Winter 2022
School Updates

Faculty funding and publications

Read more about new grants, publications, and other recognitions for Pitt Social Work faculty.


Dean Betsy Farmer received funding from the Allegheny County Department of Human Services for her project, Needs Assessment for Allegheny County Jail Inmate Welfare Fund.

Assistant Professor Rachel Gartner, with doctoral students Adrian Ballard and Emil Smith, received a Pitt Seed grant for her project, Translating TGQN Campus Climate Findings into Practice.

Associate Dean and Associate Professor James Huguley, along with colleagues from the Schools of Social Work, Education, and Medicine and The Pittsburgh Study in the Pitt Department of Pediatrics, has been awarded a $3 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences for the Just Discipline Project. Huguley also received a grant from the Allegheny Intermediate Unit for training and evaluation programs at the Just Discipline Project.

Assistant Professor Travis Labrum received a 2021 Steven H. Sandell Grant, administered by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, to study the perspectives of adults with mental illness who have their social security benefits managed by a family member. Labrum also will conduct in-depth interviews with the family members acting as the beneficiaries’ representative payee.

Assistant Professor Deborah Moon received a University of Pittsburgh Year of Engagement grant in support of the Congregations as Healers Uniting to Restore Community Health (CHURCH) Project. The CHURCH Project engages Black church musicians to incorporate musical components into a mental health intervention that can be implemented in Black churches.

Associate Professor Mary Ohmer received a one-year grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Ohmer, along with colleagues at Pitt and UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and community partners, is working to create a community-level strategy to reduce youth violence in Pittsburgh neighborhoods.

Research Associate Professor Mary Elizabeth Rauktis received a 2021 Pitt Momentum Funds Seeding Grant. She is leading the project Supporting the Education of Youth in Foster Care during the Pandemic: Foster Parent and Agency Perspectives in collaboration with her Pitt Social Work colleagues Huguley and Fengyan Tang and other Pitt partners in the School of Education and University Library System.

Professor Daniel Rosen, along with coinvestigators Rafael Engel and Huguley, received a $1.9 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to provide specialized behavioral health workforce training to Pitt Social Work MSW students.


Associate Professor Jaime Booth’s Homewood Youth-Powered & Engaged Media project is now producing and publishing podcasts that are available on Spotify.

Assistant Professor Victor Figuereo authored the chapter “The Role of the Health Care System on the Incorporation of Latinxs into American Society” for the book The Edinburgh Companion to the Politics of American Health.

Associate Professor Sara Goodkind is one of three editors in chief of the journal Affilia: Feminist Inquiry in Social Work.

Assistant Professor Nev Jones was named column editor of Psychiatric Services, a peer-reviewed medical journal, and a lead editor for the Community Mental Health Journal. Jones also was appointed to The Lancet Psychiatry Commission on Psychoses as well as to serve as a member of the commission editorial group and participatory research chair.

Associate Professors Jeffrey Shook and Rafael Engel, along with doctoral student Christina Huerta, Daisia Williams (MSW ’20), and colleagues from the Pitt School of Education, released a new report as part of the Pittsburgh Wage Study. “Motivations, Barriers, and Strategies: Perceptions of Human Service Organizations to Proposals to Raise the Minimum Wage” used in-depth interviews with 25 leaders of human service organizations of varying budget sizes in the Pittsburgh area to understand their perceptions of proposals to raise the minimum wage and their capacity to do so.

Shook and Engel, along with Associate Professor Sara Goodkind, research team consultant Sandra Wexler, and Kess Ballentine (MSW ’17, PhD ’21), edited a special issue of Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services titled Moving Beyond Poverty: Effects of Low-wage Work on Individual, Social, and Family Well-being.

Clinical Assistant Professor and Academic Coordinator of the Child Welfare Education for Leadership Program Alicia Johnson contributed the chapter “Adverse Childhood Experiences: How Incidents from the Past Affect a Student’s Classroom Behavior Today” to the book Strategies and Methods for Implementing Trauma-informed Pedagogy.

Associate Professor Mary Ohmer and three colleagues were named members of the editorial team for the Journal of Community Practice by the Association for Community Organization and Social Action.

Research Associate Professor Mary Elizabeth Rauktis has been appointed children’s book editor for the Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, published by Taylor & Francis.

Clinical Assistant Professor Liz Winter is the lead author of the book chapter “Team-based Learning Brings Academic Rigor, Collaboration, and Community to Online Learning,” which appears in Resilient Pedagogy: Practical Teaching Strategies to Overcome Distance, Disruption, and Distraction.