Research News

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)


July 16, 2021

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

    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. 

July 16, 2021

July 15, 2021

  • Inclusive Excellence: iCubed Sustainable Food Access core member evaluates VCU student food insecurity

    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. 

July 2, 2021

April 5, 2021

  • VCU News: Project aims to reduce homelessness among LGBTQ+ youth, pregnant and parenting youth

    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 LGTBTQ+ 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. 

March 9, 2021

  • School of Social Work: Study: For those on psychiatric medication, family caregivers can be valuable resource

    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.

Feb. 12, 2021

Jan. 28, 2021

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

    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.

Jan. 12, 2021

  • School of Social Work: Social work faculty and student researchers presenting at SSWR 2021

    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.

Nov. 18, 2020

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.

Sept. 22, 2020 

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.  

Sept. 9, 2020

“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.

April 29, 2020

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.

March 24, 2020

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.

Feb. 26, 2020

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.

Jan. 30, 2020

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.

Jan. 13, 2020

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.

Jan. 7, 2020

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.

Sept. 26, 2019

“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.

Aug. 8, 2019

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.

May 10, 2019

“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.

Jan. 16, 2019

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.

Virginia Commonwealth University
School of Social Work
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Richmond, Virginia 23284-2027

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