Five PhD Students Enter the Academic Job Market

December 9, 2020 @ 5:20 pm
By Communications Office

Introducing our upcoming PhD graduates, their areas of specialization, and their dissertation topics

Since its inception in 1950, the doctoral program at Columbia School of Social Work has produced many of the world’s most influential leaders in social work and social welfare scholarship, both in the United States and around the world. Doctoral students receive a systematic intellectual grounding in the theory and history of social welfare, extensive training in research methods and statistics, concentration in a social work method specialization, and integrated exposure to social or behavioral science and theory.

The five PhD candidates in the above photo are the latest to have undergone this comprehensive course of study, and have just now entered the academic job market.

“Our Ph.D. Class of 2021 is highly accomplished and exemplifies Columbia University’s standards of excellence,” says Associate Professor and Doctoral Program Chair Carmela Alcántara. “I am proud that all five of them are poised to advance our understanding of the impact of contextual factors on the health and mental health of marginalized populations in domestic and international settings. In a year when the COVID-19 pandemic is amplifying long-standing health disparities in the United States and around the world, this research is timely and relevant, with the potential for having a major impact on research and policy.”

The names of the candidates, along with their research programs and dissertation titles, are listed below, and you can read more about them in this booklet (PDF: 25 pages).

Left to right in the above photo:

  • Mohamad Adam Brooks
  • RESEARCH PROGRAM: My research program examines mental health conditions among forcibly displaced people, as well as the wellbeing of service providers who assist displaced populations.
    DISSERTATION TITLE: “Mental health of refugees and asylum seekers in middle- and lower-income countries: utilization of counseling services, suicidal behaviors, and the wellbeing of service providers”

  • Luciana Giorgio Cosenzo
  • RESEARCH PROGRAM: My research program examines the interactions between the sociocultural context and mental and behavioral health among underserved communities. Currently, I am investigating the relationship among social ties, coping strategies, and sleep health among Latinx adults.
    DISSERTATION TITLE: “Examining sleep health in the social context: The effects of sociocultural and interpersonal stress on insomnia symptoms among Latinx adults”

  • Erica Eliason
  • RESEARCH PROGRAM: My research focuses on the effects of health insurance policies on disparities in maternal, child, and reproductive health outcomes, with a particular focus on Medicaid policies.
    DISSERTATION TITLE: “The effects of health insurance eligibility policies on maternal care access and childbirth outcomes”

  • Prema L. Filippone
  • RESEARCH PROGRAM: My research examines the effects of intersectional stigma and racism on women’s health decisions, engagement in care, and overall health outcomes.
    DISSERTATION TITLE: “A multi-methods approach to evaluating the effects of intersectional stigma on the health decisions of vulnerable women in Masaka region, Uganda”

  • Xiaoning (Jack) Huang
  • RESEARCH PROGRAM: I study social determinants and policy effects of welfare participation, health, and mental health disparities among immigrants and racial/ethnic minorities in the United States and globally.
    DISSERTATION TITLE: “Three essays on inequality and immigration”

* * *

The Columbia School of Social Work has awarded more than 500 doctoral degrees. Interested in joining their ranks? Please go to the PhD Program page.