It is with great pride and pleasure that we present this year's doctoral candidates and recent graduates from the University of Washington Doctoral Program in Social Welfare. To view each individual's CV and portfolio materials, please select the person's name.

We welcome your inquiries about any of the candidates or graduates listed.  Please feel free to contact us or any of our faculty (the general number for the School is 206-543-5640) if we may be of further assistance.

Dr. Nancy Hooyman
Endowed Gerontology Professor
Dean Emeritus & Director of PhD Program in Social Welfare

Dr. Edwina Uehara
Professor & Ballmer Endowed Dean

Odessa BensonOdessa Gonzalez Benson

Odessa's research on refugee resettlement expands current knowledge about policy and practice with refugees by focusing on labor equity, socioeconomic adjustment and organizations' participation as dimensions that foreground refugee well-being.  Through her dissertation, Odessa examined policy-driven vis-à-vis refugee-driven resettlement and collected nationwide data about refugee placement and organizations, in collaboration with five refugee groups.  She draws upon years of engagement with refugee communities, diverse work experiences and her personal path as a 1.5-generation immigrant, to inform and motivate her research.  Odessa also pursues theoretical work to integrate social work practice perspectives with refugee and migration studies and citizenship theory.  She is interested in teaching macro practice, social theory, and social work with refugees and immigrants.


Sharon BorjaSharon G. Borja

Sharon's research focuses on life course and intergenerational processes of adversity accumulation and their impact on child wellbeing and parent mental health. Informed by nearly a decade of direct social work practice experience, she specializes in the developmental and social context of adversity, especially within families of color who are at the intersection of racial disparities, multi-form adversities, and multiple systems involvement. Sharon is interested in teaching direct social work practice, child welfare practice and policy, multicultural social work practice, and social work research.


christopher cambronChristopher Cambron

Chris's research seeks to bridge gaps between our understanding of adolescent social development, prevention science, and public policy.  After years designing and implementing therapeutic programming for youth struggling with delinquency, substance abuse, and mental illness, the necessity of moving "upstream" into the realm of prevention science became quite clear.  His primary areas of interest include risk and protective factors for adolescent delinquency and substance abuse, public policy evaluation, neighborhood and policy contexts for substance abuse, and childhood maltreatment.  Chris's work spans multiple disciplinary contexts with the goal of enhancing our understanding of and solutions for social problems.  His primary teaching interests are in research methods, prevention science, policy analysis, and poverty and inequality.


margaret christofoloMargaret A. Cristofalo


Margaret's research focus is on investigating the challenges of delivering equitable and effective health and mental health care to vulnerable, underserved populations in health and mental health care safety net settings.  Most recently, she employed critical qualitative methods to study the processes and influential contextual factors in translating and implementing evidence-based practices for vulnerable patient populations in these settings.  Many years of front line medical and psychiatric social work practice add the depth of knowledge and experience of current, real-world complexities to her teaching and research.  She is enthusiastic about teaching social work practice and research methods classes.


danae dotoloDanae Dotolo

Danae's research focuses on social inequities in health and ethical decision-making in health care, with a particular interest in developing more equitable policies and practice models for providing palliative and end-of-life care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ)-identified patients and their families.  Her scholarly agenda is informed by practice experience as a public policy advocate, significant experience in health care research, and transdisciplinary training in bioethics and social work.  Danae is interested in teaching macro social work practice, social welfare policy, social justice theory, social work history, and ethics.

sarah JenSarah Jen              

Sarah's research focuses on health of LGBTQ older adults and the sexuality of older women.  Through her dissertation research and her involvement with the Aging with Pride Study, the largest national study of LGBTQ older adults, Sarah has explored how the social networks, experiences, and lives of bisexual individuals informs their health and well-being across the life course.  She has also explored how intimate and sexual relationships inform older women's experiences of their bodies, aging, and identities.  Sarah's scholarly work is informed by critical feminist and life course perspectives and she uses these perspectives to inform her teaching in multigenerational practice and practice with older adults, social welfare history and policy, and social research.



ji young kangJi Young Kang

Ji Young's research interest focuses on how social policy contexts shape individual life chances and outcomes such as poverty, inequality and family economic well-being cross-nationally and within U.S. contexts.  The goal of her program is to promote relevant social work policies and practices on family well-being for low-income and disconnected families who have neither earnings nor public assistance supports.  She is interested in teaching poverty and inequality, social policy analysis and advocacy, social welfare and evaluation, and macro practice.



jessica rodriguez jenkinsJessica A.N. Rodriguez-JenKins

Jessica engages in practice-informed qualitative and quantitative research which centers on how best to support parenting among vulnerable families with young children.  She is interested in partnering with community providers to develop sustainable, culturally appropriate, interventions that support multi-level factors that affect parent-child relationships.  Jessica's dissertation work examines predictors of nurturing parenting among Latina mothers of young children assessed by the child welfare system.  She draws on 10 years of clinical practice experience in her scholarship and teaching, and particularly enjoys teaching foundation and advanced practice classes.


Ciwand Teyra (mei-yi lee)Ciwang Teyra (Mei-Yi Lee)

As an indigenous woman born in Truku Tribal Nation of Taiwan, Ciwang's research focuses on indigenous health, well-being and resilience.  Through the development of culturally relevant psychometric measurement, she examines the influence of historical trauma on both substance use and wellbeing.  She also investigates culture and traditional practices as health-protective and health-promotive factors that can buffer against adversity and promote community resilience.  She is committed to developing culturally responsive interventions that can promote healthful communities.