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College of Social Work welcomes new faculty

College of Social Work welcomes new faculty

September 7, 2023

The College of Social Work welcomes 10 new researchers, scholars, clinicians and thought leaders to its world-class faculty for the 2023-24 academic year. Check out the college’s newest faculty cohort:

Linking trauma exposure and health outcomes
Dr. Elinam Dellor studies the mechanisms linking traumatic experiences to poordevelopmental, health and behavioral outcomes over the life course. To accomplish this, she implements and evaluates evidence-based practices for child welfare–involved families, studies the biological consequences of chronic trauma exposure and uses web-based technology to address inequitable access to social services. Dellor aims to bridge research and real-world practice by taking a community-engaged approach and by grounding her work in principles of equity and anti-racism.

The healing justice framework
Dr. Lois Stepney is excited about what a healing justice framework offers to social work education and practice today. The framework centers collective care and healing to address the biopsychosocial impacts of living in a society where racism and other “isms” of oppression exist. A healing justice framework invites intentional efforts to create a collective future free from structural and systematic oppression. Additionally, Stepney is interested in research related to social work education.

Critical thinking in students
Students bring knowledge and experience to the learning environment, and the professor—using evidence-based engagement strategies, practice wisdom and intentionality—encourages them to think critically and discover. This has been Mitzi Moody’s philosophy since she began teaching in 2018. Her 15-plus years of professional experience in children’s mental health, medical and school social work, program planning, grant writing, social work administration and interdisciplinary practice enhances her ability to prepare students for today’s workforce. Additionally, Moody’s education in law combines her passion for people, policy and social justice.

Clinical expertise in the classroom
Kate Roush, a licensed independent social worker and double alumna of Ohio State, joins the college as a clinical assistant professor. Her areas of focus include supporting parents, caregivers and early childhood providers as they raise the next generation; dyadic family therapy; and trauma treatment for young children. Roush is also interested in professional development for those working in early childhood mental health. She is enthusiastic about bringing her expertise to students in the classroom to ensure that graduates are prepared for a variety of social work roles.

College students in recovery
Dr. Michael Broman researches systemic barriers and facilitators to substance use treatment/recovery. His dissertation research helped secure grant funding for a collegiate recovery program at Wayne State University, for which he is developing a needs assessment. Broman’s post-MSW practice experience is in substance use prevention and treatment. At Ohio State, he will collaborate to understand the needs of students in recovery here and elsewhere. Broman serves on the Michigan Opioid Task Force’s Racial Equity Workgroup and trains peer recovery coaches at the Detroit Recovery Project. These activities inform his research on recovery coaches’ work experiences as well as the barriers to substance use treatment faced by Black people.

Unveiling inequities faced by migrant sex workers
Dr. Ran Hu will join the College of Social Work in winter 2024 after completing her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of British Columbia’s Center for Gender and Sexual Health Equity. Hu is researching the impact of socio-structural inequities on the occupational health and safety of migrant sex workers in Vancouver. She has also worked with migrant women in sex work and survivors of trafficking in New York City, as well as rural-to-urban migrant sex workers in Beijing. Informed by her transnational work, Hu’s scholarship explores intersecting social-structural and epistemic inequities that contribute to gender-based violence, human trafficking and violence against sex workers.

Building rapport in order to facilitate treatment
Kelley Breidigan, assistant clinical professor, has worked extensively with individuals and families in various treatment settings, including the juvenile justice system and residential treatment. Most recently, she worked in private practice, specializing in strengths-based therapies with military populations, people with disabilities and aging populations. Breidigan values building rapport with clients and supports them in finding the best treatment based on their needs and goals. She has been a full-time lecturer at the college for 11 years and has collaborated with faculty and educational design teams to develop curriculum for clinical courses. Breidigan also conducts community trainings and public relations interviews for the college.

Seeking innovation to address homelessness
Dr. Katie Calhoun uses a critical lens to research community and policy responses to homelessness and poverty. She is particularly interested in understanding approaches that challenge assumptions of who is deserving of resources. Calhoun is currently studying guaranteed income (unconditional cash transfers) for people who are unhoused and safe parking lots for individuals sheltering in their vehicles. Her aim is to conduct research that is relevant to community members and can inform policy development and implementation.

RAISE faculty address environmental injustice
As part of Ohio State’s Race, Inclusion and Social Equality initiative, Dr. Amy Krings and Dr. James Lachaud will develop and lead interdisciplinary, innovative and impactful community-based research to mitigate and prevent environmental hazards in Ohio and beyond.

Environmental injustice and climate change are urgent issues globally and disproportionately impact the well-being of vulnerable and oppressed communities. Krings explores how members of marginalized communities come together to prevent, mitigate and resist environmental injustice in ways that increase health equity and social justice. Her research reveals opportunities for political and social changes to support health equity, including action by social workers. As a leading scholar in environmental social work, Krings grounds her questions and participatory methods in her practice experience as a community organizer and nonprofit manager in Cincinnati.

Housing precarity and its most visible and cruel form—homelessness—reflect social and environmental injustices in our society and are detrimental to almost every aspect of the lives of those affected. Lachaud explores how these situations contribute to eroding mental, cognitive and physical health and create a poverty trap and community disconnectedness and isolation. He also explores how systemic biases and social and housing policies contribute to housing crises, homelessness and health inequities. Lachaud hopes to engage and contribute to policies and programs for transformational changes to address these injustices.