelby McDonald, Ph.D.; co-authors include three current Ph.D. students and two recent social work alumni.

VCU Social Work professor receives ‘rising star’ award in field of gerontology research

July 16, 2021, from VCU News
Assistant Professor Kyeongmo Kim, Ph.D., has received the 2021 Carroll Estates Rising Star Award from the Gerontological Society of America, recognizing him for his outstanding early career contributions in social research, policy and practice. 

iCubed Sustainable Food Access core member evaluates VCU student food insecurity

July 15, 2021, from VCU Inclusive Excellence
Associate Professor Youngmi Kim, Ph.D., has conducted three studies on VCU student food insecurity with an internal grant from the School of Social Work. The studies addressed the prevalence of student food insecurity, challenges associated with food insecurity and how students cope with those challenges.

18 receive project funding from VCU’s Presidential Research Quest Fund

July 2, 2021, from VCU News
Associate Professor Miriam Kuttikat, Ph.D., is among 18 VCU researchers who will share $512,00 in awards from the Presidential Research Quest Fund. Kuttikat’s project is titled “Testing Family Dynamics Among Eritrean Migrants in the Greater Washington, D.C. area.”

Project aims to reduce homelessness among LGBTQ+ youth, pregnant and parenting youth

April 5, 2021, from VCU News
Associate professors M. Alex Wagaman, Ph.D., and Maurice Gattis, Ph.D., are leading a new grant project focused on interventions to reduce homelessness among LGBTQ+ youth and pregnant and parenting youth. “We aim to increase visibility and develop a program that centers their needs and experiences, while drawing on the power of peer support and connections,” Wagaman says.

Study: For those on psychiatric medication, family caregivers can be valuable resource

March 9, 2021, from VCU School of Social Work
Professor Kia J. Bentley, Ph.D., LCSW, conducted an in-depth study, published in Community Mental Health Journal, around family members’ needs as caregivers to loved ones with serious mental illness. Her findings suggest families “crave inclusion and wish providers would more radically embrace both collaboration and balance in their approach to medication maintenance,” she says. 

Older African Americans in counties with a high number of Black residents are less likely to seek mental health care. Why?

Feb. 12, 2021, from VCU News
Research published in the journal Psychiatric Services by Assistant Professor Kyeongmo Kim, Ph.D., shows that in counties with a higher population of Black residents, older African Americans are less likely to seek mental health treatment. “It is important to understand the effect of geography, because accessing mental health care occurs in the community that people live in,” Kim says.

VCU News: Can pets help LGBTQ+ people cope with microaggressions?

Jan. 28, 2021, from VCU News
Angela Matijczak, a first-year social work doctoral student, led a study exploring how social support from humans and comfort from companion animals can help LGBTQ+ young adults deal with microaggressions. The published article was featured on the cover of the January issue of the journal Behavioral Sciences. 

Social work faculty and student researchers presenting at SSWR 2021

Jan. 12, 2021, from VCU School of Social Work
Twenty-four VCU School of Social Work faculty and students, representing 26 research initiatives, will be part of the annual Society for Social Work and Research’s virtual conference Jan. 19-22, 2021. Research collaborators include 27 faculty or professional social workers and 12 Ph.D. students from 26 different universities and institutions.

Research grants focus on preventing adverse childhood experiences, trauma

Nov. 18, 2020, from VCU News
VCU faculty from the School of Social Work and the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs are building on previous research with two new studies to better understand and prevent adverse childhood experiences and trauma through the health care, education and juvenile justice systems.

Social work professor’s research to explore outcomes for adult adoptees and foster care alumni

Sept. 22, 2020, from VCU News
When Hollee McGinnis was a college student, questions about her identity as a transracial adoptee from South Korea raised in an Irish-Catholic family sparked her undergraduate thesis and questions that have shaped her career.  

A ‘life-changing award’: Two VCU social work researchers receive NIH grants that ease student debt

Sept. 9, 2020, from VCU News
“It’s a big financial deal for me and everyone else whose applications were funded,” said Jamie L. Cage, Ph.D., an assistant professor beginning her fourth year with the school. That includes her colleague, Shelby E. McDonald, Ph.D., who received tenure and a promotion to associate professor over the summer and is starting her sixth year at the school.

How do alternative schools lead to positive outcomes for at-risk students?

April 29, 2020, from VCU News
Alisha Robinson, a senior in the School of Social Work, set out to study alternative education programs and how they can lead to positive outcomes for students who have been expelled or suspended long-term from other schools. 

For LGBTQ+ youth, pets may help with depression and anxiety in times of COVID-19 and social isolation

March 24, 2020, from VCU News
Over the past year, School of Social Work professor Shelby McDonald, Ph.D., and colleagues have conducted around 150 interviews with LGBTQ+ youth as part of a study into the kinds of stress they face and how different social supports can influence the impact of the stressors on mental health and resilience.

Opioid grant funds expanded curriculum and field agencies, adds M.S.W. stipends

Feb. 26, 2020, from VCU School of Social Work
The School of Social Work received one of 10 opioid-focused grants from the National Council for Behavioral Health to support new curriculum development, funding for field agencies to be involved and stipends for eight second-year master’s students.

Social work faculty Kyeongmo Kim, Nicole Corley earn national SSWR honors

Jan. 30, 2020, from VCU School of Social Work
Kyeongmo Kim, Ph.D., assistant professor, was part of a three-person research team whose work received a Society for Social Work and Research Excellence in Research Award-Honorable Mention, and Nicole A. Corley, Ph.D., assistant professor, was named one of 12 JSSWR Early-Career Mentored Reviewers. VCU social work professor Kia J. Bentley, Ph.D., LCSW, was recognized as Corley’s mentor.

Mastering research: These VCU conference presenters are grad students, but not Ph.D.s

Jan. 13, 2020, from VCU School of Social Work
For John Gyourko, it was an opportunity to realize an envisioned project and help at-risk children in foster care. For Nicole George, it was a chance to change perceptions and make a difference in the learning environment of Spanish-speaking elementary school children. In both cases, the master's students' research efforts led to presentations at the Society for Social Work and Research Conference in Washington, D.C.

2020 Society for Social Work and Research Presentations

Jan. 7, 2020, from VCU School of Social Work
Twenty-five VCU School of Social Work faculty and students presented or participated in more than 30 sessions at the 24th annual Society for Social Work and Research Conference in Washington, D.C.

Social work faculty help Richmond secure national award to end youth homelessness

Sept. 26, 2019, from VCU News
“Folks in Richmond were largely saying that we don’t have an issue with youth homelessness here; we don’t need to do anything different than what we’re doing because it’s not one of our problems,” said Alex Wagaman, Ph.D., an associate professor in the School of Social Work, who worked on the grant with colleague Maurice Gattis, Ph.D.

Quest Fund awardees share a common goal: improving the human condition

Aug. 8, 2019, from VCU News
Kyeongmo Kim, Ph.D., assistant professor in the School of Social Work, seeks to understand why minority older adults living in racially segregated neighborhoods are less likely to use mental health services than their white counterparts.

E-cigarette use by young adults linked to childhood maltreatment

May 10, 2019, from VCU News
“E-cigarette use has overtaken cigarette smoking among American adolescents. Those who have experienced childhood maltreatment may be at particular risk of using e-cigarettes, as these experiences have been linked to future nicotine dependence," said Sunny Shin, Ph.D., an associate professor in the School of Social Work.

Faculty and student SSWR presentations and discussions

Jan. 16, 2019, from VCU School of Social Work
The School of Social Work is pleased to acknowledge the faculty and student scholars and researchers taking part in the 23rd annual Society for Social Work and Research Conference.

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