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Boston College School of Social Work
PhD Student Profiles
PhD Videos

Kyle Bourque, PhD '12

Kyle Bourque, PhD '12
Kyle discusses the dynamics that steered him towards a career as an Army social worker and eventually to doctoral education at Boston College School of Social Work. Watch video »

Charu-Stokes, PhD '12

Charu Stokes, PhD '12
Charu describes how Boston College School of Social Work gave her extensive support and mentorship, enabling her to take advantage of her rich international experiences and successfully complete her PhD on a related research topic. Watch video »


PhD Student Profiles

PhD Candidates

Maria Emilia Bianco

MSW, Boston College; MA, Austral University
Research Interests: Migration, transnational families, transnational motherhood, gender inequality, women entrepreneurship and development. Community-based participatory and action research (PAR), mixed-methods and international research

Yeon Jin Choi

MSW, Washington University in St. Louis
Research Interests: Environmental gerontology, aging-in-place, older immigrants, health disparities

Yoosun Chu

MSW, Boston College; MSc, University of Birmingham; BA, Seoul National University
Research Interests: International social work; Rights-based approach; Capacity building in developing countries, community development in developing countries; Immigrant integration

Sarah Dow Fleisner

MA, Tufts University; BS, Colby-Sawyer College; BA, Colby-Sawyer College
Research Interests: Development trajectories of children in unsupportive and high-risk contexts; Parent-child and sibling relationships in families experiencing parental mental illness and substance use; Protective factors related to resilient functioning in at risk children; Statistical methodology


Hae Nim Lee

MSW, Washington University in St. Louis
Research Interests: Adolescent well-being in multicultural families; immigrant health; work and well-being of immigrants; cross cultural research

Anne Leong

MSW, University of Pennsylvania
Research Interests: Measurement and evaluation; Early childhood; Head Start; Cross-cultural measurement; Community-based participatory research

Pablo Gaitan Rossi

MS, Universidad Iberoamericana; BA, Universidad Iberoamericana
Research Interests: Context; Violence; Poverty; Inequality; Gender; Youth

Elizabeth Gruenfeld

MSW, Boston College; EdM, Harvard Graduate School of Education; BA, Smith College (LCSW)
Research Interests: Trauma-sensitive education and psychosocial interventions in post-conflict settings; Intergenerational impacts of violence and forced migration; Human trafficking; Cross-cultural teacher training; Participatory and arts-based research; Critical race theory; Indigenous lifeways; Program evaluation and curriculum development; Intercultural education & international social work

Luz Maria Hernandez

MA, ITESM Mexico
Research Interests: Health disparities; Mental health minorities; Social policy; Intervention research


Anayeli Lopez

MSSA, Case Western Reserve University; BA, Grace College
Research Interests: Immigrant populations/families; Transnational families; Immigration and deportation policies and outcomes; Program and intervention research

Robert Rosales

MSW, Boston College
Research Interests: Mental health help seeking, barriers, and disparities among Latino populations

Christina Sellers

MSW, Boston College; BA, Emmanuel College
Research Interests: Risk factors for adolescent substance use and related developmental outcomes; Resiliency factors that assist in the mitigation of risk factors; Familial factors related to risk and resilience in children’s socio-emotional development; Prevention of substance use initiation


Ana-Maria Vasquez

MS, ITESO; MS, University of Sussex; BA, ITESO
Research Interests: Contemporary social conflicts and social welfare, collective organization in societies in conflict, violence and social welfare, the relation between social crisis and social activism


Kaipeng Wang

MSW, University of South Carolina Columbia
Research Interests: Social determinants of health; neighborhood environment and health behaviors; quantitative research methods

Yihan Wang

MPA, University of Maryland
Research Interests: Aging policy between the US and China; Long-term care; Aging in the workplace; Productive aging

Bongki Woo

MSW, University of Pittsburgh
Research Interests: Mental health and health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities; Substance abuse; Behavioral addiction; Co-occurring mental and substance use disorder; Cross-cultural research

Addie Wyman Battalen

MSW, Columbia University; BA, Earlham College
Research Interests: Mental health & well-being with LGBT & Multiracial families; Increasing access to services for new parents, especially related to adoption, same-sex parenting and inter-racial families; School social work; Child & adolescent trauma

Jie Yang

MSW, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Research Interests: Aging workforce; Unemployment; Productive aging; LGBT older adults; International social work


PhD Students

Manuel Cano

MSW, Arizona State University; BA, ITESM
Research Interests:Substance abuse, child-welfare & unauthorized immigrants; evidence-based practices.

Victor Figuereo

MA, Ball State University; BA, Clark University
Research Interests: Racial microagressions; Diversity-related course processes and outcomes; Acculturative factors of mental health; Culturally-adaptive mental health treatment

Robert G. Hasson, III

MSW, Boston College School of Social Work; BA, Saint Michael’s College
Research Interests: Clinical services for vulnerable children and families; Trauma-informed interventions; Foster care; Refugee settings and migration; Family preservation


Antonia Diaz-Valdes Iriarte

MSW, Pontific University Catholic of Chile; BA, Pontific University Catholic of Chile
Research Interests:Promoting the wellbeing of older adults; The role that public policies play on the wellbeing of older adults, especially the retirement income system; Statistics in social sciences and Evidence-based approach.

Julie Miller

MSW, University of California, Berkeley; BS, Northeastern University
Research Interests: Primary: Gerontology; aging of Millennial generation; impact of demographic changes in homes, workplaces, and community spaces; service-learning in higher education
Secondary: Technology and society, disabilities, death & dying

Kat Nielsen

MSW, University of Washington; BSW, Pacific Lutheran University
Research Interests: Adoption; Non-traditional families; Parenting; Adolescence; Youth at risk


Kareemah Sabur

A.B. Harvard University, Sociology
Research Interests:Critical pedagogy and practice within social work; positive discrimination/affirmative action policies internationally, especially how they impact higher education; experiences of historically marginalized groups in the context of higher education.