Leadership & Faculty


Simmons School of Social Work (SSW) faculty are experienced teachers and professionals in the field of social work. They are actively engaged in their communities as clinicians, consultants, educators, researchers, and leaders. With research expertise in issues such as child welfare, pediatric chronic illness, gerontology, health care disparities, trauma, HIV/AIDS, refugees, family bereavement, and social policy, our faculty members bring their commitment for civic engagement and social justice to their work and to the classroom.

To learn more about SocialWork@Simmons faculty, contact an Admission Counselor at 1-855-523-7779.

Joanna Almeida

Associate Professor, Social Work


BA-University of Vermont
MSW-Boston University
MPH-Boston University
ScD-Harvard School of Public Health

What I Teach

SW441-Research Methods
SW509-Program Evaluation
SW464-Understanding Suicide
SW481-Social Work, Health & Health Care
SW633-Survey Research Methods


O’Brien KMH, Almeida J, View L, Schofield M, Hall W, Aguinaldo L.D, Ryan C.A, & Maneta, E. Development of a safety and coping planning intervention for suicidal adolescents in acute psychiatric care. Cognitive & Behavioral Practice. (In press).

Sattler LJ, Thomas KA, Vaughn M, Almeida J & White L. (2019). Community Matters: GxE Interactions Between Dopamine and Serotonin Polymorphisms and Community-Level Factors in Predicting Childhood Aggression and Violent Behavior. Journal of Criminal Justice. 61: 58-71.DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2019.03.002.

O’Brien KMH, Nicolopoulos A, Almeida J, Aguinaldo, LD & Rosen, RK. (2019). Why adolescents attempt suicide: A qualitative study. Archives of Suicide Research. DOI: 10.1080/13811118.2019.1675561.

Lee DS, Colby SM, Rohsenow DJ, Martin R, Rosales R, Tavares-McCallum T, Falcon L, Almeida J & Cortes DE. (2019). A randomized controlled trial of motivational interviewing tailored for heavy drinking Latinx. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. 87(9), 815-830.DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/ccp0000428.

Taliaferro LA, Almeida J, Aguinaldo LD, McManama O’Brien KH. (2019). Function and progression of non-suicidal selfinjury and relationship with suicide attempts: a qualitative investigation with an adolescent clinical sample. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 24(4), 821-830.DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1359104519862340.

Almeida J, Becares L, Bettegowda VR, Ahluwalia I & Erbetta K. (2018). Racial/ethnic inequities in low birth weight and preterm birth: The role of multiple forms of stress. Maternal & Child Health Journal. 22(8),1154-1163. DOI: 10.1007/s10995-018-2500-7.

Wintner S, Almeida J & Hamilton-Mason J. (2017).Perceptions of microaggression in K-8 school settings: An exploratory study. Children and Youth Services Review. 79:594-601. DOI:10.1016/j/childyouth.2017.07.020.

Almeida J, O’Brien KMH, Gross, EB* & Gironda C. (2017). Development, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive course on suicide in a Masters of Social Work program. Journal of Social Work Education. DOI:10.1080/10437797.2017.1302856.

Almeida J, O’Brien, KMH & Norton K. (2017). Social work’s ethical responsibility to train MSW students to work with suicidal clients. Social Work. 63(2) 181-183. DOI:10.1093/sw/swx011.

Almeida J, Biello K, Wintner S,* Pedraza F & Viruell-Fuentes, EA.(2016). The association between anti-immigrant policies and perceived discrimination among Latinos in the US: A multilevel analysis. Social Science & MedicinePopulation Health. 2:897-903. DOI.org/10.1016/j.ssmph.2016.11.003.

Lee, CS, Colby, SM, Magill, M, Almeida, J, Tavares, T, Rohsenow, DJ. (2016). Theory and mechanisms of behavior change in a randomized controlled trial of culturally adapted motivational interviewing for Hispanic heavy drinkers: Study protocol. Contemporary Clinical Trials.50:193-200.

O’Brien, KMH, Aguinaldo, LD, Almeida, J, & White, E. (2016).The role of parents in safety planning interventions with suicidal adolescents. International Journal of Emergency Mental Health and Human Resilience.18(1):727-729.

Lee CS, Almeida J, Colby SM, Tavares T & Rohsenow D. (2015). Acculturation, hazardous drinking and depressive symptomatology among Hispanics enrolled in a clinical trial. Addiction Research & Theory. 24(1):69-79. DOI.org/10.3109/16066359.2015.1072517.

Almeida J, Sonneville KR & Duncan DT. (2015). Obesogenic behavior among adolescents: The role of generation and time in the US. Ethnicity & Disease. 25(1):58-64.

Sonneville K, Duncan DT, Johnson RM & Almeida J. (2015). Are first generation adolescents less likely to be overweight? Results from the Boston Youth Survey. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health.1-5. DOI:10.1007/s10903- 013-9937-y.

Schmidt NM, Tchetgen Tchetgen EJ, Ehntholt E, Almeida J, Nguyen QC, Molnar BM, Azrael D & Osypuk TL. (2014).Does neighborhood collective efficacy for families change over time? The Boston Neighborhood Survey. Journal of Community Psychology. 42(1): 61–79. DOI: 10.1002/jcop.21594.

Almeida J, Mulready-Ward C, Bettegowda VR & Ahluwalia I.(2014). The contribution of social ties and social support to racial/ethnic differences in low birth weight and preterm birth among mothers in New York City, 2004-2007. Maternal & Child Health Journal.18(1): 90-100. DOI: 10.1007/s10995-013-1238-5.

Almeida J, Johnson RM, Matsumoto A & Godette D.(2012). Substance use, generation and time in the United States: The modifying role of gender for urban immigrant adolescents. Social Science & Medicine.75(12):2069-2075. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.05.016.

Acevedo-Garcia D, Sanchez-Vaznaugh E, Viruell-Fuentes E, & Almeida J.(2012).Integrating social epidemiology into immigrant health research: A cross-national framework. Social Science & Medicine. 75(12):2060-2068. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.04.040.

Acevedo-Garcia D & Almeida J. (2012).Special Issue Introduction: Place migration and health. Social Science & Medicine. 75(12):2055-2059. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.09.008.

Almeida J, Johnson RM, McNamara M & Gupta J.(2011). Peer violence perpetration among urban adolescents: Dispelling the myth of the violent immigrant. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 26 (13):2658-80. DOI:10.1177/0886260510388288.

Borges G, Azrael D, Almeida J, Johnson RM, Molnar BE, Hemenway D & Miller M. (2011). Immigration, suicide ideation and deliberate self-injury in the Boston Youth Survey. Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior. 41(2):193-202. DOI: 10.1111/j.1943-278X.2010.00016.x. Almeida J, Subramanian SV, Kawachi I & Molnar BE. (2011). Is blood thicker than water? Social support, depression and the modifying role of ethnicity/nativity status. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. 65(1): 51-6. DOI:10.1136/jech.2009.092213.

Almeida J, Johnson RM, Corliss HL, Molnar BE & Azrael D. (2009). Emotional distress among LGBT youth: The influence of perceived discrimination based on sexual orientation.Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 38(7):1001-14. DOI: 10.1007/s10964-009-9397-9.

Almeida J, Molnar BE, Kawachi I, & Subramanian SV. (2009). A multilevel analysis of social ties and social cohesion among Latinos and their neighborhoods: Results from Chicago. Journal of Urban Health. 86 (5):745-59. DOI:10.1007/s11524-009-9375-2.

Almeida J, Kawachi I, Molnar, BE, & Subramanian, SV. (2009).Ethnicity and nativity status as determinants of perceived social support: Testing the concept of familism. Social Science & Medicine. 68(10):1852-8. DOI: org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.02.029.

Almeida J, Cohen AP, Subramanian SV & Molnar, BE. (2008).Increased worker caseloads in state child protective service agencies as a potential explanation for the decline in child sexual abuse: A multilevel analysis. Child Abuse & Neglect. 32(3): 367-75. DOI:10.1016/j.chiabu.2007.08.003.

Dr. Cohn has completed multiple research studies individually and within inter-professional teams, which have included dissemination at the local, national, and international levels. Her research topics of interest include acute and family medicine outcomes; community risk factors; social determinants of health; cardiovascular risk in Hispanics; nursing-sensitive indicators; and healthy work environments, along with professional development.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

  • American Public Health Association
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • American Association of Suicidology
  • Society for Social Work and Research
  • Cross National Network, Place, Migration & Health


  • 2014 Attendee, Research Training Institute, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Injury Control Research Center on Suicide Prevention.
  • 2012 Co-guest editor of Special Issue of Social Science & Medicine on Place, Migration & Health
  • 2012-2013 NIH/NICHD Loan Repayment Program recipient, Pediatric research (renewal)
  • 2010-2012 NIH/NICHD Loan Repayment Program recipient, Pediatric research
  • 2010-2012 Fellow, NIH/NIDA Interdisciplinary Research Training Institute on Hispanic Drug Use
  • 2007 Fellow, Institute on Immigration and Social Change, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  • 2007 Recipient, Charles H. Smith Bequest Award, Harvard University
  • 2005 Student Membership Award, American Public Health Association
  • 2003 Outstanding Incoming Student Award, University of Michigan, School of Public Health (declined)
  • 2001 Finalist, Distinguished Service & Achievement Award, Public Health Prevention Service, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
  • 1996 Hubie Jones Urban Practice Award, Boston University School of Social Work

Return to top

Gary Bailey

Assistant Dean for Community Engagement and Social Justice

Gary Bailey, MSW, ACSW, is currently a professor of practice at Simmons School of Social Work and at the Simmons School of Nursing. He is also an adjunct assistant professor at the Boston University School of Public Health.

At the School of Social Work, he coordinates the Dynamics of Racism and Oppression and Health and Aging sequences. He chairs the School of Social Work Awards Committee; is chair of the Simmons College Black Administrators, Faculty and Staff Council (BAFAS); is a member of the Simmons Faculty Senate; is vice chair of the Simmons President’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council (PDIAC); and co-chaired the Simmons College Initiative on Human Rights and Social Justice. He is also a member of the Community Advisory Board for the Fenway Institutes.

Bailey is a member of the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) Board of Ambassadors, as well as a member of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) grant to reduce health disparities in LGBTQ youth of color.

In 2009, Bailey was appointed by the honorable Deval Patrick, governor of Massachusetts, to serve on the board of directors of the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA). To date, MEFA has issued approximately $4.2 billion in bonds and has assisted hundreds of thousands of families in financing a college education. At MEFA, Bailey chairs the nominating committee and is a member of the audit committee. He was reappointed by Governor Patrick to a term ending in 2019.

In 2010, Professor Bailey was elected president of the International Federation of Social Workers. He is the first person of color to hold this post and only the third person from the United States to do so. IFSW is a federation representing more than 88 countries and 700,000 social workers globally. Also in 2010, Bailey was appointed to the Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) Global Commission. He previously served on the board of the North American and Caribbean Association of Schools of Social Work representing CSWE.

Professor Bailey is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. He was named social worker of the year by both the national and Massachusetts chapter of NASW in 1998. He was made a social work pioneer by NASW in 2005, making him the youngest individual to receive this honor and joining individuals such as Jane Addams and Whitney M. Young. His other awards and honors include:

  • Boston University School of Social Work Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Social Work (1995)
  • Wayne S. Wright Advocacy Award from the Multicultural AIDS Coalition (1997)
  • Fenway Community Health Center’s Congressman Gerry Studds Visibility Award (1996)
  • AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts Bayard Rustin Spirit Award (1997)
  • Ambassador of Caring for the Needs of Diverse Families by the Center for Family Connections in Cambridge, Massachusetts (2006)
  • Legacy of Caring Award from the Devereux Center in Massachusetts (Previous recipients of this award include the late David S. Liederman of the Child Welfare League of America and the Kennedy Family.) (2007)
  • Cecil and Ida Green Honors Professor at Texas Christian University (2008)
  • The State Directors Award for Excellence in Social Work Leadership from the South Carolina Office of Public Health (2008)
  • Among 25 individuals honored by the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts as someone whose contributions in the fight against AIDS over the last two-and-a-half decades have been “invaluable in the care for those affected by HIV/AIDS and to prevent new infections” (2010)
  • Bayard Rustin Award for Courage from the AIDS Action Committee (2011)
  • Man of the Year at Union United Methodist Church, Boston, Massachusetts (2012)

He has served on numerous boards and advisory groups including:

  • Member, Commissioners Advisory Committee Massachusetts Department of Mental Health
  • Member, Commissioner Advisory Committee for the Department of Social Services
  • Chaired the AIDS Action Committee of Boston board of directors
  • Co-chair of the Children’s Hospital Community Advisory Board
  • Member of the board at the Phillip Brooks House at Harvard University
  • The Massachusetts Maternity and Foundling Hospital Foundation; United Homes for Children
  • Member, Wang Center for the Performing Arts, Boston
  • Member, Success by Six United Way of Massachusetts Bay
  • Member, Advisory Board, Center for Family Connections, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Member, Boston Mayor Thomas Menno’s Inaugural Arts Commission

In May 2013, Professor Bailey received the Doctor of Humane letters degree, honoris causa, from the University of Connecticut.

Why I Teach

My hope for students in the program is that they will feel as inspired and energized by this profession as I do!


LGBT youth and aging


Professor Bailey is a highly sought after trainer and consultant on topics that include board development; international social work practice; elder and family housing program development; issues pertaining to diversity; social justice and human rights; and working with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) communities.

Return to top

Carly Burton

Associate Professor of Practice

Carly Burton, MSW is an associate professor of practice at the SocialWork@Simmons program. Burton joined the team as an adjunct professor in March of 2015, teaching SWO 401 Social Welfare Policy and Services. Since then she has expanded her teaching to include SWO 409 Dynamics of Racism and Oppression, SWO 590 Advocacy and Social Action for the Professional Social Worker, SWO 411 Human Behavior and the Social Environment, and SWO Human Sexuality and Social Work Practice. Burton also serves as the course lead for SWO 401 and SWO 590.

Outside of Simmons, Burton is active in the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers serving as Treasurer of the Political Action for Candidate Election Board. In that role, she works to increase civic engagement and political participation among social workers. In addition, she serves as a volunteer at Samaritans, a suicide prevention organization in Boston. Burton works with the Grief Support Services Team, facilitating support groups for people who have lost loved ones to suicide. Prior to coming to Simmons full time, Burton worked in public policy advocacy in Massachusetts with the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. Her efforts included advocating for greater funds to support immigrant survivors of domestic violence and increased ESOL and citizenship services. Subsequent to that, she worked at MassEquality, where she had the opportunity to spearhead a legislative campaign to pass non-discrimination protections for the transgender and gender non-confirming community of Massachusetts. She also worked in electoral politics while at MassEquality, striving to help elect progressive people, including social workers to our local and state governments.

Why I Teach

I teach because it provides an opportunity for me to learn from my students, in addition to teaching them. I particularly enjoy teaching at SocialWork@Simmons because we have the unique experience of connecting with students all over the country who may not have a chance to attend social work school where they live.


BA, History Wesleyan University, May 1997
MSW Boston University School of Social Work, May 2004


In addition to Social Welfare Policy, Carly’s specific areas of interest include increasing civic participation among social workers, suicide prevention and post-vention, especially among LGBT folks, racial justice, and adoption.

Return to top

Tamara J. Cadet

Assistant Professor

Tamara J. Cadet, PhD, LICSW, MPH, chose Simmons to launch her academic career in July 2012, despite multiple offers from several research universities. Choosing Simmons allowed Cadet to investigate evidence-based health promotion interventions to contribute to reducing cancer and other health disparities, as well as the opportunity to teach in an environment that supports her research and 25 years of practice experiences in social work and public health. Cadet has worked in the fields of substance abuse, adoption, mental health, health care, schools, and oncology with children, adults, families, and older adults, as both a social worker and as a community organizer. Cadet particularly enjoys translating her research to practice for community-based organizations where she serves and preparing social workers for effective evidence-based practice.

Cadet’s research interests include oncology, aging, health behaviors, psychosocial and cultural factors, and health promotion. Her dissertation research focused on older Hispanic and non-Hispanic women and the psychosocial factors influencing their breast and cervical cancer screening participation. She is currently the principal investigator on a study assessing training programs for certified nurses’ aides in long-term care facilities to promote oral health and screening for oral cancer.

Cadet’s teaching interests include clinical practice, health-care practice, and statistics. Specifically, Cadet teaches the foundation clinical practice course, an advanced health care practice course, and a PhD-level course on advanced statistics at the School of Social Work. In addition, she teaches the Patient-Doctor I course at Harvard Medical School and holds a faculty appointment at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Cadet has been the recipient of several national career development awards for her research.

Why I Teach

I teach because I believe in the following three core assumptions: doing whatever helps students learn, adopting a critically reflective stance, and being aware of how students experience their learning and perceive my actions (Brookfield, 2006). I create safe environments for students to actively learn and engage with the topic in their own time and space. Creating active participants is “creating participatory spaces for the sharing of knowledge” (Hooks, 1994, p. 15). I teach using a variety of techniques, including lectures, discussions, case studies, roleplays, personal and professional examples, and multi-media. My goal is to have students experience learning as fun, interesting, and worthwhile. During this process of learning and engaging with students, it is my hope and goal that students will be excited about learning and participating in my class. Therefore, if I work with students to meet Jesse Jackson’s goal (If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, I know I can achieve it) to conceive and believe, then achievement in whatever way we define it occurs.

I accept students wherever they are in their learning with a goal of having them be something or someplace different (of their own choosing) when they have completed their course with me. According to Fink (2003), lasting change occurs when students experience significant learning. As a social work educator, one of my teaching goals is to create an environment for lasting change to occur. This type of change can occur when learning is viewed as a process. While I recognize the need for students to gain foundational knowledge, I am most interested in students’ applying and integrating knowledge. Gaining foundational knowledge is a minimum goal. I believe my role is to provide meaningful information that connects students’ learning to their overall personal, professional, and academic experiences (Hooks, 1994). Learning begins when students apply and integrate their knowledge. Significant learning begins when students integrate their ideas, when students learn about themselves and others, and, most importantly, when they learn how to learn. Significant learning is not a linear process but a cyclical process where one aspect of learning informs another. It is my hope that lasting change has occurred for my students through our collective learning.


BA, Tufts University, Child Study and Community Health
MPH, Boston University, Maternal and Child Health
MSW, Boston University, Macro Social Work and Human Services Management
PhD, Simmons College, Social Work


Cadet is conducting a community-based participatory research study assessing oral cancer screening training models for long-term care facilities. She is collaborating with colleagues to examine successful strategies of primary data collection from principal investigators who have received external funding to develop a blueprint for future investigators considering primary data collection. In addition, she is using national datasets, including the Health and Retirement Study, to investigate the psychosocial and cultural factors that influence older adults and their cancer-screening behaviors.


Oncology, aging, behavioral health promotion

Return to top

Paul Gould

Assistant Professor of Social Work

Paul Gould, MSW, PhD is an Associate Professor of Practice and Director of the BSW Program at Simmons. Dr. Gould has over 20 years of experience in health and human services. He has implemented multiple interventions – both school and community-based – to address the needs of vulnerable populations within the community, including older adults, the homeless, and victims of violence and trauma. Dr. Gould also has extensive training and experience as a therapist with sexual abuse victims and families.

Dr. Gould is a dedicated instructor and scholar who cultivates dynamic learning environments which promote students’ professional development. Educational technology is infused throughout his courses to maximize the benefits of independent and collaborative learning. He couples strong instructional design with experiential exercises to promote critical thinking and reflective practice. He favors providing balanced and meaningful feedback to assist students in developing effective social work practice behaviors.

Prior to joining the Simmons community, Dr. Gould was a faculty member at Binghamton University (State University of New York) and coordinated the Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education (HPPAE). During his years at Binghamton, he held several leadership roles, including as founding Director of theSocial Work in Health Care Program, Director of Technology Initiatives for the College of Community and Public Affairs, and Assistant Director of theInstitute for Intergenerational Studies – Southern Tier Center on Aging.Dr. Gould is also the Cross-Site Education Coordinator for the Upstate New York Mental & Behavioral Health Education Consortium funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which links MSW students from seven colleges and universities across the state in a virtual learning environment.

Dr. Gould is a frequently invited speaker for the Council on Social Work Education’s (CSWE) Gero-Ed Center, as well as the Social Work Leadership Institute. He has presented at national and international conference regarding healthy aging, interprofessional education, and behavioral health. In 2014, he was accepted into the Hartford Change AGEnts, an interdisciplinary collaborative of practitioners, researchers, educators, and scholars seeking to enhance the health and care of aging adults.

Dr. Gould’s research is in the area ofBehavioral Health and Aging Families. In particular, he is interested in the relationship of cognitive stimulation to personal functioning in persons living with a dementia, as well as the contributions of social work in interprofessional health care teams to enhance patient outcomes. His community-based research includes implementation of thePathways Project: Building Connections in Families Living with Dementia.This project evaluates the impact of weekly arts-based activities with families upon the diagnosed individual’s mental health and social engagement. Previously, he co-directed the Geriatric Consultation Clinic, an interprofessional education program which conducted comprehensive geriatric assessments with persons living in rural communities.Dr. Gould has received funding from the Hoyt Foundation, State University of New York, and the Health Resources & Service Administration (HRSA) to support training and research initiatives.

What I Teach

Social Work Practice in Health Care

Selected Publications

Gould, P.R., Lee, Y., Berkowitz, S., & Bronstein, L. [In Press]. Impact of a collaborative interprofessional learning experience upon medical and social work students.Journal of Interprofessional Care.

Bronstein, L.R.,Gould, P.R., Berkowitz, S.A., James, G., Marks, K. (2015) Impact of a Social Work Care Coordination Intervention on Hospital Readmissions: A Randomized Control Study.Social Work; doi: 10.1093/sw/swv016

Lee, Y. &Gould, P.R.Development of a culturally responsive support group for immigrant family caregivers. In Greif & Ephross (Eds.), Group Work with Populations at Risk, 4thEd.

Selected Presentations

Presenter (Symposium), Society for Social Work Research, January 2015
Title:Implementing and Evaluating a Strengths-Based Intervention to Reduce Hospital Readmissions: An RCT

Presenter, Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting, October 2014.
Title:Building Competencies and Professional Connections with ICTs in a Multischool Training Program

Panel, Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting, October 2014.
Title:Training HPPAE Students in Health Care Settings: Looking Back and Moving Forward

Presenter (Webinar), CSWE National Gero-Ed Center & NASW, July 14, 2014.
Title:The ACA & Care Transitions: Implications for Social Work
Recording available at: https://cswe.adobeconnect.com/_a1019883102/p53nxxgmj4r/?launcher=false&fcsContent=true&pbMode=normal

Presenter, SUNY Conference for Instruction and Technology, May 2014.
Title:Integrating Mobile Technology to Enhance Geriatric Social Work Education

Poster, Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting, November 2013.
Title:Well-Being: Benefits of Participation in a Social Connections for Senior Women’s Group

Presenter, Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting, November 2013.
Title:Implementing and Evaluating a Strengths-Based Intervention to Reduce Hospital Readmissions: An RC

Panel, Aging in New York: Building Capacity and Empowering Communities. 41stAnnual Conference of the State Society on Aging of New York, October 2013.
Walter Beattie Symposium
Title:The Role of Gerontology Education Centers in Capacity Building

Poster, Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting, November 2012.
Title:Preparing Students for Interprofessional Practice: From the Classroom to Field

Presenter, Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting, November 2012.
Title:Preparing Students for Interprofessional Practice: From the Classroom to Field

Panelist, Interprofessional Approaches to Assist Aging Families, October 2012. Conversations in the Disciplines Conference, Binghamton University.

Presenter, Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting, November 2011.
Title:Providing Interprofessional Educational Experiences Through a Geriatric Consultation Clinic

Presenter, International Conference on Urban Health, held at the New York Academy of Medicine, New York, NY, October 2010.
Title:Enhancing Community Capacity for Aging Services Through HPPAE

Return to top

Daren Graeves

Associate Professor of Education and Coordinator of the Boston Teachers Union Program
Ed.D., M.Ed., B.A.


Ed.D. – Human Development and Psychology -Harvard Graduate School of Education
M.Ed. – Human Development and Psychology -Harvard Graduate School of Education
B.A. – Behavioral Neuroscience – Yale University

About Me

Dr. Daren Graves is an Associate Professor of Education and Social Work at Simmons University and Adjunct Lecturer of Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education. His research lies at the intersection of critical race theory, racial identity development, and teacher education. Dr. Graves has reported on is work in a variety of publications including Schooling for Critical Consciousness: Engaging Black and Latinx Youth in Analyzing, Navigating, and Challenging Racial Injustice (Harvard Education Press, 2020). Dr. Graves serves as co-Chair of the AERA Hip Hop Theories, Praxis & Pedagogies Special Interest Group. Dr. Graves also serves as the liaison between Simmons University and the Boston Teachers Union Pilot School, a public K–8 school where he works closely with teachers and students.

Area of Expertise

  • Racial Identity Development
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Teacher Education

What I Teach

  • SW 409 – Racism and Dynamics of Oppression

Community Engagement

Research/Special Projects

[H4] Publications/Presentations

Seider, S., and Graves, D. (2020). Schooling for critical consciousness: Engaging Black and Latinx youth in analyzing, navigating, and challenging racial injustice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press

Graves, D. (2017) “Written all over my face” – The toll of a Black Man teaching White students about racism. In R. Kohli and B. Picower (Eds.), Confronting racism in teacher education: Counternarratives of critical practice (pp. 60-67). New York, NY: Routledge

Seider, S., Graves, D., El-Amin, A., Soutter, M., Tamerat, J., Jennett, P., Clark, S., Johannsen, J., & Keene, A. (2014). Faculty of color teaching critical race theory at a PWI: An autoethnography. Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis, 3(2), 1-30.

Graves, D., Sweet, D.A., & McGowan, M. (2010). I feel like I can do it too: A paradigm shift in an urban library internship program. Urban Library Journal, 16(1), 1-18.

Graves, D., McGowan, M., & Sweet, D.A. (2010). Making a home: Critical pedagogy in a library internship program for high school students. In E. Drabinski, A. Kumbier, & M. Accardi (Eds.), Critical library instruction: Theories and methods (pp. 161-175). Los Angeles, CA: Library Juice Press

Return to top

Melinda Gushwa

Associate Professor and Director of the School of Social Work

Dr. Melinda Gushwa is an Associate Professor and Director of the School of Social Work. She teaches clinical practice courses and coordinates the Human Behavior in the Social Environment course. Dr. Gushwa has more than 25 years of practice experience in the areas of juvenile justice, residential treatment, child protection, employee assistance, crisis intervention counseling, pediatric medical social work, child welfare training, clinical practice (individual, couples, children and families), and clinical supervision. Prior to coming to Simmons, Dr. Gushwa taught in the social work programs at Washington University in St. Louis, University of Wisconsin Green Bay, University of Nevada Las Vegas and Rhode Island College. She loves being a social worker and teaching students about this great profession of ours.

Why I Teach

I teach because I love social work, and there’s nothing better than being in a classroom and creating an environment of shared learning with and among students. I do my best to create a learning environment grounded in the core values of the social work profession. I enjoy watching students grow and develop in their practice skills and critical thought– so that they will become the future of our profession.


PhD: Washington University in St. Louis
MSW: California State University San Bernardino
BA: University of Redlands


Dr. Gushwa’s research is connected to her practice experience as a child welfare worker and pediatric medical/ER social worker. She is interested in how organizational climate and bureaucracy impacts child welfare workers’ perceptions of their work. Her recent research focus has been on high risk child abuse and neglect situations, particularly child maltreatment fatalities.

Selected Publications

Battelan, A.W., Mreish, E., Putney, J., Sellers, C.M., Gushwa, M. & McNamara O’Brien, K.H. (2020). Associations of victimization, discrimination, child maltreatment, and suicide severity and attempts among sexual and gender minority youth. Psychology of Sexual Orientation & Diversity.

Douglas, E. & Gushwa, M. (2019). Child welfare workers’ knowledge of risk factors for child maltreatment fatalities: A second multi-state assessment. Journal of Public Child Welfare.

Douglas, E. & Gushwa, M. (2019). An exploratory analysis of seven child welfare workers who confused SIDS with child maltreatment fatalities: A brief research report. Journal of Social Service Research.

Gushwa, M., Bernier, J. & Robinson, D. (2018). Advancing child sexual abuse prevention in schools: An exploration of the effectiveness of the Enough! online training program for K-12 teachers. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse.

Gushwa, M. & Harriman, K. (2018). Paddling against the tide: Contemporary challenges in field education. Journal of Clinical Social Work, 47(1), 17-22.

Kozak, R.S., Gushwa, M. & Cadet, T.J. (2018). Victimization and violence: An exploration of the relationship between child sexual abuse, violence & delinquency. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 27(6), 699-717.

Douglas, E., Mohn, M. & Gushwa, M. (2014). The presence of maltreatment fatality-related content in pre-service child welfare training curricula: A brief report of 20 states. Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal, 32(3), 213-218.

Glantz, T. & Gushwa, M. (2013). Reflections on foster youth and education: Finding common ground. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping. 19(4), 15-23.

Gushwa, M. & Chance, T. (2008). Ethical dilemmas for mental health practitioners: Navigating mandated child maltreatment reporting decisions. Families in Society, 89(1), 78-83.

Selected Presentations

Gushwa, M. (2015, May). I wouldn’t want your job, but I could do it better than you: Walking the tightrope of child welfare practice. Invited presentation at the 2015 Massachusetts Family Impact Seminar, sponsored by the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise at the Massachusetts Statehouse in Boston, MA.

Gushwa, M. & Paquin, W. (2015, January). Zip codes and child maltreatment: An examination of housing and neighborhood effects. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Work & Research in New Orleans, LA.

Douglas, E. & Gushwa, M. (2014, September). Child maltreatment fatalities: An evidence-based training on risk & assessment. Invited presentation at the Connecticut Department of Children & Families Regional Training Conference in Uncasville, CT.

Gushwa, M. (2014, January). Paper trails and practice reform: An exploration of street level bureaucracy in child welfare. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Work and Research in San Antonio, TX.

Glantz, T., Gushwa, M. & Malloy, T. [Rhode Island Representatives] (2014, January). Educational experiences of children and youth in the child welfare system. Invited podcast with the National Evaluation & Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Children & Youth who are Neglected, Delinquent, or At-Risk. (Available at http://www.neglected-delinquent.org/events/educational-experiences-children-and-youth-child-welfare-system)

Gushwa, M. & Chance, T. (2013, June). Standardized tools and practice skills: Promoting assessment capacity in child welfare. Paper presented at the Annual Colloquium of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children in Las Vegas, NV.

Return to top

Johnnie Hamilton-Mason

Professor – Eva Whiting White Endowed Chair

Dr. Johnnie Hamilton-Mason is a Professor at Simmons School of Social Work. She teaches Advanced Clinical Practice, HBSE, Leadership, Political Strategies for Clinical Social Workers Practice, Practice with Immigrants and Refugees, Realities of Racism and Oppression and Qualitative Research. From 2004- 2007, Dr. Hamilton-Mason served as Director of the Doctoral Program at SSW. In 2005 she co-founded the SSW’s Pharnal Longus Academy for Undoing Racism. From 2001 through 2008, she served as a Harvard University W.E.B. DuBois Institute non-resident fellow in African American research. Her scholarship and research interests are primarily on African American Women and Families, the intersection of cross cultural theory and practice, and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. She has served as a Researcher at the University of Texas’s Hurricane Katrina Researcher Collaborative. She has recent publications entitled “Working with African American Families”, “Work-life fit: The intersection of Developmental Life cycle and Academic Life Cycle”, “Hope Floats: African American Women’s Survival Experiences after Katrina”, “Black Women talk about Workplace Stress and How They Cope”, “And Some of us are Braver: Stress and Coping among African American women”, “Psychoanalytic Theory: Responding to the Assessment Needs of People of Color?” “Using the Color of Fear as a Racial Identity Catalyst”, and “Children and Urban Poverty.” With over twenty-one years of full-time teaching experience, she continues to enhance her teaching through clinical practice in urban agencies, as well as through consultation and education locally and internationally.

Dr. Hamilton-Mason presents papers regularly at national and international conferences on such topics as the dynamics of diversity; teaching and learning issues related to diversity; HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in the United States and Africa; urban practice and urban leadership educational outcomes; cross cultural competency and racial identity theory in clinical work. Previously, Dr. Hamilton-Mason was appointed as Co-Chair of the HIV/AIDS Task force for the National Association of Black Social Workers and currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Council on Social Work Education’s Council on the Role and Status of Women in Higher Education. Dr. Hamilton-Mason is currently on the editorial board for Health and Social Work and the Journal of Social Work Education. She is also a Board of Trustees member for Research Education Collaborative for Al Quds University and the Heritage Guild. In 2013, she was honored to receive the Massachusetts NASW Social Work Educator of the Year Award. As a practitioner, researcher and scholar, her passion lies with serving underrepresented populations and communities.

What I Teach

  • Realities of Racism and Oppression
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Political Action Strategies for Clinical Social Workers
  • Leadership II
  • Clinical Practical
  • Advanced Clinical Practice
  • Clinical Practice with Refugees and Immigrants

Research/Creative Activities

Family Life Stress, Problem Solving, Coping, and Adaptability Among African American related Mothers and Daughters

Goals of the Study

Are there differences between the stress levels of unrelated mothers and daughters with high self-esteem compared to those with low self-esteem, the individual and family problem solving effectiveness, direct coping behaviors, family adaptation, cohesion, and satisfaction and family style

Focus of the Study

  • What factors significantly correlate with self-esteem?
  • To what extent do these factors account for variances in self-esteem?
  • How is the self-esteem of African American women related to stress levels, individual and family problem solving, and family adaptation?

Selected Publications

Hamilton-Mason, J., Everett, J., Hall, J. C., Harden, S., Lecloux, M., Mancini, S. & Warrington, R. (in press). Hope floats: African American women’s survival experiences after Katrina. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment. Advance online publication. doi:10.1080/10911359.2012.664982.

Hall, J.C., Everett, J.E. & Hamilton-Mason, J. (2011). Black women talk about workplace stress and how they cope. Journal of Black Studies, 43, 207-226. doi:10.1177/0021934711413272 Hamilton-Mason, J., Hall, J.C., & Everett, J. (2009). And some of us are braver: Stress and coping among African American women. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment.

Cornelius, L. J. & Hamilton-Mason, J. ( 2009). Enduring issues of HIV/AIDS for people of color: What is the roadmap ahead? Health and Social Work, 34(4), 243-246.

Shanti, K., Bell, H., Beausoleil, J., Lein, L., Angel, R. J. & Hamilton-Mason, J. (2008). When the floods of compassion are not enough: A nation’s and a city’s response to the evacuees of Hurricane Katrina. Smith College Studies in Social Work, 78(4), 399-425.

Hamilton-Mason, J. (2007). Using the color of fear as a racial identity catalyst. In Victor Lewis & Hugh Vasquez (Eds.), The color of fear sourcebook: A toolkit for educators and practitioners. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing,LLC.

Selected Presentations

Mancini, S. L. & Hamilton-Mason, J. (2011, October). Navigating secondary data: Hearing and interpreting the voices of Hurricane Katrina. Presented at the 57th Annual Program Meeting of the Council on Social Work Education, Atlanta, GA.

Hamilton-Mason, J. (2011, April). Hope Floats: The Survival Experiences of African American Women in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Presented at the National Association of Black Social Workers Conference, New Orleans, LA.

Melendez, M. & Hamilton-Mason, J. (2011, March). Women of color and addiction treatment. Presented at “Treating the Addictions,” Cambridge Health Alliance Department of Psychiatry, Division of Continuing Education, Boston, MA.

Hamilton-Mason, J. (2011, January). Black women discuss how they cope with racism in the workplace. Presented at the Society for Social Work Research Meeting, Tampa, FL.

Hamilton-Mason, J. (2010, November). And some of us are braver: Black women managing stress and coping. Presented at the Social Work Grand Rounds series at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA.

Hamilton-Mason, J. (2010, August). Surveying the landscape of immigrants and refugees:Aa social work perspective. Presented at the 35th Association of Black Social Workers International Education Conference, Egypt.

Hamilton-Mason, J. & Everett, J. (2010, February). Understanding the significance of sexism and racism in the lives of black women. Presented at Simmons University, Boston, MA.

Hamilton-Mason, J. (2010, January). Understanding the significance of racism and sexism in the lives of black women. Presented at the Annual Conference of the Society for Social Work and Research, San Francisco, CA.

Hamilton-Mason, J. (2009, May). Dialogue about diversity in the classroom. Presented at a Faculty Development Institute at Anna Maria College, Paxton, MA.

Hamilton-Mason, J. (2009, February). Underlying causes of HIV disparities in black communities. Presented at the Black HIV/AIDS Conference, Boston, MA.

Hamilton-Mason, J. (2008, November). Black women and HIV/AIDS. Presented at Simmons University Black Student Organization’s Dialogue on HIV/AIDS, Boston, MA.

Hamilton-Mason, J., Hall, C & Everett, J. (2008, November). Everyday stressors and daily conflicts: Coping responses of black women. Presented at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.

Hamilton-Mason, J. (2008). And some of us are braver: Black women managing stress and coping. Presented at the Council on Social Work Education, Philadelphia, PA. Professional Affiliations & Memberships

  • South End Community Mental Health Center – Senior Clinical Consultant – 1997-Present
  • Multicultural AIDS Coalition – Consultant Popular Education and Clinical Supervisor – 1999-2010

Return to top

Kim Kelly Harriman

Kim Harriman has been in the clinical world for 30 years. As a new clinician, she started a program in a community mental health setting for deaf and hearing-impaired individuals and their families. She went on to supervisory and administrative roles in this setting, and later worked on an inpatient unit, in a hospital emergency department, and more recently in a newly certified community hospice developing its social work and bereavement components. For many years, she maintained a clinical practice with special interest in chronic illness, postpartum depression, and bereavement.

Why I Teach

I teach because it is a privilege to witness the formation of new colleagues — there is really nothing quite like it!


BA, Wesleyan University
MSW, Boston College Graduate School of Social Work


Community mental health
End-of-life care

Return to top

Katherine Jungreis

Professor of Practice, Social Work

I am delighted to be beginning my fifth year as a full time faculty member after 23 years as an adjunct here at Simmons School of Social Work. When then Professor Sophie Freud initially suggested that I teach the Psychopathology course (now Assessment and Diagnosis) while I was a doctoral candidate at Simmons, I told her that I had never really considered teaching and wasn’t sure it was such a good idea. She countered with, “this is an offer you can’t refuse” and her wisdom was clear as I quickly found that teaching became one of the greatest pleasures of my social work career.

Following graduation from Smith School for Social Work, I worked for almost twenty years at a community mental health center in a poor and working class town. My clinical work was with adults, families, groups and emergency services and I dealt with a variety of issues including many people with severe mental illness and their families. During that time Cambodian refugees moved into the community and we were actively involved in trying to provide culturally meaningful mental health services to them.

Like many others in our field, the direction of my work has been constantly evolving. Initially after graduation, I received training and became very involved with family therapy. Later, as I became more attuned to connecting the various parts of myself in my work, I wove in my curiosity about integrating spiritual/religious issues and psychotherapy. I joined the Jewish Therapists Network and taught in the Certificate Program for Jewish Communal and Clinical Social Work at Simmons. Other areas of special interest to me have included social work ethics, working with couples, mindfully connecting theory to practice and the use of movies as a powerful learning tool. Appreciating the meaning of work and the workplace was a central focus during the ten years that I consulted to the staff at the Federal Employee Assistance Program. Most recently, I have been intrigued with relational aspects of social work supervision. I have given presentations and consulted on this topic and in the summers I teach in the Certificate Program for Advanced Clinical Supervision at Smith School for Social Work. While I no longer supervise students and staff in an agency setting, I have been able to continue a significant amount of clinical consultation to practitioners as well as consulting to staff at South Shore Mental Health Center which afforded me the ability to work again in a community mental health setting.

I believe that to most effectively teach I need to be directly involved in the work and that my ongoing clinical experiences enrich the learning in the classroom. I have found Simmons to be a wonderfully supportive, interesting and committed community that truly cares about helping students to be skillful, thoughtful and caring social workers. I am excited to be part of this community and to contribute to the professional growth of future social workers.

What I Teach

  • SW 441 Assessment and Diagnosis
  • SW 584 Psychodynamic Perspectives
  • SW 424 Advanced Clinical Practice
  • SW 411 Human Behavior in the Social Environment
  • SW 577 Social Work with Groups
  • SW 578 Perspectives on Severe and Persistent Mental illness

Research/Creative Activities

My areas of interest are: Direct clinical practice, supervision, spirituality and religion and social work, ethical issues in practice, working with couples, working with persons with severe mental illness and their families.

Selected Presentations

Jungreis, K. (2011). Addressing issues of interfaith families. Presented at Ikkarim Faculty at Hebrew College, Newton Centre, MA.

Jungreis, K. (2011). Addressing spirituality in psychotherapy. Presented at the Simmons University Alumni Chapter, New York, NY.

Jungreis, K. (2011). The stars we steer by: Discussing theory in supervision. Presented at the NECON Workshop at Simmons University, Boston, MA.

Jungreis, K. (2011). Uses of self: Aspects of religion, spirituality in psychotherapy. Presented at the Danielsen Institute at Boston University, Boston, MA.

Jungreis, K. (2010). Relational supervision. Presented at the South Shore Mental Health Center, Boston, MA.

Jungreis, K. (2009). Relational supervision. Presented at the Dana-Farber Social Work Department, Boston, MA.

Jungreis, K. (2009). The use of film in supervision. Presented at the South Shore Mental Health Center, Quincy, MA.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Private Practice – 1986-Present
South Shore Mental Health Center – Clinical Consultant – 2008-2010

Return to top

Hugo Kamya

Social Work Alumni Fund Endowed Chair and Professor


  • PhD: Boston University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Psychology, May 1994
    • Dissertation: The interrelationship of stress, self-esteem, spiritual well-being and coping resources among African immigrants in the United States
  • MSW: Boston College, 1989
  • MDiv: Harvard University, Divinity School, 1987
  • Dip. Phil.: St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary, Nairobi, Kenya, Philosophy and Religious Studies, 1983


  • Licensed Psychologist
  • Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW)
  • Certified Group Psychotherapist (CGP)
  • Certified Oral Proficiency Tester, American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)
  • M.Div.
  • M.S.W.
  • Ph.D.

What I Teach

  • Evaluation in Social Work Practice
  • Simmons World Challenge (Brutality: Violence at Local, National and International levels; Non-violence as Option for Change; Language, Power and Violence)
  • Teaching and Learning (Doctoral Program)
  • Social Work with Groups
  • Spirituality and Social Work
  • Social Action and Advocacy: Human Services in Developing Countries
  • Narrative Approaches to Social Work Practice (on ground)
  • Narrative Approaches to Social Work Practice (Online)
  • Critical Analysis of Clinical Practice (Doctoral Program)
  • Advanced Clinical Practice
  • Social Work Practice
  • The Relational and Multi-contextual Treatment of Trauma
  • Family Therapy Approaches

Community Engagement

  • 2005-Present: Board/Founding Member, Makula Fund for Children
  • 2005-Present: Board Member, Girma Haddis Foundation
  • 1995-Present: Founding Member, Boston Institute for Culturally Affirming Practices
  • 2004-Present: Advisory Board Member, The Guidance Center, Inc.
  • 1992-Present: Board Member, De Novo: Center for Justice and Healing (formally Community Legal Services and Counseling Center)
  • 1997-2008: Board Member, St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Clinical Pastoral Education Program
  • 1996-Present: Board Member, The Danielsen Institute, Boston University
  • 1995-Present: Consultant, Center for Multi-Cultural Training in Psychology, Boston Medical Center
  • 1997-1999: Consultant, International Institute of Boston
  • 1992-1996: Member, Diversity Task Force for Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy
  • 1990-1996: Board Member, Temporary Care Services – Respite Care for Mentally Handicapped Children

Research/Special Projects

Caring across communities; community capacity building; enhancing social, cultural, and human capital in immigrant and refugee populations; suicide prevention education; the psychological impact of war, political persecution, trauma on children and families; HIV/AIDS; family therapy; international practice and human rights; spirituality; health disparities; youth and social economic development in sub-Saharan Africa; qualitative methods and designing international studies.

Selected Publications

Kamya, H. (2019). Children, war, HIV/AIDS and the human rights imperative: Bio-psychosocial outcomes. In Marinilda Rivera Diaz (Ed.) HIV/AIDS, Migrations and Human Rights: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. (pp. 173-189). Miami: Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO)

Kamya, H. & Mirkin, M. (2019). Working with immigrant and refugee families. In Monica McGoldrick and Kenneth Hardy (Eds.). Revisioning Family Therapy: Race, culture and gender in clinical practice. 3nd edition. (pp. 403-418). New York: Guilford Press.

Kamya, H. (2018). Harnessing spirituality within traditional healing systems: A personal journey. In D. Trimble (Ed.), Engaging with spirituality in family therapy: Meeting in sacred space (67-81). Cham, Switzerland: AFTA Springer Briefs in Family Therapy.

Bacigalupe, G., Ham, M., Kamya, H., King, J., Kliman, J., Llerena-Quinn, R., Pinderhughes, E., Romney, P., & Trimble, D., (BICAP). (2017). Deconstructing power to build connection: The importance of dialogue. In Pinderhughes, E., Jackson, V., & Romney, P. Understanding power: An imperative for human services. (pp. 195-218). Washington, D.D.: NASW Press.

Kamya, H. (2014). Developing Effective International Partnerships in Social Work: HIV/AIDS and the Case of Uganda. In Libal, K., Healy, L., Thomas, R., & Berthold, M. Advancing Human Rights in Social Work Education, (pp. 299-316) Alexandria, VA: CSWE.

Roberts, J., Abu-Baker, K., Diez Fernández, C., Chong Garcia, N., Fredman, G., Kamya, H., Martín Higarza, Y., Fortes de Leff, J., Messent, P., Nakamura, S., Reid, F., Sim, T., Subrahmanian, C., & Vega, R. (2014). Up Close: Family Therapy Challenges and Innovations Around the World, Family Process, 53, 3, 544-576. DOI: 10.1111/famp.12094

Healy, L. & Kamya, H. (2014). Ethics and international discourse in social work: The case of Uganda’s anti-homosexuality legislation. Ethics and Social Welfare, 8, 2, 151-169.

Kamya, H. (2013). Engaging spirituality in family conflict: Witnessing to hope and dialogue. Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 26, 4, 901-916.

Kamya, H. (Spring, 2012). Motivational interviewing: A key ingredient of supervision. Field Educator, 1(2).

Kamya, H. (2012). The cultural universality of narrative techniques in the creation of meaning. In B. MacKin, Newman, E., Fogler, J., & Keane, T. (Eds.) Trauma therapy in context: The science and craft of evidence based practice. (pp.231-246). Washington, D.C: American Psychological Association.

Kamya, H. (2012). HIV/AIDS: The Global Pandemic. HIV/AIDS. In Healy, M. & Link, R. (Eds.). Handbook of International Social Work. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kamya, H. (2011). The impact of war on children: The psychology of displacement and exile. In Kelle, B. (Ed.). Interpreting Exile: Interdisciplinary studies of displacement and deportation in Biblical and modern contexts. (pp.235-249). Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature Press.

Kamya, H. & White, E. (2011). Expanding cross-cultural understanding of suicide among immigrants: The case of the Somali. Families in Society, 92(4), 419-425.

Selected Presentations

  • Peer to Peer Support for Immigrant High School Students: Enhancing Social Work Services in School Settings. CSWE 65th Annual Program Meeting, Denver, CO. October 24-27, 2010.
  • Working with Immigrants and Refugees: Implications for Cross-Cultural Treatment. Wayside Youth and Family Support. May 8, 2019
  • Engaging Spirituality in Family Therapy. IFTA World Therapy Congress. Aberdeen, Scotland. March 28-30, 2019
  • Understanding the needs of Immigrant High School Students: Importance of Multiple Perspectives through a Social Justice Lens. 23rd Annual Conference of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR), San Francisco, CA. January 15-19, 2019.
  • Understanding the needs of Immigrant High School Students: Importance of Multiple Perspectives. CSWE 64th Annual Program Meeting, Orlando, FL. November 8-11, 2018
  • Cross-cultural treatment issues with Refugees: The case of the Somali. Global & Local Center for Mental Health Disparities Global Dinner Series, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA. May 21, 2018
  • Developing Effective Partnerships. Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA. April 18, 2018
  • Working with Immigrants and Refugees: Cross-cultural treatment issues. Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA. April 11, 2018
  • Narrative Practices with Trauma and Loss: Cross-cultural treatment. Salem State University, Salem, MA March 24, 2018
  • It Takes a Community: Collaboration Among Adolescents, Parents, School Personnel to “Raise” an Immigrant High School Student: An Ecological Perspective. CSWE 63rd Annual Program Meeting, Atlanta, GA. October 19-22, 2017
  • Working with immigrants and refugees. Greater Lynn Senior Services. Boston, MA. April 2017 and May 2017
  • Spirituality and Mental health. Institute of Living, Hartford, CT. March 30, 2017
  • Violence against children and families: The inter-sectionalities of intervention approaches. 25th IFTA Family Therapy Congress. Malaga, Spain. March 15-18, 2017
  • Trauma, Attachment Disruption and Narrative Practices: Health Crisis and Cross-cultural Trauma Treatment. Dana Cancer Institute. Boston, MA February 3, 2017
  • Responsible Citizenship: HIV/AIDS and South Africa. 27th Annual National Conference on Social Work and HIV/AIDS. Minneapolis, MN, May 26-29, 2016.
  • Working with African Immigrant Children and Parents: Challenges and Training Needs from Middle and High School Teachers’ Perspectives. 20th Annual Conference for Society for Social Work and Research, Washington, DC, January 13-17, 2016
  • Developing an Innovative Field Placement: Building Capacity at an African Immigrant-led Organization. CSWE 611st Annual Program Meeting, Denver, CO. October 15-October, 18, 2015.
  • Recognizing the Universality of Loss: Lived Experiences of Attachment Disruption. Trauma of Displacement and Disrupted Attachment. 16th Annual conference. Worcester Institute on Loss and Trauma, Worcester, MA September 16, 2015
  • Uganda’s ABC to South Africa: Challenges and Opportunities. 19th International Symposium of the International Consortium for Social Development. SIM University, Singapore, July 7-10, 2015.
  • Challenges in Addressing HIV/AIDS Among Immigrant Populations: A Case Study. 27th Annual National Conference on Social Work and HIV/AIDS. Minneapolis, MN, May 26-29, 2016.
  • Child-headed Households in the African Context: What does the future promise? 26th Annual National Conference on Social Work and HIV/AIDS. Denver, May 22-25, 2014
  • Peace psychology: From monologue to dialogue – Engaging trauma and disparities. Bay Cove Human Services, Boston. May 7, 2014
  • Transforming Life Narratives: Weaving Stories of Healing. 23rd Annual Anniversary Culture Conference, The Multicultural Family Institute. April 11-12, 2014
  • A Cross cultural understanding of trauma in families, and
  • Community organizing and social development. PROSOWO Conference, International Social Work Conference, Kampala Uganda. March 17-18, 2014

Professional Affiliations and Memberships

  • National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
  • Association of Black Social Workers (ABSW)
  • American Psychological Association
  • American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA)
  • Boston Institute for Culturally Affirming Practices (BICAP)
  • Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy
  • American Family Therapy Academy (AFTA)
  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
  • Commission on Global Education in Social Work (CSWE)
  • International Society for Traumatic and Stress Studies (ISTSS)
  • International Consortium of Social Development (ICSD)
  • International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW)


  • 2018-2021: Social Work Alumni Fund Endowed Chair
  • 2018: Center for Global Education Leadership Award, Simmons University, Boston, MA
  • 2016: Mentor Recognition, Society for Social Work Research Conference, Washington, DC.
  • 2014: Fulbright Specialist Roster. U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and the Institute of International Education’s Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES)
  • 2014:Greatest Contribution to Social Work Education. NASW Mass Chapter Symposium 2014. NASW Mass Chapter Symposium, Framingham, MA.
  • 2003: Cultural and Economic Diversity (Social Justice) Award by the American Family Therapy Academy, Miami, FL.
  • 1999: Paradigm Shift Award. Distinguished Service Award in Pastoral Psychotherapy, Andover-Newton, MA
  • 1999: Paul Johnson Award. Nomination for Teaching Assistantship, Boston University, Boston, MA.

Return to top

Peter Maramaldi

Professor and Director of PhD Program

Peter Maramaldi, PhD, MPH, LCSW, is a professor at the Simmons School of Social Work where he teaches across the masters and doctoral curricula. He serves as the director of the PhD program at Simmons and is also a Hartford Faculty Scholar and national mentor. Maramaldi holds a faculty appointment at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine in Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology, where he mentors post-doctoral trainees and conducts research. In addition, Maramaldi retains a faculty appointment at the Harvard School of Public Health where he teaches in the department of social and behavioral sciences. He also teaches courses in patient interviewing and interdisciplinary collaboration at the Harvard Medical School where he has a long-standing affiliation. Maramaldi developed the interdisciplinary opportunity for Simmons social work students to earn an MPH degree at the Harvard School of Public Health.

His national service includes pro bono work as a commissioner for the Council on Social Work Education. Maramaldi practiced social work and managed non-profit organizations for more than 25 years before launching his academic research career. He is an expert in behavioral interventions that promote social justice in health care and has a consistent funding record from the National Institutes of Health and major foundations. Maramaldi’s current funded research includes a national demonstration project to address childhood dental caries through behavioral interventions with families, the development of a patient safety toolkit using electronic health records to identify and reduce the occurrence of adverse events, and the development of a whole-systems approach to implementing standardized dental diagnostic terms. His extensive consulting work in evidence-based health promotion across disciplines addresses individual needs through population interventions.

Why I Teach

I consider teaching a tremendous honor and an even greater responsibility. I continue to learn as much from my students as I hope that they learn from me. In teaching, I use experiences and training that range from my earliest learning and mistakes in Manhattan and the Bronx, N.Y., in 1972, to my current work based at Simmons. Although my work has evolved to a point where my expertise in behavioral health makes a large part of my teaching quite advanced, I’m especially invested in non-traditional MSW students, those who doubt their ability, wonder if it is too late for them to enter a profession, or think of themselves as not smart enough to do the coursework. I’m effective with that segment of our MSW student population, as I was one of them myself. As a result, I focus on students’ ability and strength, watch them build self-confidence, and then cheer them on as they go off to do good work.


PhD, Columbia University
MPH, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
MSSW, Columbia University School of Social Work
BA, Montclair State University


  • SWO-421 – Social Work Practice Year 1
  • SWO-441 – Social Work Research
  • SW 507 – Developing an Interdisciplinary Approach to Health Management of Older Adults
  • SW 631 – Philosophy of Science
  • SW 650 – Research
  • SW 651 – Introduction to Statistics and Data Analysis
  • SW 653 – Dissertation Seminar

Return to top

Katie Novick Nolan

Associate Professor of Practice of Social Work

Since graduating with her MSW, Katie Novick Nolan has had the opportunity to work in a variety of settings. She has done home-based work with families, worked in a residential facility doing assessments as well as individual and group therapy with children and adolescents, and worked in outpatient therapeutic settings.

What I Teach

  • SW 569 Advanced Standing Seminar
  • SW 421A&B Social Work Practice I
  • SW 425 Family Approaches in Clinical Social Work
  • SW 411 Human Behavior in the Social Environment

Return to top

Lydia Ogden


PhD: Columbia University School of Social Work
MSW: Columbia University School of Social Work
BA: Colorado College

About Me

I am a licensed clinical social worker and use my social work experience in housing, inpatient psychiatry, day treatment programs, and tele-behavioral health to inform my teaching, scholarship, and community engagement. As a researcher and practitioner my passion lies with understanding the stories and developing the potential of persons diagnosed with serious mental illnesses, especially older adults. As an educator I am committed to a pedagogy that actively promotes the self-care and wellbeing of social work students in an inclusive and holistic manner, and extending my vision of social work student and professional thriving to other professions.

What I Teach

  • SW-414: Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis
  • SW-444 Hope: Empowerment and Mental Illness
  • SW-424A & B: Advanced Clinical Practice
  • SW-635: Qualitative Data Analysis
  • SW-101: Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare

Community Engagement

I am conducting my current research in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, Office of Recovery and Empowerment. I also provide psychotherapy with Talkspace, a tele-behavioral health program.

Research/Creative Activities

Currently I am working on several research projects, all generally aimed at improving the mental wellbeing of those experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, mental health disorders. One project involves development of an intervention that uses evidence-informed positive psychology tools to improve the experience of aging with serious mental illnesses. I am also collaborating with Dr. Rachel Williams in the Simmons School of Library and Information Sciences on a study that seeks to understand challenges facing public librarians as they interact with library patrons in crisis, and how training and improved self-care can improve their professional experience and service provision. I am also co-principal investigator on a project funded by the Boston Children’s Hospital Community Health Initiative called the Simmons Trauma Education Project, which will recruit and train diverse trauma-specialized social workers who are committed to working with trauma-affected children and families in the Boston area post MSW graduation. Finally, I have been working on teaching and learning scholarship projects that support the mental health of social work students through integration of evidence-based self care practices into social work course material.

Past projects have ranged from collecting and analyzing life histories of older adults with schizophrenia-spectrum diagnoses, to using focus groups to understand barriers and facilitators to the implementation of an evidence-based substance use intervention called “SBIRT” (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment). From 2012-2016, as a co-principal on a SAMHSA grant to integrate SBIRT into the social work core curriculum and practice, I also helped lead the development and implementation of trainings for faculty, field instructors, and students.

My recently published articles appear in Advances in Social Work Practice, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Qualitative Health Research, Journal of Social Work Education, Journal of Social Service Research, Journal of Social Work in Disability and Rehabilitation, Qualitative Social Work, Social Work in Health Care, and Journal of Aging Studies. I regularly present at national and international conferences.

Selected Publications

Ogden, L.P., Fulambarker, A.J., and Haggerty, C. (accepted). The intersection of race and disability in the portrayal of the police homicide of Eric Garner: A thematic content analysis of media coverage. Journal of Social Work Education. Acceptance date: 2/12/19.

Vinjamuri, M., Ogden, L. P., and Kahn, J. (accepted) Understanding how social workers’ approaches to implementing “SBIRT” affect model fidelity. Advances in Social Work Practice. Acceptance Date: 10/01/2018.

Collin, C.R., Putney, J.M., Halmo, R., Ogden, L.P., O’Brien, K.H. (2019) “SBIRT in the field: Facilitators and barriers to MSW student use.” Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 19, 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1080/1533256X.2019.1589885

Ogden, L.P. (2018). “To fill the emptiness:” Work in life history narratives of older adults with schizophrenia-spectrum diagnoses. Qualitative Social Work, 17(4), 556-576. https://doi.org/10.1177/1473325016688368

Ogden, L.P., McAllister, C., and Neely-Barnes, S. (2017). Assessment of integration of disability content into social work education. Journal of Social Work in Disability and Rehabilitation 16(3-4), 361-376. https://doi.org/10.1080/1536710X.2017.1392394

Senreich E., Ogden, L.P. and Greenberg, J. (2017). A post-graduation follow-up of social work students trained in “SBIRT:” Rates of usage and perceptions of effectiveness. Social Work in Health Care, 56(5), 412-434. DOI: 10.1080/00981389.2017.1290010

Senreich E., Ogden, L.P. and Greenberg, J. (2017). The effect of instituting an “SBIRT” training project on social work student attitudes and knowledge about working with substance using clients. Journal of Social Work Education, (53)2, 260-275.

Ogden, L. P., Vinjamuri, M., and Kahn, J. (2016). A model for implementing an evidence-based practice into student fieldwork placements: Barriers and facilitators to the use of “SBIRT.” Journal of Social Service Research, 42(4), 425-441.

Ogden, L.P. (2016). Teaching note: Fostering practice self-efficacy: An exercise to promote student self-efficacy and evidence-based practice. Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work, 21(1), 23-31.

Ogden, L.P. (2014). Interpersonal relationship narratives of older adults with schizophrenia-spectrum diagnoses. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 84(6), 674-684.

Ogden, L.P. (2014). “My life as it is has value”: Narrating schizophrenia in later years. Qualitative Health Research, 24(10), 1342-1355.

Ogden, L.P. (2014). “Waiting to go home”: Narratives of homelessness, housing and home among older adults with schizophrenia. Journal of Aging Studies, 29, 53-65.

Return to top

Michelle Putnam

Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Research

Michelle Putnam is associate professor and associate dean for research at Simmons College School of Social Work in Boston, Massachusetts. Putnam holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in gerontology from Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University in Ohio, a doctorate in Social Welfare from the School of Public Affairs at UCLA, and served as a post-doctoral fellow at the NIDRR funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Health and Wellness at Oregon Health and Sciences University. Her research focuses on the intersections of aging and disability, with particular emphasis on understanding how public policy meets the needs of persons aging with disability. Within this area, her work examines collaborations between aging and disability service providers and their capacity to serve the aging with disability population, long-term care and support needs of persons aging with disabilities, the role of activity portfolios in fostering well-being among older adults, and the relationship of asset accumulation and fostering activity and equity among older adults and persons aging with disability. In addition to her research, Putnam is engaged at the national and international level in building bridges across the aging and disability fields of policy and practice.

Why I Teach

I teach because class is one of the most interesting places I spend my time. In my classroom, learning is not one way, it is depending on the exchange of ideas between students and myself and among students themselves. I also teach because I believe scholars engaged in research and practice have a responsibility to bring the most current knowledge and information and teach the most relevant skills to students who are just launching their careers.


PhD, University of California, Los Angeles
MGS, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
BA, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


  • SW401A – Social Welfare Policies and Services

Research/Selected Publications

Morrow-Howell, N., Putnam, M., Lee, Y., Greenfield, J., Inoue, M., & Chen, H. (in press). An investigation of activity profiles of older adults,Journals of Gerontology Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences.

Ionue, M., Lombe, M., Putnam, M., & Mahoney, K. (in press). Understanding Saving and Purchase Patterns of Consumers in a Self-Directed Care Program: The West Virginia Experience.Journal of Policy Practice.

Putnam, M. (2013). Bridging network divides: Building capacity to support aging with disability populations.Disability and Health Journal, 7, S51-S59.

Putnam, M., Morrow-Howell, N., Inoue, M., Greenfield, J., Chen, H., Lee, Y. (2013). Suitability of public use secondary data sets to study multiple activities.The Gerontologist. Advance release July 30. PMID:23899622

Salvador-Carulla, L., Putnam, M., Heller, T., & Bigby, C. (2012). Advancing a research agenda for bridging ageing and disability.International Journal of Integrated Care, 12, Oct-Dec. PMID: 23593060

Naidoo, V., Putnam, M., & Spindel, A. (2012). Key focal areas for bridging the fields of aging and disability: Findings from the growing older with a disability conference.International Journal of Integrated Care, 12, Oct-Dec. PMID: 23593057

Bickenbach, J., Bigby, C., Salvador-Carulla, L., Heller, T., Leonardi, M., LeRoy, B., Mendez, J., Putnam, M., & Spindel, A. (2012). The Toronto declaration on bridging knowledge, policy and practice in aging and disability.International Journal of Integrated Care, 12, Oct-Dec. PMID:23593061

Putnam, M. (2012). Can aging with disability find a home in gerontological social work?Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 55(2), 91-94. PMID:22324327

Putnam, M. (2011). Perceptions of difference between aging and disability service systems consumers: Implications for policy initiatives to rebalance long-term care.Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 54(3), 325-342. PMID:21462062

Lombe, M., Huang, J., Putnam, M. & Cooney, K. (2010). Exploring saving performance in an IDA program: Findings for people with disabilities.Social Work Research, 34(2), 83-93.

Putnam, M., Pickard, J., Rodriguez, C. & Shear, E. (2010). Stakeholder perspectives on policies to support caregivers of older adults with dementia.Journal of Family Social Work,13, 173-190.

Putnam, M. & Tang, F. (2008). Long-term care planning and preparation among persons with multiple sclerosis.Home Health Care Services Quarterly, 27(2), 143-165. PMID:18928209

Lombe, M., Putnam, M., & Huang, J. (2008). Exploring effects of institutional characteristics on saving outcome: The case of the Cash and Counseling program.Journal of Policy Practice, 7(4), 260-278.

Putnam, M., Sherraden, M., Zhang, L., & Morrow-Howell, N. (2008). Age differences in IDA savings outcomes: Findings from the American Dream Demonstration.Journal of Social Policy & Aging, 20(1), 45-63. PMID:18198159


Aging, disability, the experience of aging with long-term disabilities, collaboration across aging and disability service networks, long-terms supports and services, and public policy

Consulting and Professional Activity

Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Gerontological Social Work

Faculty Associate, Center for Social Development & Global Service Institute, Washington University in St. Louis

Return to top

Jennifer Putney

Associate Professor of Practice

Jennifer Putney has 20 years of experience as a clinical social worker with a specialization in treating substance use and co-morbid mental health disorders, particularly among LGBT populations. Drawing on her clinical experience, Putney’s research interests include substance abuse assessment and treatment, LGBT aging, and veterinary social work. Putney joined the full-time faculty at Simmons in 2010 and teaches courses in clinical practice, substance abuse treatment, and research methods. Putney is collaborating with a team of researchers and clinicians from Boston Children’s Hospital on a three-year grant funded by SAMHSA to help develop practitioners’ capacities in the public health model of screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment with adolescents at risk for substance use disorders. She also collaborates with the Fenway Institute on research pertaining to LGBT aging.

Why I Teach

I teach because I love to learn. I feel inspired by the opportunity to integrate best teaching practices, my clinical experience, and current scholarship to engage students in a dynamic learning process. My hope for students is that the feel both supported and challenged in a collaborative learning environment that fosters risk taking, self-reflection, confidence, and ultimately, transformation.


PhD, Simmons College School of Social Work
MSW, University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work
BASW, University of New Hampshire

Selected Publications & Presentations

Putney, J. M. (2013). Relational ecology: A theoretical framework for understanding the human-animal bond.Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 40(4),57-80.

Putney, J. M. (in press). Older lesbian adults’ psychological well-being: The significance of pets.Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services.

Bradford, J., Sass, S., Rudicel, S., Shepard, B., Putney, J. M., & Ladd, H. (November, 2013).Healthy aging in place for older lesbians.Poster presented at the American Public HealthAssociation Annual Meeting in Boston, MA.

Sankar, S., Millstein, M. & Putney, J. M. (October, 2013).Developing an annual implicit curriculum: Process, product, and questions.Panel presentation at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting in Dallas, TX.

Putney, J. M. (April, 2013).“An Irretrievable Loss”: The perceived impact of animal loss on older lesbian adults.Paper presented at the 3rd International Veterinary Social Work Summit, Knoxville, TN.

Frost, A. K. & Putney, J. M. (November, 2009).Blended learning: Impact on student learning, competencies and face-to-face teaching. Poster presented at the Council on Social WorkEducation Annual Program Meeting in San Antonio, TX.


LGBT aging
Substance abuse assessment and treatment
Co-morbid substance use and mental health disorders
Human-animal studies

Return to top

Julia Burns


Dr. Burns is an Associate Professor of Practice and Director of the SocialWork@Simmons MSW Program. She has been a practicing social worker for 27 years. Dr. Burns currently runs a private practice serving adolescents and families and adults using a variety of treatment modalities. Previously she was a private consultant working with social service agencies assisting with accreditation, licensing, and the development and coordination of clinical programs.

Dr. Burns has extensive experience in providing training and supervision to MSW students and clinical social workers. She has experience in developing, designing, and implementing courses for graduate social work students. Professor Burns taught Human Behavior in the Social Environment, Social Work Groups, Assessment and Diagnosis, Crisis Intervention with Children, Child and Adolescent Trauma, Social Work Practice I and II, and Advanced Clinical Practice I and II. Dr Burns completed her PhD in clinical social work and MSW at Boston College. She also holds a Master’s in Theology. She is part of the Red Cross Disaster Relief Mental Health Team for the state of Maine and volunteers for Give an Hour, working with members of the military and their families.


BS, Sociology/Psychology, Suffolk University
MA, Theology-Pastoral Counseling, St. Joseph’s College
MSW, Boston College Graduate School of Social Work
PhD, Boston College Graduate School of Social Work


  • SWO-411A – Human Behavior in the Social Environment
  • SWO-577 – Social Work with Groups
  • SWO-421 – Social Work Practice I, II
  • SWO-424 – Advanced Clinical Practice I, II


Burns, J. (2004). Dissertation: Examining effects of targeted case management on behavioral and service outcomes for children and youth experiencing severe emotional disturbance. Boston College Graduate School of Social Work.

Yoe, J., Burns, J., Linus, S., & Auslander, M. (2004). The influence of childhood trauma on public mental health service use and expenditures: preliminary findings. Presented at the 14th Annual Conference on State Mental Health Agency Services Research, Program Evaluation, and Policy in Arlington, Virginia.

Yoe, J.T., Turner, W., Burns, J., & Linus, S. (2003). Understanding child and adolescent users of targeted case management services in Maine: an exploratory study. Presented at the 16th Annual Florida Mental Health Institute Research Conference: A System of Care for Children’s Mental Health in Tampa, Florida.

Consulting and Professional Activity

The American Red Cross of Maine: Mental Health Disaster Relief
Give an Hour: Mental Health Services for Military Families

Return to top

Suzanne K. Sankar

Professor of Practice Suzanne K. Sankar, MSW, associate dean, has worked extensively as a clinical social worker in community mental health in the Boston area. She is a founder of the Welcome Project, an immigrant rights and service organization in Somerville, Massachusetts. She is the executive editor of the online journal Field Educator.


BA, University of Michigan
MSW, Simmons College School of Social Work

Research/Selected Publications

Sankar, S. (2008). Promoting evidence-informed practice: Lessons from the United Kingdom. Illinois Child Welfare Journal, 4(11), 179-188

Consulting and Professional Activity

Massachusetts State Wide Task Force on Safety and Social Work: 2009–present
Welcome Project — Co-Founder and Executive Board Member: 1998–2013

Return to top

Christina Sellers

Assistant Professor of Social Work


Boston College School of Social Work (2018), PhD

About Me

Christina M. Sellers is an Assistant Professor at Simmons University in the School of Social Work, College of Social Sciences, Policy, and Practice (CSSPP). Christina is a licensed clinical social worker whose practice experience includes delivering brief motivational interviewing interventions for suicidal adolescents with co-occurring substance use. Christina has expertise in clinical interventions with at risk youth and training in intervention research and implementation science. Her research is at the intersection of substance use, suicide, and the child welfare system. The goal of her program of research is to develop and test interventions for substance use and suicide among adolescents in a variety of different settings.

What I Teach

  • Research Methods
  • Program Evaluation
  • HBSE


Sellers, C. M., Diaz-Valdes Iriarte, A., Wyman Battalen, A., & O’Brien, K. H. (2019). Alcohol and marijuana use as daily predictors of suicide ideation and attempts among adolescents prior to psychiatric hospitalization. Psychiatry Research, 273, 672-677.

Sellers, C. M., McRoy, R., & O’Brien, K. H. (2019). Substance use and suicidal ideation among child welfare involved adolescents: A longitudinal examination. Addictive Behaviors, 93, 39-45.

O’Brien, K. H., Wyman Battalen, A., Sellers, C. M., Spirito, A., Yen, S., Maneta, E., Ryan, C.A., & Braciszewski, J. M. (In Press). An mHealth approach to extend a brief intervention for adolescent alcohol use and suicidal behavior: Qualitative analyses of adolescent and parent feedback. Journal of Technology in Human Services.

Hasson, R., & Sellers, C. M. (In Press). Teaching note – Using group role-play exercises to build advocacy skills and achieve equal opportunity and justice for all. Journal of Social Work Education.

Sellers, C. M., Wyman Battalen, A., Fiorenzo, L., McRoy, R., & Grotevant, H. (2018). An examination of adoptive mothers’ and fathers’ psychological distress: Parenting teens adopted from birth. Adoption Quarterly, 22(1), 5-28.

Wyman Battalen, A., Sellers, C. M., McRoy, R., & Grotevant, H. (2018). Birth Mothers Now Birth Grandmothers: Intergenerational Relationships in Open Adoptions. Adoption Quarterly, 22(1), 53-74.

O’Brien, K. H., Sellers, C. M., Wyman Battalen, A., Ryan, C., Maneta, E., Aguinaldo, L., White, E., & Spirito, T. (2018). Feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effects of a brief alcohol intervention for suicidal adolescents in inpatient psychiatric treatment. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 94, 105-112.

Sellers, C. M., O’Brien, K. H., Hernandez, L., & Spirito, A. (2018). Adolescent Alcohol Use: The Effects of Parental Knowledge, Peer Substance Use, and Peer Tolerance of Use. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 9(1), 69-87.

O’Brien, K. H., Aguinaldo, L.D., White, E., Sellers, C. M., & Spirito, A. (2018). A brief alcohol intervention during inpatient psychiatric hospitalization for suicidal adolescents. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 25(1), 22-31.

Sudhinaraset, M., Wigglesworth (Sellers), C. M., & Takeuchi, D. T. (2016). Social and cultural contexts of alcohol use: Influences in a social-ecological framework. Alcohol Research: Current Reviews, 38(1), 35-45.

Return to top

Leah Hart Tennen

Associate Professor of Practice and Director of Student Support for the College of Social Sciences, Policy & Practice

Leah Hart Tennen, MSW, MPH, LICSW, is the associate program director of SocialWork@Simmons and associate professor of practice. Tennen joined the SocialWork@Simmons team during its launch in July 2014 as the program’s first academic advisor. She teaches SWO-577: Social Work With Groups and SWO-455: Human Sexuality and Social Work Practice.

Outside of Simmons, Tennen is a teacher and clinical consultant for Girls’ LEAP, a self-defense and empowerment program for Boston-area girls. Before coming to Simmons full time, Tennen was the mikveh center director at Mayyim Hayyim Community Mikveh and Education Center. Tennen has also facilitated groups for Isis Parenting, Weight Watchers, and Marathon Physical Therapy. Tennen was the manager of the group mentoring department and a field instructor at the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston. She has been a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the International Association for Social Work with Groups (IASWG) since 2004 and served on the IASWG-Massachusetts chapter’s board of directors for eight years.

Why I Teach

I was inspired and motivated by my own teachers in social work school. I can only hope to provide a small amount of that to the future generations of social workers.


BA University of Wisconsin—Madison, May 1998
MSW Boston University School of Social Work, May 2004
MPH Boston University School of Public Health, May 2004


In addition to group work, Leah’s specific areas of interest include working with adolescent girls, sexual health and sexual decision-making, body image, and dating violence.

Return to top

Kristie A. Thomas

Kristie A. Thomas, PhD, MSW, is an Associate Professor and the MSW Director at Simmons University School of Social Work. Dr. Thomas has extensive practice, teaching, and research expertise in the field of anti-violence. Her work is focused on developing solutions to improve outcomes for people affected by intimate partner violence – particularly those who are economically and socially marginalized. In addition to many peer-reviewed articles, Dr. Thomas has authored online trainings, toolkits, and validated measures that are used widely by researchers and practitioners across the country. She is a recipient of the National Institute of Health’s, Health Disparities Loan Repayment Program, a highly competitive award that supports the research of health professionals.

Dr. Thomas teaches at the master and doctoral level in the School of Social Work, mentors Ph.D. students in their dissertation work, and provides graduate students with research opportunities on her many current projects. Additional teaching interests include program evaluation, community organizing and development, and public health frameworks. Dr. Thomas is deeply dedicated to teaching, explaining that, “I will be forever indebted to my professors at the University of Pennsylvania; their wisdom, expertise, and constant quest for excellence and innovation – within themselves and among their students – continue to inform my research and teaching. My goal is to offer the same quality of training to my own students.” Dr. Thomas is the recipient of two teaching awards: The Provost Award for Student-Centeredness in Graduate Teaching (2017), and the SAGE/American Evaluation Association Early Career Excellence in Teaching Award (2019).

Dr. Thomas serves the community and profession locally and nationally. In 2011, she co-founded the New England-based Domestic Violence Program Evaluation and Research Collaborative (DVPERC), which is comprised of over a dozen domestic violence programs and a handful of researchers spanning social work, psychology, and medicine. One of DVPERC’s many projects led to the development of MOVERS (the Measure of Victim Empowerment Related to Safety), a validated outcome measure that has been adopted widely for research and evaluation purposes.

Prior to joining the Simmons faculty, Dr. Thomas served as assistant director of the Ortner Center on Violence & Abuse in Relationships at the University of Pennsylvania and a research consultant for the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women. She received her MSW and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice.


  • PhD, University of Pennsylvania
  • MSW, University of Pennsylvania
  • BS, St. Joseph’s University

What I Teach

  • SW482: Domestic Violence and Family Welfare (clinical elective)
  • SW509: Evaluation in Social Work Practice (MSW required course)
  • SW 610: Social and Behavioral Theory (PhD required course)

Research/Creative Activities

Dr. Thomas conducts applied, community-based, and interdisciplinary research on the topic of intimate partner violence. She is currently completing a large-scale evaluation of a permanent housing program for IPV survivors in New York. She recently completed a research study funded by the Fatherhood Research and Practice Network that focuses on Responsible Fatherhood Groups as a vehicle for domestic violence education and prevention as well as an innovative pilot project called SASH (Survivors Achieving Stable Housing). Other recent collaborative research projects include the development of an online training for practitioners who work with people affected by intimate partner violence, and an online toolkit for emerging researchers on conducting community-based participatory research with members of the domestic violence community.

Recent grant funding

  • 2020 – 2022 Lead Evaluator. School of Social Work Expansion of Practitioner Education Professions. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, $196,591.
  • 2020 – 2021 Lead Evaluator. Evaluation of New Destiny Housing Inc.’s Family Support Program. Funds ($50,000) from NY Community Trust awarded to New Destiny Housing Inc.
  • 2018-2019 Principal Investigator, Center for Policy Research, Fatherhood and Research Practice Network. Responsible Fatherhood Groups and domestic violence education: An exploratory study of current practices, barriers, and opportunities. $25,409.

2017-2020 Co-Lead Evaluator (with Jill Messing). Survivors Achieving Stable Housing (SASH): Implementation and Evaluation. Funds ($70,000) awarded to the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence.


Select Recent Peer Reviewed Publications:

* Indicates author was a graduate student at time of writing

Thomas, K.A., & Mederos, F. (2021). “You gotta make them feel“: A study of evidence-informed strategies for addressing domestic violence in fatherhood programs. (Eds. J. Fagan & J. Pearson). New Research on Programs for Low-income Fathers. New York: Routledge.

Messing, J. T., Thomas, K.A, Ward-Lasher, A.* & Johnson, J. (2021). Survivors Achieving Stable Housing (SASH): A case study. Social Work, 66(1), 49-58. DOI: 10.1093/sw/swaa046.

Thomas, K. A., Messing, J. T., Ward-Lasher, A.,* & Bones, A. (2020). No easy decisions: Developing an evidence-informed process to allocate Housing Choice Vouchers to survivors of intimate partner violence. Housing Policy Debate, 30, 783-805. https://doi.org/10.1080/10511482.2020.1755336.

Thomas, K. A., Ward-Lasher, A.,* Kappas, A.,* & Messing, J. T. (2020). “It actually isn’t just about housing”: Success in a Domestic Violence Housing First Program. Journal of Social Service Research. Advance Online publication, March 30, 2020. DOI: 10.1080/01488376.2020.1745349

Ragavan, M., Thomas, K. A., Fulambarker, A., Zaricor, J.*, Goodman, L. A., & Bair-Merritt-M. (2020). Exploring the needs and lived experiences of racial and ethnic minority domestic violence survivors through community-based participatory research: A systematic review. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 21, 946-963. DOI: 10.1177/1524838018813204

Brewer, N.Q.* & Thomas, K.A. (2019). Impediments to academic performance among undergraduate survivors of intimate partner violence. Social Work in Healthcare, 58, 854-869. DOI: 10.1080/00981389.2019.1659905

Thomas, K. A., Mederos, F., & Rodriguez, G.* (2019). “It shakes you for the rest of your life”: An exploratory study of low-income fathers’ understanding of domestic violence and its impact on children. Psychology of Violence, 9, 564–573.

Ragavan, M., Thomas, K. A., Medzhitova, J.,* Brewer, N. Q.*, Goodman, L. A., & Bair-Merritt-M. (2019). A systematic review of community-based participatory research interventions for domestic violence survivors. Psychology of Violence, 9(2), 139-155. DOI: 10.1037/vio0000183

Sattler, L.,* Thomas, K. A. & Cadet, T. L., (2019). Reactive protection? Fear, victimization, and school violence among U.S. high school students. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 34, 3666-3690. DOI: 10.1177/0886260516672054

Thomas, K. A., Goodman, L. A., Barkai, R., Collins-Gousby, D., Heimel, D., & Schon-Vainer, E. (2018). Conducting ongoing and regionally focused community-based participatory research: The story of the Domestic Violence Program Evaluation Research Collaborative (DVPERC). Journal of Family Violence, 33(8) 537-549. DOI: 10.1007/s10896-018-9978-z

Goodman, L., A. Thomas, K. A., Cattaneo, L. B., Heimel, D. Woulfe, J.,* & Chong, S. K.* (2016). Survivor-defined practice in domestic violence work: Measure development and preliminary evidence of link to empowerment. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 31(1), 163-185.

Thomas, K. A., Goodman, L., A. & Putnins, S.* (2015). “I have lost everything:” Trade-offs of seeking safety from intimate partner violence. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 85, 170-180.

Goodman, L., A. Cattaneo, L. B., Thomas, K. A., Woulfe, J.,* Chong, S. K.* & Smyth, K. F. (2015). Enhancing survivors’ wellbeing through program evaluation: The Measure of Victim Empowerment Related to Safety (MOVERS). Psychology of Violence, 5, 355-366.

Brewer, N.Q.* Thomas, K.A., & Higdon, J. (2018). Intimate partner violence, sexuality, and academic performance among a national sample of undergraduates. Journal of American College Health, 66, 683-692. DOI: 10.1080/07448481.2018.1454929

Dichter, M. E., Thomas, K. A., Crist-Christoph, P. Ogden, S. & Rhodes, K. V. (2018). Coercive control in intimate partner violence: Relationship with women’s experience of violence, use of violence, and danger. Psychology of Violence, 8, 596-604. DOI: 10.1037/vio0000158.

Goodman, L., Thomas, K. A., Nnawulezi, N., Lippy, C., Serrata, J. V., Ghanbarpour, S., Sullivan, C., & Bair-Merritt, M. H. (2018). Bringing community based participatory research to intimate domestic violence research: An online toolkit. Journal of Family Violence, 33, 103-107. DOI: 10.1007/s10896-017-9944-1.

Brewer, N. Q.* & Thomas, K. A., (2018). LGBTQ intimate partner violence. In Oxford Bibliographies in Criminology, (Ed. Beth M. Huebner). New York: Oxford University Press.

Thomas, K. A., Sorenson, S. B., & Joshi, M. (2016). “Consent is good, joyous, sexy”: A banner campaign to market consent to college students. Journal of American College Health, 64(8), 639-650. DOI:10.1080/07448481.2016.1217869

Thomas, K. A., So, M.* (2016). Lost in limbo: An exploratory study of homeless mothers’ experiences and needs at emergency assistance hotels. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, 97(2), 120–131.

Reports and other Publications

Thomas, K. A. & Mederos, F. (2020, January). Responsible fatherhood groups and domestic violence education: An exploratory study of current practices, barriers, and opportunities. Denver, CO: Fatherhood Research and Practice Network. https://www.frpn.org/asset/frpn-grantee-report-responsible-fatherhood-groups-and-domestic-violence-education-exploratory

Thomas, K. A., Coley, E., Chadwick, M., Devereaux, D., Melbin, A., Miller, E. E., Yu, L., Zaricor, J.* & Hubert, S. (2020). Simmons University MA Chapter 260 Training on Domestic and Sexual Violence. Available at https://sites.google.com/a/simmons.edu/chapter-260-dv-sv-training/.

Thomas, K. A., Chadwick, M., Devereaux, D., Melbin, A., Miller, E. E., Yu, L., Zaricor, J.* & Hubert, S. (2017). Simmons School of Social Work Domestic Violence Training (3rd edition). Available at https://sites.google.com/a/simmons.edu/dv-training/

Goodman, L., Thomas, K. A., Serrata, J. V., Lippy, C., Nnawulezi, N., Ghanbarpour, S., Macy, R. J., Sullivan, C., & Bair-Merritt, M. (2017). Bringing community based participatory research to domestic violence research: An online toolkit for emerging researchers. Available at http://cbprtoolkit.org.Miller, E. C., Goodman, L. A., Thomas, K. A, Peterson, A.,* Scheer, J.,* Woulfe, J.,* & Warshaw, C. (2016, June). Trauma-informed approaches for LGBQT* survivors of intimate partner violence: A review of the literature and a set of practice-based observations. Boston, MA: GLBTQ Domestic Violence Project.

Return to top