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Boston College School of Social Work

Elizabeth Gruenfeld

Elizabeth Gruenfeld

BA, Smith College; EdM, Harvard Graduate School of Education; MSW, Boston College School of Social Work (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

Organization Affiliations

The Trauma Center at JRI; University of the Middle East Project; Kripalu Yoga Teacher Association

Awards and Fellowships

Boston College Doctoral Fellowship; Advanced Social Work Fellowship, The Trauma Center at JRI; Alfred G. & Elma M. Milotte Scholarship

Teaching Experience

North Shore Community College; Living Routes/Centro Sachamama (University of Massachusetts at Amherst); University of the Middle East Project; Conferences & trainings for The Trauma Center at JRI, Community HealthCorps/AmeriCorps Program, Power of Hope

Research Experience

The Trauma Center at JRI (Developmental Trauma Disorder Field Trial); Boston College Center for Social Innovation (Leading the Way: Social Innovation in Massachusetts); North Shore Medical Center Wellness Center (mixed-methods intervention study of pediatric obesity program); Cultural Agents Initiative (mixed-methods evaluation studies examining impact of arts/literacy program on children's reading attitude, literacy, and critical thinking in Mexico and Boston area); University of the Middle East Project (qualitative interviews and arts-based methodology examining program impact on psychosocial indicators in teacher trainees from eight countries in Middle East/North Africa region); Center for Mutual Learning, Smith College (indigenous critiques of western gender and agricultural development programs in Andean region of Peru/Bolivia)


Gruenfeld, E., Zagarins, S, Werner, A, Skinner, S. (Forthcoming). "Fun & Fit" child obesity program: Outcomes review. North Shore Medical Center, Wellness Center.

Gruenfeld, E. (2010). Thinking Creatively is Thinking Critically. New Directions for Youth Development, 2010(125), 71-83.

Additional Experience

Faculty/Program Director: University of the Middle East Project, “Teacher Education Institute” (Boston/DC), “Sister Cities-Community Participation & Leadership Initiative” (Morocco-Somerville, MA), “Civic Engagement Workshop” (Egypt & Lebanon), “Collaborative Arts Initiative” (Morocco & RI/NYC); Co-Faculty/Facilitator: Living Routes/Centro Sachamama, “Indigenous Ecology, Spirituality & Spanish,” “Spanish Language through Indigenous Cuisine and Permaculture.”

Selected Presentations

Global Mental Health:

Gruenfeld, E. (November, 2014). Children of war, trauma and arts interventions. Trauma and the arts conference at Salem State University, Salem, MA.

Gruenfeld, E. (November, 2014). Global social justice panel. International education week at Boston College School of Social Work, Chestnut Hill MA.

Human Trafficking:

Gruenfeld, E. (May, 2014). Human trafficking & complex trauma: Health care & psychosocial issues with survivors. Stolen Lives: An interprofessional response to trafficking conference at Quinnipiac University Nursing School, Quinnipiac, CT.

Gruenfeld, E. (April, 2014). Human trafficking 101 & youth social action. Junior State of America-New England conference at Massachusetts Institute for Technology, Cambridge, MA.

Gruenfeld, E. (October, 2013). Human trafficking and nursing interventions. Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) seminar, at Metrowest Medical Center, Framingham, MA.

Gruenfeld, E. (April, 2013). Human trafficking and mental health. Freedom Network Conference, Washington DC.

Intercultural/International Education: Clarke, M. & Gruenfeld, E. (April 2011). Critical exploration for global arts-based civic engagement. Eleanor Duckworth Retirement Conference, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA.

Gruenfeld, E. (May 2010). Results of intervention studies on Cultural Agents Initiative’s arts-literacy programs. Paper Picker Press International Conference, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

Gruenfeld, E. (March, 2010). Paper Picker Press study findings and arts-based research. PEAR (Program in Education, Afterschool & Resiliency) webinar, McLean Hospital, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. Gruenfeld, E. (April, 2008). Arts Based Interventions for Children Affected by Trauma, War and Displacement. Harvard Graduate Student Research Conference, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA.

U.S. Community Health:

Gruenfeld, E. (multiple workshops 2001-2007). Grant writing; Developing effective partnerships; Yoga for stress; Arts-based group facilitation; Conflict Resolution at home and work; Complementary & alternative medicine, yoga therapy and Ayurveda; Cultural competency. National Community HealthCorps “Community Health Service Forum” Conference, San Diego CA, Nashville TN, Orlando FL, Atlanta GA.

Gruenfeld, E. (March, 2006). Outreach to Latino Families: Strategies for Teachers and Community Workers. Seattle Public Schools In-Service Training, Seattle, WA.

Gruenfeld, E. (February, 2005). The Role of National Service in Reducing Gaps in Health Care Delivery for the Underserved. Pacific Northwest Conference for AmeriCorps State Directors, Portland, OR.


Designed multiple teacher training programs and community-based workshops for teachers, youth and communities in Morocco, Lebanon, Egypt, Peru, Canada and U.S. on arts-based civic engagement strategies, trauma & resilience, critical thinking development, and human rights education.

Anticipated Graduation

May 2017