Current Ph.D. Students
Matthew A. Walsh, MSW, LSW
My research interests focus around the child welfare system with an emphasis on the service providers. I am particularly interested in how service providers collaborate with other providers to aid families in need and what approaches they utilize when conflict emerges within these professional teams. I am currently acting as project coordinator for a HRSA grant aimed at training MSW students from the IU School of Social Work to improve their skills and knowledge in working with transitional age youth (ages 16-25). Prior to entering the PhD program, I worked for two years as a home-based therapist doing individual, family, and couples therapy for those involved in the child welfare system.
Sara Makki Alamdari
Her research interests are international social work, post-conflict reconstruction, refugees, peace culture, health, policy analysis, and statistical and quantitative methodology.
Eprise Armstrong Richardson, MSW
Eprise Armstrong Richardson, MSW is a Ph.D. Student at Indiana University School of Social Work, pursuing a minor in Translational Science. Eprise works with the Title IV-E Waiver Demonstration project, a collaborative effort between Indiana's Department of Child Services and Indiana University's School of Social Work and the department of Adolescent Medicine. Eprise is interested in methodologies dealing with large dataset analysis, structural equation modeling, and multidisciplinary collaboration. Her research interests include program and policy development and evaluation and transition age youth. Prior to attending IU, Eprise received her MSW from Washington University in St. Louis.
Emily Beerbower, MSW
Emily Beerbower, BSW, MSW, LSW, is a PhD student at Indiana University School of Social Work. Emily's research interests include high functioning ADHD, foster parents, children, adolescents and young adults with special health care needs, children, adolescents and young adults with chronic and life-threatening illnesses, trauma, social work professional identity, and transition age youth. Emily is especially interested in transition age youth.Specifically transition age youth who have experienced interpersonal trauma, resiliency, and post-traumatic growth.
Richard A. Brandon-Friedman
MSW, LCSW, LCAC
Richard's research interests include the formation of identity in GLBTQ-identified adolescents and youth, the sexual behaviors of adolescents and how they affect the adolescents' lives, interventions with hard-to-reach youth, trauma-informed care, children/adolescents' navigation of the child welfare system, the interactions between social and intrapersonal identities and the intersections between sociology and social work. He is pursuing a double minor in Human Sexuality (through the Kinsey Institute at IU Bloomington) and in Sociology. Prior to joining the PhD program, Richard worked as a therapist for a foster care agency for several years and a case manager for several community mental health agencies and received advanced training in trauma-informed care and attachment-building interventions.
Haiping Chen is a current doctoral student at Indiana University School of Social Work whose areas of interest include youth development, civic engagement of older adults, and intergenerational volunteering. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Xiamen University in China where she worked on developing a volunteer support network in urban communities, exploring opportunities for community social workers, and developing a home-based community care program for older adults.
Research areas include disparities within the Juvenile Justice System with a focus on transfer waivers. Hannah is a certified instructor for the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. Hannah is employed by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute as a Disproportionate Minority Contact Program Manager.
Terri S. Gee
Terri has research interests in increasing permanency through adoption for children with special needs, trauma-informed care, and formal and informal support systems for foster and adoptive parents. Terri is currently working as a behavioral therapist for children and adults with developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, and cerebral palsy, while enjoying volunteering as a child advocate.
Steven M. Hyer
Capt, USAF, BSC, LCSW
My research interests are in military social work, intimate partner violence in the military, uses of Gottman Method Couples Therapy and Motivational Interviewing in the treatment of intimate partner violence.
Marea K. Kinney
Research and Teaching Assistant
Marea's research interests include intersection of gender identity and sexuality, macro leadership development in social work (community organizing, conflict resolution, interprofessional education), and the benefits of peer mentoring. In particular, Marea's primary research interest is the experience of persons who identify as gender queer. Marea is pursuing an external minor in research methods (visual sociology, cultural anthropology, and geographic information system) and was accepted into the first Certificate in College Teaching cohort at IUPUI. Prior to the PhD program, Marea received a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and with a minor in Women's Studies from Purdue University and a Master's degree in Social Work with a concentration in Leadership from Indiana University. Marea’s work at the university and in the community has been recognized with the 2015 Elite 50 award and the 2015 William M. Plater Civic Engagement award.
Jangmin Kim (김장민) is a doctoral candidate. His social work research draws primarily on ideological and theoretical perspectives committed to economic, social, racial, and environmental justice. His research interests are broadly in macro practice with organizations and communities. More specifically, contemporary lines of research have worked in the following distinctive, but not mutually exclusive areas: (1) community-based collaboration in policy and human service settings, (2) the child welfare system and services, and (3) youth development and participation in schools and communities. He is currently working on his dissertation aimed at developing a comprehensive framework for transformative school-community collaboration. He is also engaged in the Title IV-E Waiver Evaluation Project, a statewide program funded by the Indiana Department of Child Services. His primary role on this project is to evaluate the processes and outcomes of the child welfare system and services by analyzing qualitative and quantitative data.
I-Hsuan is currently a doctoral candidate. I-Hsuan’s research interests include women’s and gender issues, work-family interface with focus on work-family conflict and integration, work-family reconciliation policy and practice, gender-based wage gap and poverty, older adults’ civic engagement, social work education outcomes, and instrument development and validation. I-Hsuan has also been an Associate Faculty at IUPUI since 2012 and has taught courses at BSW- and MSW-level. She currently teaches practice research for MSW Direct online program. Before joining IUSSW doctoral program, I-Hsuan had worked in the field of gender equality promotion, women’s welfare, single-parent family service and financial assistance as a social worker, Director, and Director-general of the NPOs and an Administrator of the Department of Social Welfare, Taipei City Government for 7 years combined. She has also been a consultant for Awakening Foundation (in Taiwan) since 2006.
Christine M. Garry, MSW, LSW
Christine M. Garry is a Ph.D. of Social Work student at Indiana University. She received a Master of Social Work degree with a concentration in Children and Families from Loyola University Chicago. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Spanish from Queens University of Charlotte. Christine is fluent in Spanish and English. Christine's research interest is based on the effects of not having a consistent male role model on Latino adolescents' behaviors and self-esteem.
Dustin Drew Pifer
Dustin Pifer, LCSW, LCAC is researching comorbid disorders and sexual health among 1st time offenders court ordered into treatment. He is a full-time counselor practicing MIT, CBT, and Prime For Life at St.Vincent Stress Center. He is also a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) educator for local police departments. His professional interests include all addictions (substances and behaviors among all populations- adolescents to senior citizens) and sexual health promotion.
Samantha is a second year doctoral student in the IUSSW PhD Program pursuing a minor in instructional systems technology. Samantha currently works full-time for the IUSSW MSW Direct Program as a visiting lecturer while completing her PhD studies. Prior to joining the IUSSW doctoral program and beginning her career in academia, Samantha received her Bachelor’s in Social Work and a Master’s in Social Work, with a concentration in healthcare. She is a clinically licensed social worker who engaged in program development and evaluation, grant writing and social services in the field of oncology as a medical social worker. Samantha has received community and university recognition as a RTV6 Leadership Award, IUPUI Top 100, and Eskenazi Health Tops ACTS recipient. Samantha has previous academia experience in technology-infused course development for graduate level social work courses, and preparing graduate level social work students in telebehavioral health practice with individuals and groups. Samantha’s research interests are in the development and assessment of innovative technologies used to enhance online higher education, social work practice and community outreach. Additional research interests include quality assurance in online higher education, ethical and legal considerations of online social work practice, and student engagement in online social work programs.
Julie Walsh, MSW, LSW
PhD Student & Research Assistant
Julie Walsh is a doctoral student in the Indiana University School of Social Work with a primary research interest in the intersection of gender diversity, sexuality, and alternative relationship structures. Additional research interests include HIV, spirituality, nonprofit management, and macro social work practice. Julie comes to IU with a Bachelor’s Degree in All-Area Music Education from Butler University and a Master of Social Work Degree with a dual concentration in leadership and mental health/addictions from IU. Julie is currently serving as the Executive Director of GenderNexus, an emerging organization for the gender diverse community.
Aaron C. Willis
My research interests are rooted in harm reduction, substance misuse, and mental health. My minor area of concentration is epidemiology. Currently, I am gathering coroner data of prescription painkiller and heroin overdose deaths to further understand the conditions and contexts of these deaths with the overarching intent of increasing the availability and reach of Narcan (naloxone), an antidote for prescription painkiller and heroin overdoses.
Eun Hye YI
Eun Hye is a Ph.D. student in the School of Social Work at Indiana University pursuing a minor in Economics. Her research interests are aging and the effects of social policies on older adults’ and their families’ well-being. She is currently exploring how American senior citizens respond to the legalization of medical marijuana. Additional research interests include socioeconomic justice and health disparity among older adults, caring labor, ageism, and gerontological social work education. She received her M.S.W. degree from Soongsil University (accredited by CSWE), Seoul, Korea, concentrating on policy practice. Prior to beginning the Ph.D. program, she worked as a generalist social worker for communities in Seoul, Korea for several years, and as a researcher at a national research institute, involving quantitative analysis to evaluate the effects of workfare programs in Korea.