It is with great pride and pleasure that we present this year's doctoral candidates 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 upcoming 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

Martha AbyMartha Aby

Influenced by over 15 years of teaching, clinical, supervisory, and public policy practice, Martha investigates the social justice implications of how states and the federal government fund and implement mental health services and infrastructure development efforts. Research projects focus on the sustainability of grant programming, the effects of productivity requirements on clinician behaviors, and state infrastructure grant implementation. Her dissertation examines the implementation of Minnesota’s Cultural and Ethnic Minority Infrastructure Grant, a program aiming to increase the number of licensed mental health professionals from communities of color, at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. Martha enjoys and has experience in teaching courses on social work theory (human behavior in the social environment), methods (families and groups, organizations, and community practice), and clinical engagement (assessment skills and psychopathology). 

Shannon BlajeskiShannon Blajeski

Shannon’s research focuses on how social conditions such as poverty, disability, and social marginalization impact individuals with severe mental illness with a particular focus on early intervention for psychosis.  Her research is informed by critical epistemologies as well as nearly 20 years of work experience with adults with severe mental illness and evidence-based practices, both of which shape her scholarly focus.  Her dissertation research utilizes a standpoint epistemological lens to explore the links between disability, poverty, employment, and mental illness, with a spotlight on the ways in which these trajectories form during early stages of living with psychosis.  In addition, Shannon has analyzed macro-level U.S. mental health policy and evidence-based practice guidelines for their attention to social context within treatment using critical discourse analysis.  She is interested in teaching evidence-based practice in social work, qualitative research methods courses, and historical foundations of social work and of mental illness treatment and policy.    

Angela Fernandez Angela Fernandez

Born and raised in the Menominee Nation, Angela’s research and teaching agenda is built on a solid foundation of extensive national and international clinical and community practice with Indigenous and Latinx populations.  She uses a community based participatory research and public health social work approach, guided by Indigenous theories and methodologies, to examine cultural and environmental engagement as settings-based protective interventions in HIV, substance abuse, and mental health prevention among Indigenous communities.  Angela hopes to teach courses on the social, historical and environmental determinants of health, as well as clinical and community practice courses.  She is committed to supporting Indigenous and other marginalized communities’ efforts to reduce health disparities and inequities through translational research, decolonizing pedagogies, community capacity building, and political advocacy to promote Indigenous health through social and environmental justice.   

Rebecca Rebbe

Rebecca 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.

Chio 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.