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PhD Student Profiles

PechaKucha 2015, making the most of 6 minutes, PhD students and faculty presentations

Learn more about our current PhD students and candidates.

Learn more about our current PhD students and candidates:

Janice Carello

PhD Candidate

Dissertation topic: MSW students' and educators' stories of retraumatization during training (Chair: Nancy J. Smyth)

Education

  • MSW, University at Buffalo
  • MA, SUNY Brockport
  • BS, SUNY Brockport

Research Areas

  • trauma-informed teaching and learning
  • gaming and gamification in therapeutic and educational settings
  • narrative inquiry

Thomas P. Chacko

Education

  • MSW, Nagpur University (India) 
  • MPhil, Madras University (India) 
  • BA, Mysore University (India)

Research Areas

  • attentional bias and trauma among older veterans
  • resilience, posttraumatic growth, and eudaimonic wellbeing
  • personality and emotional disorders

Josal (Josie) Diebold

Education

  • BA, Canisius College

Research Areas

  • racial trauma and human rights 
  • institutional racism 
  • child welfare 

Maryam Edun

Education

  • MSW, Fordham University
  • BS, University of Central Florida

Research Areas

  • international child welfare
  • child welfare policy
  • child mental health

Dieuveut Gaity

PhD Candidate

Dissertation topic: Hope for the Future: A Phenomenological Study of Constituents of Hope among Street Children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti (Chair: Dr Kathleen A. Kost)

Education

  • MSW, Roberts Wesleyan College
  • BA, State University of Haiti

Research Areas

  • child welfare
  • youth and family quality of life
  • community development and conservation of resources

Travis Hales

PhD Candidate

Dissertation topic: Overcoming the dehumanizing effects of bureaucracy on social service staff (Chair: Kathleen A. Kost)

Education

  • MSW, University at Buffalo
  • BA, SUNY Fredonia

Research Areas

  • human service management and leadership
  • organizational psychology
  • trauma-informed organization

Allison F. Hall

Education

  • BS, Towson University

Research Areas

  • cultural identity construction in transracial foster care and adoption placements
  • child welfare policy and global children's rights advocacy
  • LGBTQ parenting 
  • integrating activism into research methodology

Mary Keovisai

Education

  • MA, University of California, Los Angeles
  • BA, University of California, Santa Barbara

Research Areas

  • Southeast Asian refugees
  • impact of violence on community health
  • war and gender-based violence

Nathaniel Kerr

Education

  • MSW, Wayne State University
  • BA, Michigan State University

Research Areas

  • juvenile justice and intersection of deep poverty
  • community responses to the school to prison pipeline
  • geo-spatial analysis and data science

Kathleen A. Knaak

PhD Candidate

Dissertation topic: The Impact of Inclusive, Family-Focused Preschool Education on Kindergarten Readiness for Children with Disabilities (Chair: Thomas Nochajski)

Education

  • MSW, University at Buffalo
  • BA, SUNY Fredonia

Research Areas

  • impact of person-centered planning on the quality of life and social inclusion of adults and children with disabilities

Braden K. Linn

PhD Candidate

Dissertation topic: Concurrent posttraumatic stress symptoms and substance use in veterans: latent class analysis and path analysis considering the effects of pre-service variables (Chair: Thomas Nochajski)

Education

  • MSW, University at Buffalo
  • MCMP, University of Utah
  • BA, Westminster College

Research Areas

  • concurrent PTSD and substance use problems
  • veterans
  • impaired driving

Jacqueline McGinley

Education

  • MSW, Rutgers University
  • BA, Elmira College

Research Areas

  • intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • aging
  • end-of-life

Berg Miller

Education

  • MSW, Loyola University Chicago
  • MA, Loyola University Chicago
  • BA, Hollins University

Research Areas

  • critical analysis of whiteness 
  • methodological innovation in intersectionality
  • intersections of gender/race/sexual orientation 
  • workplace racial microaggressions in the social services

Rebecca S. Rouland Polmanteer

PhD Candidate

Disseratation topic: Geographic Disparities in Postpartum Depression (Chair: Robert H. Keefe)

Education

  • MSW, Roberts Wesleyan College
  • BA, SUNY Geneseo

Research Areas

  • health disparities
  • adolescent mental health
  • adolescent pregnancy and parenting
  • the mental and emotional well-being of mothers
  • role of geographic, racial, and ethnic factors on physical and mental health

Sarah Richards-Desai

Education

  • BA, Hougton College
  • MSW, University at Buffalo

Research Areas

  • social capital, networks, and connectedness of refugee women
  • socioeconomic status of refugee women resettled in the U.S.
  • transnational feminist perspectives on migration
  • cultural humility

Carol F. Scott

PhD Candidate

Dissertation topic (tentative): Youth Social Media Use: Quality, Quantity, and Consequences for Risk and Well-being (Chair: Thomas Nochajski)

Education

  • MSW, University of Windsor (Canada)
  • BA, McMaster University (Canada)
  • Diploma, Fleming College (Canada)

Research Areas

  • youth social media use
  • youth risk behavior and well-being
  • social networks and peer relations 
  • development in context 

Nurit Fischer Shemer

PhD Candidate

Dissertation topic (tentative): Generational trauma among the children of survivors (Chair: Deborah P. Waldrop)

Education

  • MSW, University at Buffalo
  • MEd, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Israel)
  • BSPharm, Hebrew University at Jerusalem (Israel)

Research Areas

  • multigenerational trauma
  • severe trauma among older adults
  • grieving processes of individuals and communities

Connor Walters

Education

  • BA, Canisius College

Research Areas

  • borderline personality disorder
  • gender and mental health
  • adolescent mental health
  • feminist lenses for social work and mental health practice

Melanie Washington

PhD Candidate

Dissertation topic: Barriers to Accessing Mental Health Care for Children and Adolescents (Chair: Kathleen A. Kost)

Education

  • MSW, University at Buffalo
  • MPH, University at Buffalo
  • BS, Nazareth College

Research Areas

  • child and adolescent mental health care including evidence-based treatments
  • unmet population needs
  • access to care solutions

Asli Cennet Yalim

Education

  • MSW, Florida State University
  • MA, Istanbul University (Turkey)
  • BA, Istanbul University (Turkey)

Research Areas

  • refugee mental health
  • cultural competence
  • resilience and empowerment
  • community-based participatory research