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
Hooyman Professor of Gerontology 
Dean Emeritus & Director of PhD Program in Social Welfare

Dr. Edwina Uehara
Professor & Ballmer Endowed Dean


Shannon BlajeskiShannon Blajeski

Shannon’s research focuses on the intersection among community treatment for severe mental illness, social determinants of health, and social marginalization.  Utilizing a critical theoretical lens, Shannon explores whether traditional psychiatric care systematically addresses social determinants of health, specifically the social isolation and poverty associated with living with severe mental illness.  Her research is influenced by seven years of direct practice in community mental health settings and ten years of EBP program implementation.  Her dissertation explores how young adults in treatment for first episode psychosis navigate work and school while in early recovery stages, and how this process is influenced by family members and the program.  In addition, Shannon has analyzed macro-level mental health policy and evidence-based practice guidelines for their attention to social context within treatment.  She is interested in teaching applied research courses, human behavior in the social environment and historical foundations of social work.    

Jessica ElmJessica Elm

As a citizen of the Oneida Nation and a descendant of the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of the Mohicans, Jessica’s research agenda is driven by the health and policy needs of tribal communities. Toward this end, her manuscripts have centered on substance abuse policy and programming, resilience, child maltreatment, suicidality, and American Indian-specific social stressors.  Jessica’s research trajectory involves continued examination of historical and contemporary sociopolitical determinants of physical and behavioral health disparities; constellations of stressors and cumulative adversity across the life course; and multidimensional resilience and post-traumatic growth. She hopes to teach courses on social determinants of health and macro practice.  Jessica is committed to a career of serving tribal communities through translational research, teaching, advocacy, and capacity building. 

Christopher FlemingChristopher Fleming 

Christopher’s research focuses on the development and prevention of problematic youth behavior, with an emphasis on high-risk and underserved youth groups.  His experience working with incarcerated, gang-involved, and runaway youth provides the background for research examining the influence of environmental risk and protective factors in the development of youth delinquency, substance use, risky sex, and gang involvement and generating effective prevention programming to address these outcomes.  His dissertation focuses on the effects of a community-based universal prevention system in preventing gang association among rural and small town youth.  Christopher is interested in teaching research methods, child and adolescent development, poverty and inequality, and prevention science.


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 inform 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, which she uses to inform her teaching in multigenerational practice and practice with older adults, social welfare history and policy, and social research.

Tiffany JonesTiffany Jones

Tiffany’s research incorporates racial equity into the intervention development continuum, from etiology and program development to implementation and dissemination. Her primary areas of interest are the etiology and prevention of mental health and substance use disorders and the promotion of academic achievement. Tiffany’s work is informed by experience supervising and implementing evidence-based practices in diverse communities, motivating her to build bridges between research and practice through partnerships with community organizations. For her dissertation project, Tiffany partnered with Seattle Public Schools to develop a practice-oriented data infrastructure aimed at supporting school climate reform interventions and promoting racial equity in achievement and disciplinary practices.  She is interested in teaching micro and macro practice, poverty and inequality, and research methods.


Rebecca RebbeRebecca Rebbe

Rebecca’s research examines community responses to child maltreatment through systems, laws, and policies. Her research is informed by 7 years of post-MSW practice working with families involved with the child welfare system, first as an in-home family crisis clinician before working in the public child welfare system as an ongoing case worker, a CPS investigator, and a permanency and adoptions supervisor with adolescents. Rebecca’s dissertation focuses on the prevalence, risk factors, and system responses to child maltreatment-related hospitalizations utilizing a population-based linked administrative dataset. She is interested in teaching foundation practice, child welfare, social welfare history, and social policy courses.



Chiho SongChiho Song

Chiho’s research focuses on social mobility, with a particular emphasis on intergenerational income mobility resulting from intricate interactions among individual capabilities, family attributes, and the welfare state. Specifically, Chiho examines income mobility as promoted or inhibited by key social institutions and policies related to basic material security (e.g., food, shelter), education, and health care. His dissertation examines cross-national differences in income mobility between South Korea and the United States and how social welfare policy has affected mobility over the period of welfare state retrenchment from 1980 to 2015. Chiho is interested in teaching macro practice, particularly related to areas of poverty, inequality, social mobility, social welfare policy and history, research methods, social policy analysis, and program evaluation.