Degrees & Programs

Hand, Michelle

PhD Candidate

Areas of Interest
Women and Poverty
The food related needs of survivors of sexual trauma and trafficking
Community-based strategies for promoting greater food security
Impacts of food insecurity on mental health
Posttraumatic stress in older adulthood
Art-based therapy to address posttraumatic stress


Michelle D. Hand received her MSW from The Ohio State University and is a licensed social worker with experience in community mental health.  Hand’s research interests include women and poverty, with a particular focus on the role of community kitchens and gardens in addressing food insecurity, the food related needs of survivors of sex trafficking, and impacts of PTSD on the late life experiences of trafficking survivors. Hand has extensive transdisciplinary research experience in addressing issues related to food insecurity and social injustice.  This has involved using mixed methods approaches to explore food insecurity as well as the lived experiences of Korean Comfort Women and contributing to a concept mapping study on the needs of LGBTQQ students.  Selected publications in peer reviewed journals include: “The state of food mapping: Academic literature since 2008 and review of on-line GIS-based food mapping resources” and “When vacant lots become urban gardens: Characterizing the perceived and actual food safety concerns of urban agriculture in Ohio.”  Hand has independently taught courses in policy and generalist practice and has assisted with leading a study abroad course in Nicaragua.  She was awarded the Dodie Thomas Memorial Scholarship in 2010.