Research Scientists

  • Since graduating from CSSW in 2000 with her MS and in 2009 with her PhD, Traci Schwinn has been developing and testing technology-based interventions to prevent substance abuse and other risky behaviors among adolescents. In particular, she has developed tailored interventions for girls and urban youth. Though her past work has focused on New York City area youth, she now uses web-based interventions to reach national samples of youth. Currently, she is conducting a study for youth ages 15 & 16 years who identify as LGBQ. Traci also serves on the Columbia University Institutional Review Board and is an adjunct professor at CSSW.

  • Dr. Timothy Hunt, PhD, MSW, LCSW-r, associate research scientist at the Columbia School of Social work, has been providing substance abuse treatment, and HIV prevention and care for over 30 years. His research areas include: 1) designing, testing and disseminating HIV/STI prevention and health promoting interventions, 2) studying the effectiveness of capacity building strategies and methods to support evidence-based HIV preventions; and 3) the adaptation and translation of evidence-based interventions aimed at reducing harm due to addiction to alcohol, tobacco and other substance related cardiovascular and infectious health risks.

    As Associate Director with the Social Intervention Group (SIG), the Global Health Research Center of Central Asia (GHRRCA), and Columbia’s Center for Healing of Opioid and Other Substance Use Disorders-Enhancing Intervention, Development and Implementation (CHOSEN), he is or has been PI or site PI of seven multi-site studies including UNICEF funded implementation study examining national capacity to provide social services in 10-countries in Europe and Central Asia, and the Middle East; now to be scaled up in 21 countries; the SAMHSA-funded study with Rochester and Yale (PI, Morse) called WORTH Transitions for women transitioning from prison and jails and linkage to medical transitional clinics; the CDC national adaptation and dissemination of couples-based prevention with CONNECT HIP (related to Health Promotions); the E-WORTH, PACT and BRIDGE intervention studies funded by NIDA for HIV prevention with populations formerly incarcerated, on probation and parole; and the Tomorrow’s Youth Study, examining a young adult after school intervention, Nablis, West Bank.

    He is a co-investigator on NIDA/SAMHSA’s HEALing Communities Study (El, Bassel, PI) designing and leading a community engaged intervention to reduce overdose deaths by 40% through promoting of EBPs in 16 NYS counties and in collaboration with 67 overall counties from Ohio, Massachusetts, and Kentucky. He remains in a private practice and is an international MINT trainer in Motivational Interviewing having been trained by William Miller, PhD.

  • All of Dr. Ronald B. Mincy’s research rests on the premise that for the United States to reduce poverty and provide equal opportunity for all, policymakers must address the problems faced by young uneducated black men, who continue to have the poorest life chances of anyone in our society.

    Ronald B. Mincy is the Maurice V. Russell Professor of Social Policy and Social Work Practice, and director of the Center for Research on Fathers, Children, and Family Well-Being. He is a co-principal investigator of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, and a faculty member of the Columbia Population Research Center.

    Dr. Mincy came to Columbia in 2001 from the Ford Foundation, where he served as a senior program officer and worked on issues including improving U.S. social welfare policies for low-income fathers, especially child support and workforce development. He also served on the Clinton Administration’s Welfare Reform Task Force.

    Dr. Mincy is the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters, and is the editor of Black Males Left Behind (The Urban Institute Press, 2006). In 2009, he received the Raymond Vernon Memorial Prize for Best Research Article in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Dr. Mincy is an advisory board member for the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan, the Technical Work Group for the Office of Policy Research and Evaluation, the Transition to Fatherhood project at Cornell University, the National Fatherhood Leaders Group, the Longitudinal Evaluation of the Harlem Children’s Zone, and The Economic Mobility Project of the Pew Charitable Trusts.

    Dr. Mincy is a former member of the National Institute of Child and Human Development council, the Policy Council, and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. He served as co-chair of the Grantmakers Income Security Taskforce and as a board member of the Grantmakers for Children, Youth, and Families. Dr. Mincy holds an AB from Harvard College and a PhD from MIT.

  • Dr. John P. Salerno (he/him) is a Provost’s Postdoctoral Research Scientist and Lecturer at the Columbia University School of Social Work. Dr. Salerno obtained his PhD in Behavioral & Community Health and Graduate Certificate in Measurement, Statistics, and Evaluation at the University of Maryland, and Master of Public Health and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the University of Miami. Dr. Salerno’s work focuses on addressing mental health inequities among marginalized Latinx youth communities, including undocumented immigrants, immigrants from the Northern Triangle (i.e., El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras), and LGBTQ+ youth. Dr. Salerno utilizes critically oriented and community-engaged research methods to counter structural inequities, such as racism, xenophobia, heterosexism, and cisgenderism, which drive mental health among these marginalized groups. Employing Intersectionality, Life-Course, and Minority Stress theories, Dr. Salerno’s recent research, funded by a $120,000 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, explores identity-related and psychosocial risk and protective factors for mental health among Latinx immigrant adolescents from the Northern Triangle. Building on this work, Dr. Salerno was recently awarded a $16,000 seed grant from the Columbia Population Research Center to investigate the lived experiences of stress and mental health among Latinx LGBTQ+ immigrant youth from the Northern Triangle. Adjacent to his research, Dr. Salerno engages in leadership and advocacy efforts, including as founder of the LGBTQ+ Students and Allies in Public Health organization, co-establishing the University of Maryland Prevention Research Center Anti-Racism Committee, and serving as a representative for the University of Maryland – University Senate Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Committee. Dr. Salerno strongly believes in health equity and social justice approaches that beg for stakeholders to not only consider but elevate the needs of disadvantaged, vulnerable, and oppressed populations.

    A listing of Dr. Salerno’s publications can be accessed here.

  • Dr. Dawn Goddard-Eckrich, EdD, MSS, has three primary areas of research, including: 1) designing, testing and disseminating HIV/STI prevention and health promoting interventions, 2) Community Participatory Research (CBPR) approaches to address health disparities, social determinants and equity related to health risks, access to care, and health related outcomes among minority populations. and 3) the cultural adaptation and of evidence-based interventions aimed at reducing HIV, IPV, substance abuse and wellness interventions.

    As Associate Director with the Social Intervention Group (SIG), she is currently leading studies on 1) examine disparities in Medication for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) Naloxone/Narcan and the availability of COVID-19 testing/vaccine among pharmacies in upstate New York, within the NIDA-funded HEALing Communities Study (HCS); 2) Using a reproductive justice framework the study Centering reproductive justice within COVID-19 vaccine distribution will be promoting vaccine choice in pregnancy among Black pregnant and lactating people in NYC; 3) Culturally adapting an evidence-based intervention to help reduce Opioid deaths among African Americans under community supervision in New York City.

    Dr. Goddard-Eckrich holds a doctorate in Health and Behavioral studies from Teacher’s College, Columbia University (2017). A Master’s degree in Social Sciences from University of Colorado, Denver (2000) and BA in Journalism from CUNY (1998).

  • Christopher Wimer directs the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at the Columbia University School of Social Work. He is also a Principal Investigator on the Robin Hood Poverty Tracker, which measures poverty and wellbeing in New York City. Wimer conducts research on the measurement of poverty, as well as historical trends in poverty and the impacts of social policies on the poverty rate. He also focuses on how families cope with poverty and economic insecurity, with a particular focus on how families manage food insecurity and other forms of material hardship. His work pays particular attention to the role of government policies and programs and their potential impacts on the wellbeing of low-income families and children. His work has been featured in leading scientific journals including DemographyJournal of Policy Analysis and ManagementSocial Service ReviewSocial Science ResearchCriminology, and the Journal of Marriage and Family. Wimer received his PhD in Sociology and Social Policy from Harvard University.

  • Dr. Dasgupta is an Associate Research Scientist in the Social Intervention Group (SIG), at Columbia University School of Social Work. Dr. Dasgupta’s research examines how gendered inequities of health, such as gender-based violence intersects with sexual and reproductive health, substance use, HIV risk, and among girls and women in the United States, Central Asia, India, and the Middle East.

    Dr. Dasgupta completed her PhD at the University of California, San Diego in 2015, after which she began a postdoctoral fellowship at SIG on the NIDA-funded T32 Training Program in HIV and Substance Use in the Criminal Justice System. As a T32 trainee, Dr. Dasgupta conducted epidemiologic research highlighting the need to address sexual and reproductive health concerns among women who use drugs and are affected by HIV.

    In addition, during this time, Dr. Dasgupta co-founded a multidisciplinary initiative called ASPIRE, which stands for Advancing Solutions in Policy, Implementation, Research and Engagement for Refugees – a program within SIG dedicated to leading meaningful research to respond to issues of forced migration. ASPIRE focuses on response efforts to the Syrian refugee crisis in Turkey, through the Providers ASPIRE study, and in Jordan, through the Women ASPIRE study. Dr. Dasgupta, and members of the ASPIRE team recently returned from Jordan and Turkey to meet with ASPIRE partners in-country, and validate study findings.

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