4 social work faculty earn promotions

By Catherine Donnelly

Published September 22, 2023


The University of Buffalo School of Social Work is pleased to announce the following promotions: Todd Sage, PhD, to clinical associate professor, and Mickey Sperlich, PhD, Christopher St. Vil, PhD, and Noelle M. St. Vil, PhD, to associate professor. 

Todd Sage.

Todd Sage

Todd Sage’s work focuses on child welfare practice, addiction and integrating technology into teaching. He is currently a co-investigator — with Associate Professor Annette Semanchin Jones, PhD — on a grant from the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute. Sage received the 2023 Excellence in Interprofessional Education Collaboration Award from the Interprofessional Education Collaborative for his work with UB’s Lighthouse Clinic to reduce barriers to care and the impact of social determinants of health. He was also named a 2022 Online Teaching Ambassador by the State University of New York (SUNY). Sage came to UB in 2017 and serves on UB’s HOMES and Addiction Studies committees, and as chair for the WNY Citizen Review Board for Child Protective Services, among other organizations.

Mickey Sperlich, PhD, associate professor in the UB School of Social Work.

Mickey Sperlich

Mickey Sperlich is an experienced midwife and centers her research on the impact of trauma and mental health challenges in childbearing and postpartum periods. She joined the faculty in 2015 and most recently received a National Institutes of Health award to partner with the Buffalo Prenatal-Perinatal Network on a study that will advance the science behind the Survivor Moms’ Companion intervention she co-created. In 2023, SUNY named Sperlich an Online Teaching Ambassador. Sperlich and colleagues from the School of Social Work also won an Innovative Instruction Technology Grant from the Office of the SUNY Provost and Innovative Instruction Research Council to scale up their virtual reality learning environment. Sperlich is a member of several trauma- and perinatally focused national and international associations, and reviews for over 20 journals.

Chris St. Vil.

Christopher St. Vil

Christopher St. Vil examines masculinity with an emphasis on victims of violence, along with the influence of masculinity on health and risk-taking activities. His research currently involves a grant from the Erie County Medical Center for advancing hospital-based victim services and improving the connection between hospital-based and community-based victim services. He came to UB in 2015 and his service to the university has included being a member of the UB Community Health Equity Research Institute and delivering the keynote presentation at last spring’s Community Advocacy Conference. He also is a board member for the Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers.

Noelle St. Vil.

Noelle M. St. Vil

Noelle M. St. Vil considers Black male-female relationships in her research, including how structured racism, intimate partner violence, and sexual health and well-being affects individuals. Currently, she is a co-investigator on a project to create culturally specific sexual assault intervention prevention materials for Black college women and a consultant on a grant from the New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center to investigate attempted intimate partner homicide. In 2023, she received the Excellence in Research award from the school’s Buffalo Center for Social Research and was named Faculty Member of the Year by the Class of 2023. Having joined the faculty in 2015, she now mentors PhD candidates, advises the UBSSW Association of Black Social Workers, co-chairs the school’s Racial Justice Coordinating Committee, reviews for several journals, and serves on the board for Growing Forward Together and Her Sacred Way.