PhD Student Profiles

PechaKucha, 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:

Erin Bascug

Education

  • MS, University of Delaware
  • BA, Drew University

Research Areas

  • intimate partner violence, dating violence and sex trafficking
  • behavioral health effects of early traumatic experiences
  • mixed methods

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

  • MA, University at Buffalo
  • MSW, Nagpur University (India) 
  • BA, Mysore University (India)

Research Areas

  • trauma among older veterans
  • resilience, PTSD and posttraumatic growth
  • personality and mood disorders

Nathaniel Deka

Education

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

Research Areas

  • neighborhood effects on justice involved youth
  • geospatial analysis
  • community responses to the school to prison pipeline

Josal (Josie) Diebold

Education

  • BA, Canisius College

Research Areas

  • critical analysis of whiteness and white supremacy
  • antiracist organizing
  • mixed methods

Maryam Edun

Education

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

Research Areas

  • child welfare in Guyana
  • early childhood mental health
  • quantitative methods and advanced statistical analyses

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

  • identity development and empowerment in youth-driven contexts
  • homelessness and child welfare involvement among LGBTQ+ youth
  • participatory action research

Andrew Irish

Education

  • MSW, Roberts Wesleyan College
  • BA, Houghton College

Research Areas

  • social welfare policy analysis
  • electoral democracy models and socio-economic disparities
  • political participation and population health

Mary Keovisai

Education

  • MSW, University at Buffalo
  • MA, University of California, Los Angeles
  • BA, University of California, Santa Barbara

Research Areas

  • Southeast Asian refugees families
  • war and gender-based violence
  • community health

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

PhD Candidate

Dissertation topic: A retrospective study of the last year of life for people with intellectual disabilities in community residences (Chair: Deborah Waldrop)

Education

  • MSW, Rutgers University
  • BA, Elmira College

Research Areas

  • intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • aging populations
  • end-of-life care and decision-making

Berg Miller

PhD Candidate

Education

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

Research Areas

  • workplace microaggressions between social service employees
  • applications of feminist intersectionality theory to research methods
  • critical analysis of whiteness as a social construct
  • intersectional experiences of discrimination for women of color

Temitope Oke

Education

  • BSW, University of the District of Columbia

Research Areas

  • LGBT, HIV/AIDS and health disparities
  • immigrants seeking asylum
  • policy and program evaluation

Sarah Richards-Desai

Education

  • BA, Houghton College
  • MSW, University at Buffalo

Research Areas

  • refugee women's social capital and economic participation
  • transnational feminist perspectives of gender-based inequality
  • qualitative and quantitative methods, large public data sets

Shasta Savage

Education

  • BA, Ithaca College

Research Areas

  • trauma-informed mindfulness and self-compassion
  • youth development
  • resilience

Carol F. Scott

PhD Candidate

Dissertation topic: Youth Social Media Use: Engagement, Frequency, 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

  • mental health stigma within systems of care
  • feminist and disabilites studies
  • borderline personality disorder

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

PhD Candidate

Education

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

Research Areas

  • refugee mental health and psychosocial well-being
  • forced migration in the Middle East
  • resilience and empowerment
  • community-based participatory research