Our Faculty

Our 40+ full-time faculty members represent the full spectrum of disciplines that make social work such a stimulating profession, from social policy to clinical social work to social enterprise administration. A number of them have achieved renown for their national and multinational research on social, economic, health, and mental health issues. Supplementing our full-time faculty are more than a hundred part-time instructors with expertise in areas of particular interest to our students, such as couples’ therapy, veterans’ mental health, criminal justice, and foster care services.

To learn more about our faculty and their work, read their individual profile pages or enter their names in the Academic Commons database.

  • Dr. Martí studies ways to promote positive mental health and resiliency among women in adverse situations: for instance, pregnant and parenting teens in the foster care system. A native of Puerto Rico who has worked in Jordan, she has a passion for promoting the globalization of social work education.

    Yamile M. Martí Haidar has taught at the Columbia School of Social Work since 2011. She has worked at the individual, community, and policy levels at mental health organizations, schools, community centers, and government agencies. She has clinical experience working with people affected by substance abuse and mental illness, and with children and families in the child welfare system. She has conducted therapy and group work with families and children in public schools, as well as with cancer patients, abused women, and abused/neglected children, among others.

    Dr. Martí has conducted research on the implementation and evaluation of a teacher-training intervention for empowerment, as well as a community empowerment intervention in Puerto Rico. She worked with Dr. Katherine Shear of CSSW on a five-year randomized control trial funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, designed to compare the effectiveness of Interpersonal Therapy versus Complicated Grief Treatment. Dr. Martí collaborated with Dr. Ellen Lukens and Dr. Mary Sormanti of CSSW on a psychoeducation intervention for young women who are pregnant and in foster care and conducted a qualitative study on the experiences of foster care mothers.

    Dr. Martí’s research areas include the development of resiliency and coping skills for children and women in crisis or facing adversity, the implementation and evaluation of interventions that promote positive mental health in children and women, psychoeducation, international social work, and the role of psychosocial and cultural factors on mental health.

    Dr. Martí is interested in the globalization of social work education. She has conducted research on intimate partner violence, contraception, and economic empowerment among Jordanian women and has worked as a social worker in Jordan and in Puerto Rico. She developed a course at CSSW that incorporates travel to Cuba and Chile. She has served as a consultant for UNICEF in Abkhazia and Macedonia.

    Dr. Martí holds an MA from Teachers College and an MSW and PhD from the Columbia School of Social Work.

  • For over two decades, Dr. Frye has led the design and testing of HIV prevention interventions, among populations, made vulnerable to HIV by social systems of oppression, including women who use drugs, gay men of color, and low-income, heterosexual, African-American cisgender men and women. A hallmark of her research program is an intellectual process that applies critical social and psychological theory to empirical data to inform the design of social and behavioral prevention interventions. She develops complex, theory-based conceptual models, specifying interconnected macro-, meso- and micro-level pathways, which she tests using carefully collected observational data and multilevel statistical models. Results, and further formative research, inform the design and testing of multilevel prevention interventions, using quasi-experimental and experimental study designs. The ultimate goals of Dr. Frye’s scholarship are to 1) reduce social stratification by developing the research base on multilevel drivers of health inequities; 2) design and test multicomponent and multilevel prevention interventions to eliminate health disparities; and 3) partner in an authentic way with community organizations, members and representatives to ground my scholarship in equity.

    Dr. Frye has been the Principal Investigator (PI) or Co-PI of over a dozen NIH/CDC-funded research grants, including a K01 (career development award), three R21s, three R34s, and two R01s, and has been a Co-I on numerous R01s, R56, and U01 grants. Dr. Frye recently completed TRUST (1R01 DA038108; Contact mPI: Frye), an HIV self-testing intervention and PEPTALK (1R21 AI122996; Contact mPI: Frye), a theory-based social and print media campaign to drive demand for PEP among MSM residing in upper Manhattan and the Bronx. With colleagues at Gay Men of African Descent, she tested, using quasi-experimental methods, CHHANGE (R21 MH102182-01; PI: Frye), a community-level, anti-HIV stigma and -homophobia intervention. She is currently funded to conduct CHHARGE (R34 MH121295-01; PI: Frye), which extends the CHHANGE model to include intersectional PrEP, PEP, and testing stigmas. These interventions build on results from NYCM2M (R01 HD059729-01: PI: Koblin), one of the first major, cross-sectional, social epidemiological studies of neighborhood and network effects on the health and well-being of gay men in an urban area; the study of 1500 MSM living in NYC was conducted between 2010-2012 and, in addition to producing a dozen peer-reviewed research reports, provided dissertation data for three doctoral candidates. Dr. Frye is currently co-leading similar research on neighborhood and network effects on HIV care-related outcomes using a longitudinal cohort study design (R01 MH110176-01A1; PI: Tieu; Co-I: Frye); finally, in this area, she is the mPI on ENVIO (R21 1MH2994614; Contact mPI: Tieu; mPI: Frye), an ecological momentary assessment-based study to evaluate the impact of environmental violence, including racism, homophobia and police brutality, on HIV care engagement among MSM of color.

    Dr. Frye also studies intimate partner and sexual violence, using mixed methods to characterize informal social control of violence. Like her work in HIV prevention, this observational research informs the design and testing of interventions. Most recently, she has focused on prevention among urban commuter campus college students with Department of Justice funding via the Office of Victims of Crime. In the 1990s, she and her health department colleagues mapped the epidemiology of intimate partner femicide in New York City. She is currently developing a program of research focused on partner and sexual violence prevention among urban commuter campuses students.Dr. Frye has authored over 85 publications, in journals such as JAMA, American Journal of Public Health, Social Science and Medicine, JAIDS, Lancet HIV, AIDS & Behavior, Violence against Women, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, PLOS ONE, Health & Place and the Journal of Urban Health, where she served as Associate Editor from 2008 to 2019. She is a Scitnetific Advisory Board member of the HIV Intervention Science Training Program for Unrepresented Investigators (NIMH R25 MH080665-07; PIs: El-Bassel, Wu) and a member of the Evaluation Core of the New York and the City University of New York School of Public Health Prevention Research Center (U48 DP 005008; PIs: Trinh-Shevrin, Thorpe, Huang). She was until February 2021 the Co-chair of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to which she was appointed in 2016 by the Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Obama. She has lived in NYC since 1987 and in Washington Heights since 1999 with her family; she and is an elected parent member of the District Six Community Education Council, serving Washington Heights and Inwood, where her children attend public school.

  • Susan Witte is a Professor of Social Work at Columbia University, where she has been on faculty since 2001. Dr. Witte served for 15 years as the associate director of the Social Intervention Group and has been a faculty affiliate since 2014. She is also a faculty affiliate at the Global Health Research Center of Central Asia at Columbia and the International Center for Child Health and Development (ICHAD) at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Dr. Witte's research is at the forefront of global and community health initiatives, focusing on intervention and implementation science at the intersections of women’s sexual and reproductive health, HIV risk, partner violence, and economic empowerment. Current projects include the Kyaterekera Project in Uganda, which reduces sexual risk-taking behaviors among vulnerable women through a combination of HIV and economic empowerment interventions and work with the Sauti Mashinani research team in Kenya, which examines the links between climate change, mental health, and violence in informal settlements.

    She is known for her work in developing couple-based and multimedia HIV prevention interventions and economic empowerment interventions. Her work has significantly influenced HIV prevention strategies both domestically and globally, made possible by securing sustained funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since 2001.

    Dr. Witte is deeply committed to community-engaged scholarship, which seeks to dismantle systemic inequities through collaborative research and shared knowledge production. She collaborates with colleagues and communities in the United States and abroad. Her courses on community-based participatory research, reproductive justice, and social support are infused with a critical analysis of power, race, oppression, and privilege. These courses aim to equip students with the tools to address and understand the complex dynamics of oppression and privilege that shape social policies and practices.

    As a mentor, she fosters future social work practitioners and researchers equipped to challenge disparities and lead transformative change. Dr. Witte holds a Ph.D. in Social Work from Columbia University, an M.S.W. from the University of Connecticut, and a B.A. cum laude in Public Policy Studies from Duke University. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New York State, she integrates her practical expertise with academic rigor.


  • With a focus on sub-Saharan and East Africa, Dr. Winter’s research focuses on the social and environmental determinants driving inequities in women’s health and access to health-related services.

    Dr. Samantha Winter is an assistant professor at the Columbia School of Social Work. Before joining Columbia she was the Dorothy Byrne Postdoctoral Fellow in Global Health at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. Dr. Winter’s research focuses on inequities in women’s health and access to health-related services; water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH) and health in sub-Sahara Africa; health-related behavior; access to and distribution of health-related services in informal settlements in East Africa; and the role of social disorganization in access to health-related services.

    In future research, Dr. Winter aims to examine social and environmental determinants of women’s health and access to healthcare in informal settlements in East Africa; the effect of health, environment, and violence screening tools on healthcare in informal settlements; the role of social cohesion and networks in women’s access to health-related services, including WASH, in informal settlements in East Africa; and the effect of violence-prevention interventions in reducing intimate partner violence and improving mental and physical health outcomes for women in informal settlements in East Africa.

    Dr. Winter’s work in Kenya has focused on women’s access to WASH and the social and environmental factors that influence that access, as well as women’s physical and mental health outcomes—including experiences of gender-based violence—in informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya, and on women’s empowerment, perceptions of gender norms, efficacy, and gender-based violence among women who participate in health groups and women’s sports in Kwale County, Kenya.

    Dr. Winter received her PhD and her MA in Social Work from Rutgers University. She also holds an MS in Environmental Engineering and Science from Stanford University and a BS in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University.

  • With over 100 publications in books and journals on adolescent mental health, Dr. Feldman is a respected authority on teens at risk for antisocial behavior.

    Dr. Ronald A. Feldman has served as a faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley School of Social Welfare and the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University, St. Louis where he also was Acting Dean and a recipient of the university-wide Distinguished Faculty Award.  At CUSSW he has served as Associate Dean (1985-1986) and Dean (1986-2001). He also was a Fulbright Lecturer at the Social Services Academy, Ankara, Turkey, a visiting lecturer at the University of Hawaii, and Resident Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation Study Center, Bellagio, Italy. Dr. Feldman is a Fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare.

    Among his main scholarly and teaching interests are adolescent mental health, youth development, group work practice, and contemporary professional education. Dr. Feldman was Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Youth Development at Boys Town, Nebraska and Founding Director of the Center for Adolescent Mental Health at Washington University, St. Louis and Columbia University. He has served as a trustee, director or board member of the William T. Grant Foundation, the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, the Martha K. Selig Educational Institute, the International Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions, and schools of social work at the University of Pennsylvania, Case Western Reserve University, and Washington University, St. Louis. He also has served as Chairman of the Commission on Educational Policy of the Council on Social Work Education, Vice Chairman of the Task Force on Social Work Research of the National Institute of Mental Health, sole social work member of the Institute of Medicine’s Board on Biobehavioral and Mental Disorders, U.S. delegate for Oxford University Press, and board member of the Council on Social Work Education, the National Network of Social Work Managers, the Inter-University Consortium on International Social Development, and the Society for Social Work and Research. He has been honored by proclamations from the Missouri House of Representatives, the Manhattan Borough President, and Senator Charles E. Schumer.

    Dr. Feldman is the senior author, co-author or co-editor of 10 scholarly books (including Contemporary Approaches to Group Treatment, The St. Louis Conundrum: The Effective Treatment of Antisocial Youths,and Children at Risk: In the Web of Parental Mental Illness).and the author or co-author of 100 publications in professional journals and books. He also has served as Principal Investigator for numerous funded research projects and as an expert witness in litigation regarding adolescent abuse, arson and suicide. In 2012 he was the recipient of the Lifetime Career Achievement Award conferred by the Society for Social Work and Research.

    Received Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Michigan School of Social Work in 2016.

  • Dr. Eschmann writes on educational inequality, community violence, racism, social media, and youth wellbeing. His research seeks to uncover individual, group, and intuitional-level barriers to racial and economic equity, and he pays special attention to the heroic efforts everyday people make to combat those barriers.

    Dr. Eschmann’s research investigates the effects of online experiences on real-world outcomes. From his work on the relationship between online communication and community violence, to his current work on race and racism in the digital era, his research bridges the gap between virtual and face-to-face experiences. His forthcoming book with the University of California Press, When the Hood Comes Off: Racism and Resistance in the Digital Era, will systematically explore the ways online communication has changed the expressions of racism, its effects on communities of color and society, and resistance to racism at individual and structural levels.

    Dr. Eschmann has taught classes on race and racial justice, urban education, social welfare policy, statistics, and program evaluation.

    Dr. Eschmann received both his Master’s degree and his PhD in Social Service Administration at the Crown School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice at the University of Chicago. Prior to coming to Columbia, he was on the faculty at the Boston University School of Social Work, where he also served as Assistant Director of Research at BU’s Center for Antiracist Research.

  • Dr. Hartley’s research focuses on labor and public economics related to public policy and family outcomes across generations.

    Rob Hartley is an applied microeconomist working in the fields of labor and public economics. His research addresses the role of social policy on the persistence of poverty and dependence, particularly through childhood exposure or labor market outcomes. Dr. Hartley also has a background in Christian ministry that has concentrated on serving and working alongside those in poverty.

    Dr. Hartley has written about intergenerational patterns in welfare participation as well as food insecurity, and he has specifically focused on behavioral responses to welfare reform. Additionally, he has used microsimulation evidence to examine poverty and the distributional impacts of alternative income guarantee designs that could supplement and modernize the Earned Income Tax Credit. His research on work-based welfare, in-kind benefits, and childcare subsidies has direct application to the field of social work and the related economic principles behind challenges faced by many families.

    In 2017, Dr. Hartley joined the Columbia School of Social Work as a postdoctoral research scientist with the Center on Poverty and Social Policy, and as a fellow with the Columbia Population Research Center. As of 2019, Dr. Hartley teaches economics and policy analysis as assistant professor of social work. He holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, an MDiv in Theology from Emmanuel School of Religion, and a PhD in Economics from the University of Kentucky.

  • As a supervisor, manager, and senior leader of social service agencies, Dr. Greenberg teaches students how to use their clinical skills to move an organization’s vision forward.

    Rick Greenberg, LCSW-R, is a clinician, educator, manager, and leader within the social work community of New York City. Prior to his appointment at the Columbia School of Social Work, he had been a senior leader at both Episcopal Social Services and the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services, overseeing program divisions and support departments. As a consultant, coach, trainer, and supervisor, Dr. Greenberg works with individuals and organizations to advance clinical, program, and administrative expertise in supervision, management, and leadership, including program development and program evaluation. He conducts all his work through a lens of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice.

    As a member of the CSSW Social Enterprise Administration faculty, Dr. Greenberg teaches across social work disciplines with courses in management, leadership, clinical practice, and evaluation. He teaches both residential and online classes. As an adjunct associate professor, he taught Research Methods in the Graduate School of Social Work at New York University for 33 years. He has also taught courses on topics including Differential Treatment Interventions, Linking Practice and Policy, Transference and Counter-Transference, and Assessment and Treatment Planning.

    Dr. Greenberg holds a BA from the State University of New York at Buffalo, an MSW from New York University, a PhD from the Columbia School of Social Work, and a certificate from the Institute for Not-for-Profit Management Executive Leadership Program of the Columbia Business School.

  • Dr. Hara’s work has focused on support for cancer patients, their caregivers, and those bereaved by cancer.

    Dr. Richard Hara is a Lecturer at the Columbia School of Social Work, where he teaches courses on direct practice, clinical practice evaluation, and health care policy. He previously served as a clinical social worker at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and as Director of Online Services at CancerCare, in which role he managed a national program of online support groups serving the needs of cancer patients and caregivers.

    Dr. Hara has presented on cultural competence in oncology social work, end-of-life and bereavement counseling, and the use of online communication with clients in a clinical context. He co-authored a guide for cancer caregiving, and has published articles on cancer survivorship, domestic violence screening, and intervention issues in the oncology population. He contributed a chapter on bereavement groups to the Handbook of Oncology Social Work (Oxford University Press, 2015). He has been the principal investigator for an institutional training grant from the American Cancer Society for second year MSW students in clinical oncology social work.

  • For over a decade, Dr. Anderson has been working with Black youth and their families to “dropkick” racism and engage in resistance for a healthy mind, body, and spirit. Her mission is to develop programs, products, and places which eradicate the impact of discrimination on Black youth’s mental health.

    Dr. Riana Elyse Anderson is currently a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University and will be on leave next year to pursue a prestigious fellowship with the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. She earned her PhD in Clinical and Community Psychology at the University of Virginia and completed a Clinical and Community Psychology Residency at Yale University’s School of Medicine and a Fellowship in Applied Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. On the whole, Dr. Anderson aims to facilitate healing in Black families with practical applications of her research and clinical services, as well as through public engagement, teaching, mentorship, and policy recommendations. Dr. Anderson uses mixed methods to study discrimination and racial socialization in Black families and apply her findings to help families reduce their racial stress. She is particularly interested in how family-based interventions help to improve Black youth’s psychosocial well-being and health-related behaviors. Dr. Anderson is the developer and director of the EMBRace (Engaging, Managing, and Bonding through Race) intervention and loves to translate her work for a variety of audiences, particularly those whom she serves in the community, via blogs, video, and literary articles. Finally, Dr. Anderson was born in, raised for, and returned to Detroit and is becoming increasingly addicted to cake pops.

  • Qin Gao is a leading authority on China’s social welfare system and the founding director of Columbia University’s China Center for Social Policy, the first research center of its kind within a school of social work.

    Qin Gao is a Professor of Social Policy and Social Work and the founding director of Columbia University’s China Center for Social Policy. She is a faculty affiliate of the Columbia Population Research Center (CPRC) and of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, a member of the Faculty Steering Committee for the Columbia Global Centers | Beijing, an Academic Board Member of the China Institute for Income Distribution at Beijing Normal University, and a Public Intellectual Fellow of the National Committee on United States-China Relations.

    Dr. Gao’s research examines the changing nature of the Chinese welfare system and its impact on poverty and inequality; effectiveness of Dibao, China’s primary social assistance program; social protection for rural-to-urban migrants in China and Asian American immigrants; and cross-national comparative social policies and programs. Dr. Gao’s book, Welfare, Work, and Poverty: Social Assistance in China (Oxford University Press, 2017) presents a systematic and comprehensive evaluation of the world’s largest social welfare program. Dr. Gao’s work has been supported by multiple national and international funding sources such as the National Natural Science Foundation of China, National Social Science Fund of China, Asian Development Bank, UNICEF, and the World Bank.

    Dr. Gao holds a BA from China Youth University of Political Studies (China), an MA from Peking University (China), and an MPhil and PhD from the Columbia School of Social Work. She has recently been interviewed by the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs; the Council on Foreign Relations; and SupChina’s Sinica Podcast.

  • Dr. Ovita Williams is the Executive Director of the CSSW Action Lab for Social Justice at Columbia School of Social Work. She also serves as Associate Director of Field Education, and acted as Interim Dean and Director of the department for two years. Dr. Williams has taught the Social Work Practice and Domestic Violence course at CSSW and the Social Work Practice Lab for Liberation and Social Justice at Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter CUNY. Dr. Williams is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in intimate partner violence and forensic social work practice with ten years of experience as the Director of Clinical Services in the Counseling Services Unit at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office. Prior to this position, Dr. Williams was a therapist at the Children’s Aid Society.

    During her time at CSSW, Dr. Williams has facilitated the Seminar in Field Instruction (SIFI) for new field instructors and expanded the Advanced SIFI around holding critical conversations in the supervisory relationship.

    Dr. Williams has developed and facilitated interactive workshops for social workers, managers, and various practitioners on facilitating challenging dialogues around racism, class, gender, sexual orientation and intersecting identities. At Columbia, Dr. Williams has worked with students, alumni, faculty and administrators on the development of the foundations course, “Decolonizing Social Work”, through a power, race, oppression, and privilege framework. The course centers undoing anti-black racism and dismantling white supremacy culture.

    A graduate of Vassar College (’90) and Columbia University (’93), Dr. Williams received her PhD from the City University of New York Graduate Center, Silberman School of Social Welfare. Her dissertation addresses the impact of stress, vicarious trauma and structural racism on social workers practicing in district attorney offices while supporting intimate partner violence survivors.

    Dr. Williams is co-author on the recent book Learning to teach, teaching to learn: A guide for social work field education, 3rd Edition (2019) published by the Council on Social Work Education.

  • Dr. Nkemka Anyiwo is an artist and youth advocate who is dedicated to supporting Black youth in cultivating loving and culturally affirmed realities where they can holistically thrive. She applies a multimethod, transdisciplinary approach to identify the cultural, communal, and contextual influences that shape how Black youth 1) make meaning of themselves and their society and 2)  engage in practices to promote joy, social justice, and personal and collective wellness. Across this work, she engages media and creativity as a tool to foreground the lived realities and voices of Black youth.

    Core to Dr. Anyiwo’s work is the conviction that the brilliance and innovation of Black youth are essential to knowledge production and social transformation. She seeks to work in community with youth, and the important figures in their lives, to design research projects, policies, and programs that are grounded in a developmental science centering a holistic vision of Black humanity.

    Dr. Anyiwo earned her MSW and PhD in Social Work and Developmental Psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and BAs in Psychology and African American Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park.

    Personal Website: www.nkemkaanyiwo.com
    Research Website: www.blackyouthimpact.com
    Twitter: @NkemkaA

  • An economist and journalist by training, Dr. Kaushal is an expert on comparative immigration policy and the author of an acclaimed book on this topic, Blaming Immigrants.

    She is professor of Social Policy and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She is also a research fellow at IZA, the Institute of Labor Economics (Bonn, Germany).

    Her current research includes labor market impacts of foreign-trained registered nurses and physicians, how immigration of foreign-trained physicians impacts healthcare use and health outcomes of the U.S. population, cross-national research on immigration in the United States and Canada, the impact of local policies (such as local immigration enforcement and state DREAM Acts) on the health and mental health of undocumented immigrants, the effect of the Syrian refugee crisis on electoral preferences in Turkey, and the long-term impact of tribal resettlement in India.

    Dr. Kaushal is the author of Blaming Immigrants: Nationalism and the Economics of Global Movement (2018, Columbia University Press), in which she investigates the core causes of rising disaffection towards immigrants globally and tests common complaints against immigration. She has authored or co-authored over 50 peer-reviewed scientific articles and book chapters on immigrants and other vulnerable populations. She writes a monthly column in the Economic Times, India’s largest financial daily, and she is currently working on a documentary on tribesfolk in India.

    She holds a BA in economics from Sri Ram College of Commerce (India), an MA in economics from the Delhi School of Economics, and a PhD in economics from the Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York.

  • Dr. Natasha Johnson is a personality psychologist and social work scholar who utilizes quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods to assess culturally-relevant developmental processes that facilitate resilience for Black youth. Her three research foci are: (1) social identities, (2) vulnerability and resilience in the context of racial discrimination, and (3) racism awareness. She aims to reduce mental health disparities by developing and evaluating sustainable interventions that promote Black youth’s wellness. Dr. Johnson’s current work examines racism awareness development, a phenomenon defined as the cognitive process through which a person knows about, makes meaning of, and understands racial inequality. Her goal is to build empirical evidence for racism awareness influence on Black youths’ development and experiences. She is also developing a psychometric tool, using qualitative and quantitative methods, that will capture youths’ understanding of racial inequality across historical, individual, interpersonal, and institutional contexts. This multidimensional scale of racism awareness will advance scientific knowledge on the developmental process of racism awareness and support intervention programs that address race-related stress.

    Dr. Johnson is a Detroit native and Spelman alumna, who earned her MSW and joint PhD in Social Work and Psychology at the University of Michigan.

  • A leading figure in intervention science for the prevention and treatment for HIV/AIDS, Dr. El-Bassel, now a University Professor, is known for her work explicitly targeting couples, enabling them to practice safer sex, reduce HIV, and resolve conflicts without violence.

    Dr. El-Bassel is the Willma and Albert Musher Professor of Social Work. She is director of the Social Intervention Group, which was established in 1990 as a multi-disciplinary center focused on developing and testing prevention and intervention approaches for HIV, drug use, and gender–based violence, and disseminating them to local, national, and global communities. Her work has been funded extensively by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Mental Health. She provides significant national and international leadership to the global HIV and health agenda.

    She is also director of the Columbia University Global Health Research Center of Central Asia, a team of faculty, scientists, researchers, and students in New York and Central Asia committed to advancing solutions to health and social issues in Central Asia through research, education, training, policy and dissemination.

    In addition, Dr. El-Bassel has designed and tested a number of multi-level HIV and drug use intervention and prevention models for women, men, and couples in settings including drug treatment and harm reduction programs, primary care, and criminal justice settings. She studies the intersecting epidemics of HIV and violence against women, and she has designed HIV interventions that address these co-occurring problems with significant scientific contributions in gender-based HIV prevention for women.

    Dr. El-Bassel has published extensively on HIV behavioral prevention science and on the co-occurring problems of HIV, gender-based violence, and substance use. She has mentored HIV research scientists from Central Asia, and she has been funded by the National Institute of Health to train underrepresented faculty and research scientists on the science of HIV intervention and prevention.

    Dr. El-Bassel holds a BSW from Tel Aviv University, an MSW from the Hebrew University School of Social Work (Israel), and a PhD DSW from the Columbia School of Social Work.

  • Melissa Begg became Dean of Columbia School of Social Work on September 1, 2019. She is deeply committed to the pursuit of better science for a better society through research, education, practice and collaboration.

    Dr. Begg is a population health scientist with 30 years of experience and a longstanding commitment to developing the strongest possible evidence base for human health and well-being. Her early research focused on technical methods for evaluating associations from correlated data (such as sibling and family studies), especially as applied to early life determinants of adult health. Dr. Begg has promoted innovation in graduate health professional education, including the implementation of a major redesign of the Columbia MPH curriculum, emphasizing interdisciplinary engagement, practical skill-building, and leadership training for health professionals at all levels. In collaboration with public health and social work colleagues, she participated in launching a new cultural competency training program for MPH students, co-authoring a manuscript on the results. She formerly served as Vice Provost for Academic Programs for Columbia University and Co-Director of the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.

    Throughout her career, Dr. Begg has developed and directed a number of educational and career development programs to support success in interdisciplinary team science. She has led two NIH-funded training programs to promote diversity: one aimed at undergraduates from under-represented groups, introducing them to careers in the population health sciences; and one aimed at under-represented junior faculty, providing grant-writing advice, career guidance, and mentorship. In 2006, Begg received both the University-wide Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching and the Mailman School Teaching Award from the Graduating Class. She also received the 2013 ASPPH/Pfizer Award for Teaching Excellence. Over the past 15 years as an academic administrator, she has focused on convening interdisciplinary scientific teams, developing innovative curricula, creating mentorship programs, and enhancing diversity in the research workforce.

    Dr. Begg received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Fairfield University and a Doctor of Science in Biostatistics from the Harvard School of Public Health.

    Born and raised in Queens, New York, Dr. Melissa Begg first joined Columbia University as an Assistant Professor of Public Health (Biostatistics) in 1989, after receiving her ScD from the Harvard School of Public Health. Her early research focused on technical methods for evaluating associations from correlated data such as sibling and family studies, especially as applied to early life determinants of adult health.

    As she progressed as an academic, Dr. Begg found herself becoming more and more invested in developing and evaluating academic programs. She found it fascinating to consider how educational programs are created and implemented, and ways to assess whether students in these programs achieve the goals set for them. Reflecting this growing interest, she occupied a series of positions that expanded her capacity as an academic administrator.

    Rising to the position of Co-Director of the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at the Irving Medical Center—one of over 60 medical research institutions across the nation that work together to speed the translation of research discovery into improved patient care—Dr. Begg promoted innovation in graduate health professional education and directed a number of career development programs for young investigators. With independent funding from the NIH, she initiated two career development programs to promote diversity: one aimed at college undergraduates, introducing them to careers in the population health sciences; the other at underrepresented junior faculty, providing grant-writing advice, career support, and mentorship.

    When serving as Vice Dean for Education at the Mailman School of Public Health, Dr. Begg succeeded in implementing the redesign of the Master of Public Health program’s core curriculum to what has now become the industry standard—a daunting project that required close monitoring and evaluation on multiple levels.

    On the strength of these many achievements, Dr. Begg was recruited to join the Provost’s Office in 2014 as Vice Provost for Academic Programs. In this role she is charged with overseeing university accreditation, approval processes for all new educational programs university-wide, educational agreements with domestic and international partner institutions, cross-school fellowships and awards, the support of interdisciplinary research and teaching, selected faculty leadership development programs, and the academic review of schools and institutes at Columbia.

    Dr. Begg is the recipient of numerous awards, including the University-wide Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching and the Mailman School Teaching Award from the Graduating Class in 2006. In 2012, she was elected a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and received the Lagakos Distinguished Alumni Award in Biostatistics from her alma mater, the Harvard School of Public Health.

  • Dr. Akilova studies labor issues in Central Asia, especially the stress families experience when children work or fathers leave the home to become migrant workers.

    Dr. Mashura Akilova has been a lecturer at the Columbia School of Social Work since 2010, where she has taught Social Welfare Policy, International Social Development Practice, and Advanced Generalist Practice & Programming. She has practical experience around the issues of school dropout prevention, child labor, inclusive education, and labor markets in domestic and international contexts.

    Dr. Akilova has conducted qualitative studies on child labor in Central Asia and studied the effect of microfinance programs on child labor and education rates worldwide. She is working on a pilot study aimed at understanding the effect that the migration of household heads in Central Asia has on their wives’ and children’s mental, physical, and economic well-being.

    Dr. Akilova holds a BA and MA from Khujand State University (Tajikistan), an MSW from Washington University in St. Louis, and a PhD from the Columbia School of Social Work.

  • With extensive experience in hospital settings, Dr. Sormanti has developed a body of clinical and community-based work focusing on therapeutic responses to the traumas associated with terminal illness, bereavement, intimate partner violence, and disaster.

    Mary Sormanti has experience in direct practice, program development, and research with individuals, families, and communities affected by serious illness, bereavement, intimate partner violence, and disaster. She has worked in partnership with local and national organizations including the Open Society Institute’s Project on Death in America, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Project Liberty.

    Dr. Sormanti is a senior educational partner at the Center for Complicated Grief, where she organizes the field placement program, supervises MSW interns, and participates in research and educational projects. She also teaches a course in narrative medicine through the School of Professional Studies. She serves as a member of the Publication Committee of Columbia University Press, and on the Columbia Commons IPE Steering Committee, which developed and implemented Columbia’s first Interprofessional Day of Action in April 2018. This event brought together more than 1,800 students, faculty, and staff from nine schools and programs across the University, including the School of Social Work.

    Dr. Sormanti was the faculty recipient of a 2015 Community-Based Participatory Research Pilot Award from the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. Her research proposal, submitted with Marilyn Pacheco of Isabella, examined feasibility, acceptability, and potential benefits of creative arts groups with community-dwelling older adults.

    Dr. Sormanti maintains clinical licensure in New York and in Massachusetts. She holds an MS in narrative medicine from Columbia University, an MSW from New York University, and a PhD from Boston College.

  • With over 125 publications in peer-reviewed journals, Louisa Gilbert is a leading researcher on interventions for women suffering from the co-occurring conditions of gender-based violence, substance use, and HIV, in the United States and around the world.

    Dr. Louisa Gilbert is a licensed social worker with over 25 years of experience developing, implementing, evaluating and disseminating multilevel interventions to address gender-based violence (GBV), HIV/AIDS, substance misuse, opioid overdose, and trauma among key affected communities. Her research has advanced evidence-based computerized GBV prevention models that have been integrated into a continuum of HIV prevention, testing, and treatment interventions. She has served as the co-director of the Social Intervention Group (SIG) since 1999 and co-founder and co-director of the Global Health Research Center of Central Asia (GHRCCA) since 2007.

    Dr. Gilbert’s research has concentrated on developing and evaluating the effectiveness of implementing a continuum of evidence-based interventions to prevent intimate partner violence and other types of GBV among migrant women, women who use drugs, and women in the criminal justice system. These interventions are now being implemented in a range of organizations in the United States, India, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, and Ukraine. She has published on the co-occurring problems of gender-based violence, HIV, substance misuse, and overdose among key affected populations of women. Her research has been largely funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

    Dr. Gilbert holds a BA from Barnard College, and an MS, MPhil, and PhD from the Columbia School of Social Work.

  • An internist and psychiatrist, Dr. Kathy Shear is widely recognized for her work in anxiety disorders as well as prolonged grief disorder. She developed and tested Prolonged Grief Disorder Therapy (previously called Complicated Grief Treatment) which proved to be efficacious in randomized controlled trials. She is the founding director of the Center for Prolonged Grief, the only such center that currently exists within a university. The Center for Prolonged Grief has a large group of national and international affiliates and works to disseminate information about grief and adaptation to loss as well as prolonged grief disorder and its treatment.

    Dr. M. Katherine Shear is the Marion E. Kenworthy Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia School of Social Work and Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Shear began her work with studies of panic disorder by participating in the development and extensive testing of a cognitive behavioral therapy for panic. She has extensive experience in community outreach and was the recipient of a large community-based study of treatment effectiveness in women. She began studying grief in 1995. Her panic disorder and community-based infrastructure studies as well as grief intervention studies have been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health. Her adaptation-focused grief intervention has the strongest evidence base of any grief treatment to date. In addition, studies of suicide-bereaved individuals and bereaved military family members have been funded by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the United States Department of Defense. Overall Dr. Shear has received more than 18 million dollars in grant funding. More recently, GriefCare for Families, a publicly available app-based program for parents and caregivers of grieving children, was developed with funding from the New York Life Foundation.

    Dr. Shear’s work includes more than 330 peer reviewed publications. She has developed several widely used assessment instruments and a group of instructional materials for prolonged grief disorder therapy. Prior to coming to CSSW, Dr. Shear served on the faculties of Cornell University Medical College and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where she conducted research on anxiety disorders, depression, and grief. This included seminal work on the behavioral treatment of panic disorder, development of the Panic Disorder Severity Scale, and assessment and treatment research for mood and anxiety disorders.

    She has served on review committees of the National Institute of Mental Health and on the advisory council for its National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. She served as an advisor to the DSM-5 workgroup on complicated grief and adult separation anxiety, a member of the World Health Organization’s ICD11 Working Group on Mood and Anxiety Disorders, a member of the scientific advisory board of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and an elected member of the board of the Association for Death Education and Counseling.

    Dr. Shear received a BS in biology with honors from the University of Chicago and an MD from Tufts University Medical School. She completed residencies in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry and a psychosomatic fellowship before beginning her clinical research career.

  • Dr. Julien Teitler’s work explores how social environments and health care affect marriage, fertility, and childbirth.

    Julien Teitler is professor of social work and sociology. He teaches classes in Research Methodology, Macro Practice, and Human Behavior and the Social Environment.

    Dr. Teitler holds a BS from the University of Wisconsin—Madison and an MA and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.

  • The School’s first female dean (2002–2016), Dr. Takamura served as Assistant Secretary of Aging under Donna Shalala in the second Clinton administration. She has blazed a trail in the areas of elderly rights policy and advocacy.

    Jeanette C. Takamura is professor and dean emerita of the Columbia School of Social Work, where she served as the School’s first female dean. Much of her life’s work has been dedicated to the advancement of national and state policies and programs in aging, health, and related areas, as well as organizational change to ensure relevance and competitiveness within a global environment. During her tenure as dean, nine research centers were established, the majority with international or global foci.

    Dr. Takamura served as the assistant secretary for aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1997 to 2001. There, she led the development and enactment of a modernized Older Americans Act and established the National Family Caregiver Support Program, the federal government’s first formal recognition of the significant contributions and needs of family caregivers. Recognizing the challenges and opportunities presented by the coming of age of the baby boom population, she also spearheaded an initiative to lay the foundation for aging policy, program coordination, and collaboration across executive branch departments and agencies for the first decade of an increasingly global millennium.

    Early in her career, Dr. Takamura was a practicing social worker serving youth and families. She held senior executive positions in the Hawaii state government and faculty and administrative appointments in higher education in Hawaii and California. She has served on numerous national and international boards, commissions, and working groups, and is a fellow of the National Academic for Public Administration and the National Academy for Social Insurance. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Lucy Stone Award from the White House for her advocacy on behalf of older women and the enactment of the National Family Caregiver Support Program. In 2006, she was named a Social Work Pioneer by the National Association of Social Workers Foundation, the premier professional association for social workers.

    Dr. Takamura holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Sociology and a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Hawaii, and a PhD in Social Policy from Brandeis University.

  • The author of six books, Dr. Waldfogel is a world authority on policies that affect the well-being of children and families, including paid parental leave, universal preschool, and factors that increase social mobility.

    Jane Waldfogel is the Compton Foundation Centennial Professor for the Prevention of Children’s and Youth Problems, co-director of the Columbia Population Research Center, and a visiting professor at the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion at the London School of Economics.

    She has written extensively on the impact public policies have on the well-being of children and families. Her most recent book, Too Many Children Left Behind: The U.S. Achievement Gap in Comparative Perspective (Russell Sage Foundation, 2015), assesses how social mobility varies in the United States compared with Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. She is the author of five other books, including most recently Britain’s War on Poverty (Russell Sage Foundation, 2010), Steady Gains and Stalled Progress: Inequality and the Black-White Test Score Gap (Russell Sage Foundation, 2008), and What Children Need (Harvard University Press, 2006). Waldfogel has served as president of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management and is a corresponding fellow of the British Academy and a fellow at the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

    Waldfogel holds a BA in Psychology and Social Relations from Radcliffe College, an MEd from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a PhD in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

  • Heidi L. Allen studies the impact of social policies, like Medicaid – America’s health insurance for the poor – on access to health care, health and mental health outcomes, and financial well-being. She is a former emergency department social worker and spent several years in state health policy, where she focused on health system redesign and public health insurance expansions. The primary aim of her research is to eliminate disparities by rigorously informing and evaluating social policies that sit at the intersection of health and poverty. Allen was a lead investigator on the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment, a landmark study of the causal effects of expanding Medicaid, where she oversaw primary data collection for mail survey and in-person health screenings, qualitative interviews, and the development of an administrative emergency department claims database. Allen recently concluded an R01 survey and biomarker data collection effort that examined health and mental health outcomes in a randomized control trial of an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit. She has a newly funded R01 that follows up with Pregnancy and Risk Monitoring Survey (PRAMS) participants to understand access to health care, mental and physical health and social determinants of health at 12 months postpartum. This study will produce representative data for seven states and NYC. Allen has worked with numerous administrative data sources in her research, including evictions, payday loans, and all-payer claims health care data. Over the past decade, her research has been published in the leading medical and health policy journals and featured prominently in the media and during Medicaid policy proceedings. Allen is currently serving as a Commissioner on the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), a non-partisan legislative branch agency that provides policy recommendations to Congress, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the states, on issues affecting Medicaid and Medicaid enrollees.

    Dr. Allen is also interested in preparing social workers to work in the field of Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy (PAT). She has a certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research from the California Institute of Integral Studies (2023) and completed the MDMA Therapy Training Program offered by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) in 2022. Dr. Allen is developing a curriculum for psychedelic assisted therapy (PAT) specific to within-degree training programs for social workers. Columbia School of Social Work is welcoming the inaugural cohort of students for the Psychedelic Assisted Therapy Training Program (PTTP) in fall 2024. Dr. Allen serves on the Clinical Advisory Board at the Usona Institute, which is in Phase 3 clinical trials of psilocybin for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Dr. Allen was a speaker at Horizons New York and Psychedelic Science 2023.


  • Dr. Wu’s groundbreaking research, teaching, service, and activism emphasizes social justice and targets structural and systemic racism, especially anti-Black racism; heterocentrism and homophobia; oppression and discrimination; stigma; and ableism and other “isms.”

    Dr. Elwin Wu is the co-director of the Social Intervention Group as well as the HIV Intervention Science Training Program for Underrepresented New Investigators. His experience includes direct clinical practice with individuals, couples, and groups with agencies serving primarily the lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and transgender communities; evaluation of violence prevention programs for partner violence in same-/similar-sex relationships; and program development and evaluation for criminal justice-involved adolescents and adults.

    Dr. Wu’s HIV prevention and intervention research emphasizes social justice. While his research focuses on the health disparities faced by marginalized groups—such as the extraordinarily high rates of HIV infection among Black men who have sex with men—the interventions he develops and tests seek to ameliorate these health disparities by targeting structural and systemic racism, especially anti-Black racism; heterocentrism and homophobia; oppression and discrimination; stigma; and ableism and other “isms.”

    For more about Dr. Wu’s research interests, current projects, and publications, please see his bio on the Social Intervention Group website.

  • Dr. Schwalbe works on finding alternatives to incarceration and institutionalization for vulnerable young people who get trapped in the criminal justice system from an early age.

    Professor Craig Schwalbe has over a decade of experience in direct practice and administration in public and private agencies serving adults and children with serious mental illnesses and families involved in the child welfare system. At CSSW, Dr. Schwalbe teaches practice skills in foundation-year courses and advanced clinical practice skills in the second-year curriculum.

    Dr. Schwalbe’s scholarship focuses on minimizing the use of detention and incarceration for justice-involved youth. He studies the ways juvenile justice systems can identify youths who are at low risk of repeat offending, the ways evidence-based diversion programs can be implemented in community settings to reduce exposure of youths to the juvenile justice system, and which evidence-based probation interventions yield strongest outcomes for justice-involved youth. His research has been funded by UNICEF and the William T. Grant Foundation.

    Dr. Schwalbe is a recipient of the William T. Grant Scholars Award and is a contributing author for the 10th edition of the text Direct Social Work Practice: Theory and Skills. He holds a BA from Concordia College, an MSW from Augsburg College, and a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

  • Dr. Cogburn directs a research group that uses innovative means to characterize and measure racism and evaluate its effects on mental and physical health.

    Associate Professor Courtney D. Cogburn employs a transdisciplinary research strategy to improve the characterization and measurement of racism and in examining the role of racism in the production of racial inequities in health. She is also conducting research exploring the use of emerging technologies, including computational social science to examine patterns and psychosocial effects of cultural racism and how virtual reality experiences can lead to changes in attitudes, social perception and engagement (empathy, racial bias, structural competence and behavior). Dr. Cogburn is the lead creator of 1000 Cut Journey, an immersive virtual reality racism experience that was developed in collaboration with the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford University and which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2018. She is on the faculty of the Columbia Population Research Center and a core member of the Data Science Institute where she also co-chairs the Computational Social Science working group. Dr. Cogburn is also a faculty affiliate of the Center on African American Politics and Society. She directs the Cogburn Research Group and co-directs the Justice Equity + Tech (JE+T) Laboratory at Columbia University. Dr. Cogburn completed postdoctoral training at Harvard University in the Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar Program and at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. She received her Ph.D. in Education and Psychology, and MSW from the University of Michigan and her BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia. She is also a board member of the International Center Advocates Against Discrimination..

  • Dr. Lea’s research and scholarship investigate the intersectionality of race/ethnicity, class, and gender in educational, correctional, and neighborhood contexts, and the impact these issues have on the health and well-being of young Black men and boys at risk and involved in the juvenile and criminal punishment systems. The overarching aims of this work is to develop knowledge and build theory that informs policies, practices, and interventions that can promote resilience and healthy development among young Black men and boys’, as well as lessen their risk for health-compromising behaviors, arrest, incarceration, and recidivism.

    Dr. Lea’s research is informed by his practice experience with racial/ethnic minority youth and young adults in community, educational and correctional settings; prior research on prisoner reentry, school reform, and workforce and youth development; and training in qualitative methodology and community-based participatory research. Dr. Lea received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, MSW from the University of Michigan, and a B.A. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.

  • Dr. Alcántara works to advance health equity. She studies how discrimination and other stressors affect sleep and physical and mental health, particularly among Latina/o adults.

    Associate Professor Carmela Alcántara’s interdisciplinary research integrates psychology, public health, social work, and medicine to understand how structural and social factors affect sleep, mental health, and cardiovascular health, particularly in racial/ethnic and immigrant communities. These factors include nativity status, socioeconomic status, discrimination stress, and neighborhood circumstances. A licensed clinical psychologist with postdoctoral training in public health and behavioral medicine, she is a faculty affiliate of the Social Intervention Group and the Columbia Population Research Center.

    Dr. Alcántara translates epidemiological findings on social determinants of health to the development of culturally and contextually informed, evidence-based behavioral interventions to promote health equity. Her research examines the ecological relationship between sleep, self-regulation, and health behaviors in Latina/o adults, and she is director of the Sleep, Mind, and Health Research Program at the Columbia School of Social Work. She also studies barriers and facilitators to Latina/o surveillance health data disaggregation and the use of e-health to expand access to evidence-based psychological interventions for insomnia in racial/ethnic and immigrant communities. Her work has been supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; the National Institute of Mental Health; the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; the W.K. Kellogg Foundation; the Irving Institute for Clinical and Translational Research at Columbia University; and the Office of the Provost at Columbia University.

    Dr. Alcántara previously served as an associate research scientist in the Department of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. She completed a clinical internship at New York University-Bellevue Hospital Center and was a Kellogg Health Scholars Program postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Alcántara holds a BA in Psychology and Sociology with a concentration in Latina/o Studies from Cornell University, and an MA and PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan.

  • A medical sociologist, Dr. West has worked on programs that foster sexual and reproductive health and enhance the safety of people who use drugs.

    Dr. Brooke S. West is an assistant professor at the Columbia School of Social Work and faculty affiliate of the Social Intervention Group and is on the steering committee for the Columbia Population Research Center (PRA: HIV and Reproductive Health). As a medical sociologist, Dr. West’s research focuses on the social, economic, physical and policy factors underlying inequities in health among marginalized and criminalized populations, both globally and domestically. Drawing on both social science and public health approaches, her work centers primarily on the social and structural determinants of substance use and HIV/STI, with newer work examining violence exposure and reproductive health.

    Dr. West is the principal investigator on a NIDA-funded study that examines the intersection of venue-based risk and networks for substance-using women in Tijuana, Mexico, with the goal of capturing the dynamic and overlapping nature of risk environments and how connections to and movement between places can confer health risks. The integration of place-based and network methods, both of which have wide applicability for addressing health inequities in diverse settings, will inform the development of novel intervention approaches that seek to reshape environments and create safer spaces. Dr. West also works on projects related to overdose among women and the health of women more broadly, including the evaluation and development of sexual and reproductive health programs in Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, and the United States.

    Before joining the School of Social Work, Dr. West was an assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) with a dual appointment in the Department of Sociology. Prior to her appointment at UCSD she was a postdoctoral fellow on a T32 focused on substance use and infectious diseases. Dr. West received her PhD in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and her MA in Sociology from Cornell University.

  • BRENDA JONES HARDEN is the Ruth Ottman Class of ’45 Professor of Child and Family Welfare at the Columbia University School of Social Work. Before joining CSSW, Brenda Jones Harden was the Alison Richman Professor for Children and Families at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, and a Professor of Human Development at University of Maryland College Park. 

    Her research focuses on the developmental and mental health needs of young children who have experienced adversity, particularly those who have been maltreated or have experienced other forms of trauma. She is currently a PI on a longitudinal study to examine the brain and behavioral development of children experiencing adversity from the prenatal period through middle childhood. A particular focus of her research is preventing maladaptive outcomes in young children and their families who experience adversity through early childhood programs. She conducts numerous evaluations of such programs, including parenting interventions, early care and education, home visiting services, and infant mental health programs. 

    Dr. Jones Harden has consulted with and provided training to numerous organizations regarding effective home visiting, infant and early childhood mental health, reflective supervision, infant/toddler development and intervention, early care and education, and working with parents from impoverished backgrounds. She began her career as a child welfare social worker, working in foster care, special needs adoption, and prevention services, the latter of which became her long-term practice and research focus. She is a scientist-practitioner who uses research to improve the quality and effectiveness of child and family services and to inform child and family policy. 

    She is the immediate past-President of the Board of Zero to Three, and serves on various federal, state, local, foundation, and research advisory boards. She received a PhD in developmental and clinical psychology from Yale University and a Master’s in Social Work from New York University.

  • Dr. Hamid is an internationally recognized authority on substance abuse and the use of motivational interviewing to treat it.

    Dr. Andrew Hamid is a Senior Advisor to the World Health Organization’s Bureau of International Drug Prevention. He lectures on international health and social development, and on substance abuse. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and at Charles University (Prague). He has also been a Fulbright Visiting Professor at Istanbul University (Turkey). He holds an MSW from the University of Toronto, an M.Mus from the Royal Conservatory, and a PhD in Social Work & Psychology from the University of Michigan.

  • Dr. Ivanoff is an authority on dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)—a system of goals and rewards that can improve the lives of people with complex mental health disorders. Her DBT training program is the first and only such program to be offered in a school of social work.

    Dr. André Ivanoff has over 25 years of clinical and research experience in mental health, criminal justice and forensic settings. These include Seattle Emergency Housing Service, the Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic of the University of Washington Medical Center, the New York City Police Department and over two dozen adult and juvenile forensic/correctional settings in the United States and internationally. She presents widely at conferences, the most recent include Public Responsibility in Research & Medicine, the Association for Cognitive and Behavior Therapies, and the CMHS National GAINS Center conference.

  • Ana Abraído-Lanza's research focuses on cultural, psychological, social, and structural factors that affect health and mortality among Latinos; health disparities between Latinos and non-Latino whites; and the health of immigrant Latinos.  Her research on the Latino mortality epidemiologic paradox and on acculturation have contributed to national and international debates on the health of Latinos.  Prior to joining Columbia’s School of Social Work, she was Vice Dean and Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at New York University’s School of Global Public Health, and Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health.  Her honors and awards include the Dalmas Taylor Distinguished Contributions Award from the Minority Fellowship Program of the American Psychological Association, the Student Assembly Public Health Mentoring Award from the American Public Health Association, and the Mailman School’s Teaching Excellence Award. She served on the Community Task Force on Preventive Services of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and on Editorial Boards of Health Education and Behavior, and Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

  • A popular teacher of MSW students, Dr. Werman draws on a wealth of experiences ranging from running her own clinical practice for many years to serving as an evaluator of social welfare programs. She is well versed in nontraditional therapeutic approaches such as wilderness and outdoor therapy, and animal-assisted therapy.

    Dr. Amy Werman, LCSW, has been in clinical practice with individuals and couples for over 20 years. Over the course of her career, she has held positions in medical social work, direct clinical practice, research, program evaluation, and social work education.

    Dr. Werman describes her professional path as “anything but linear,” and her experience spans a range of therapeutic models. Her doctoral research built on her interest in family modality and focused on the negative consequences of father-mother-child relationship triangles. Upon receiving her doctorate, she worked on an NIMH study of adolescents with bipolar disorder and developed a specialty in mood disorders in her private practice. Dr. Werman has served as a program consultant and evaluator for Nirim in the Neighborhood and Pizgat Amir School, two organizations in Israel that intervene with at-risk youth using an intensive case management/wilderness therapy model. She has participated in several wilderness missions in the deserts of Israel. Dr. Werman and her pug, Gussie, are licensed by Pet Partners and HOPE AACR as a crisis-response therapy team. During a brief hiatus from social work while raising her young children, Dr. Werman also established a small baking business.

    Dr. Werman holds an MSW from the Columbia School of Social Work (1982) and a DSW from Adelphi University School of Social Work (2001).

  • Dr. Kapadia researches the stigma attached to mental illness. Her work has shown that college students who are depressed rarely seek help.

    Dr. Amy Kapadia began teaching at the Columbia School of Social Work in 2007 and joined the full-time faculty as a lecturer in 2014. She previously served as a research scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Her research interests include the mental health effects of discrimination and stigma among marginalized groups, and psychosocial intervention development/evaluation within the field of mental health. She has clinical and programming experience working in community-based settings with individuals with mental health challenges and substance use issues. She teaches first- and second-year courses within the Clinical and Advanced Generalist Programming and Practice tracks and created a mini-course focusing on the impact of mental health stigma across trajectories.

    Dr. Kapadia holds a PhD from the Columbia School of Social Work.

  • As an epidemiologist, Dr. Davis focuses her research on improving marginalized populations’ access to health care, thereby reducing HIV, sexually transmitted infection, tuberculosis, and drug abuse.

    Dr. Alissa Davis is an Associate Professor at Columbia University School of Social Work and Faculty Affiliate of the Social Intervention Group. Her research focuses on the development of interventions to improve linkage to and retention in care for HIV/STI and substance use services for marginalized populations, including racial/ethnic and sexual minorities, individuals involved with the criminal justice system, and people who inject drugs (PWID). Her research integrates both quantitative and qualitative methods. She has worked both domestically and internationally in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and China. Her work has been supported by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Fogarty International Center, and the Mellon Foundation.

    Her current research focuses on developing and adapting a couples-based intervention to improve antiretroviral therapy adherence among people who inject drugs in Kazakhstan and examining HIV incidence among women infected with Trichomonas vaginalis infection in New York City.

    Before coming to the School of Social Work in July 2018, Dr. Davis was an NIH T32 Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at the Columbia University Medical Center and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. She received a PhD in Epidemiology from Indiana University-Bloomington and an MA in International Relations from Syracuse University.

  • Dr. Mui is a world-renowned social gerontologist in cross-cultural research. Her current focus is on dementia caregiving and on the validation of dementia screening instruments among community-dwelling older Chinese and Chinese American populations in New York City and globally.

    Dr. Ada Mui is a social gerontologist specializing in cross-cultural research. She has extensive practice experience with older adults in Hong Kong and the United States. Her research interests include international gerontology, productive aging, older volunteers, age-friendly communities, self-care, family caregiving, medical care, community-based long-term care, psychological well-being, depression, religiosity, immigration, and acculturation experiences among older populations.

    Dr. Mui’s awards and recognitions include a Fulbright Scholarship, the Fulbright Senior Specialist Award, the Busse Research Award from the Pan American Congress on Gerontology, and the Outstanding Mentorship Award from the Gerontological Society of America. She is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and a faculty associate at the Center for Social Development at the Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Mui is also an honorary professor at Beijing Normal University, Beijing Youth Politics College, and the University of Hong Kong, China. She previously served as a fellow at the Sau Po Center on Aging at the University of Hong Kong. Dr. Mui holds a PhD from Washington University in St. Louis.

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