PhD: Doctor of Philosophy in Social Welfare

Developing leadership in social work theory, research, and teaching

phd-bannerOur Doctoral Program offers excellent preparation for careers in social welfare research, policy, and teaching. It features a diverse and talented faculty committed to doctoral education, a strong program of research in a variety of areas of concern to social workers, and a curriculum that prepares social work leaders to make a difference in their communities.The Mandel School doctoral program has attracted students from many countries as well as cities around the U.S. We strive to support students in a variety of ways — academically and personally — by encouraging them to take a multidisciplinary approach to their studies and develop a social and collegial network of friends. As one recent alumna said, “The Mandel School PhD program offers a stimulating and supportive environment where faculty show their commitment to students’ success. I received a solid grounding in the fundamentals of quantitative and qualitative research. I especially appreciated the collegial atmosphere and warm, personal tone at the Mandel School.”

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 Doctoral Program In The News

Doctoral Students Win Graduate Awards

May 1 2015

phdscholars5Congratulations to four Mandel School doctoral students who received awards at the 2015 Graduate Awards Ceremony on April 27. They are (pictured left to right with Dr. Aloen L. Townsend, chair of the doctoral program):

Young Sam Oh — The Ruth Barber Moon Award, presented to graduate students who demonstrate academic promise, leadership ability, and financial need;

Ching-Wen Chang — The Arol Shack Dissertation Award, presented to an outstanding Social Welfare doctoral student;

Michael Gearhart – The Graduate Student Research Honorable Mention Award for his research poster at Research ShowCASE 2015; and

En-jung Shon — The Marie Haug Student Award of the University Center on Aging and Health, presented to graduate students who have distinguished themselves in the study of aging.

Visit with us at SSWR 2015

Jan 15 2015

SSWR 2015The Mandel School will have a substantial presence at the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) 2015 Annual Conference this week in New Orleans. Stop by Booth #100 to visit with Dean Grover “Cleve” Gilmore, faculty and PhD students who are gathered for the event. Additionally, the following papers and posters will be presented at SSWR (faculty names are in bold and doctoral students/graduates are in italics):

  • Suzanne Brown & Elizabeth M. Tracy, PhD: Parenting competence and the role of children for mothers recovering from substance dependence
  • Youngmin Cho & Kyung-Hoon Han: Mediating role of self-esteem on the relationship between exposure to violence and self-rate health among South Korean middle school
  • Youngmin Cho & Claudia J. Coulton, PhD: The effects of parental nonstandard work schedules on adolescents’ academic achievement in dual-earner kouseholds in South Korea
  • Chia Ling Chung: Empowerment as a mediator in the relationship between social support and internalized stigma in family caregivers of adults with severe mental illness
  • Chia Ling Chung, David E. Biegel, PhD, Ching Wen Chang: Loneliness as a mediator in the relationship between social support and quality of life in adults with severe mental illness
  • David Crampton, PhD; S. K. Bearman, K. Corteselli, & Susan Yoon: Ongoing efforts to develop the evidence-base of team decision making
  • Janelle Duda; Fred Butcher, PhD; Daniel Flannery, PhD; Jeffrey M. Kretschmar, PhD; Stephen Morgano: Individuals with open warrants: Motivations for surrendering at a church
  • Eunlye Lee, Anna Maria Santiago, PhD, & G.C. Galster: Neighborhood influences on smoking and marijuana use among low-income African American and Latino adolescents
  • Hyung Yong Park, Elizabeth M. Tracy, PhD & Meeyoung Oh Min, PhD: Longitudinal associations among sobriety support, substance using members, and substance use at 6 and 12 months post treatment
  • Susan Yoon & Megan R. Holmes, PhD: Child exposure to violence: The underlying effect of trauma symptoms on behavior problems.

$200,000 Federal Grant Received to Study Children Who Thrive Despite Abuse

Nov 24 2014

Megan HolmesThe Mandel School received a two-year, $200,000 grant to study why some children thrive, achieve and develop despite being abused and witnessing violence in the home.

Megan R. Holmes, PhD, assistant professor of social work and the study’s lead investigator, believes the research could potentially help victims of abuse and neglect by learning why some children are more resilient to it. By understanding child resiliency, social workers and policymakers can implement interventions and programs that focus on protective factors that promote resiliency in maltreated children.

Dr. Holmes said such mistreatment is a prevalent public health concern that has both immediate and long-term consequences on a child’s behavior and academic performance. In 2012, Child Protective Services’ national report, “Child Maltreatment 2012,” found that 686,000 children suffered maltreatment, defined as abuse and neglect.

The training grant provides support for three studies: one by Dr. Holmes and two dissertations by Mandel School doctoral students Julia Kobulsky and Susan Yoon, whom Dr. Holmes will mentor. The researchers will study children from 3 to 17 years old.

Kobulsky will examine the use of substances in children up to age 17, with a particular interest in those who begin using before age 13. Yoon will study the development of behavioral problems of children 4 to 13. Dr. Holmes’ study will focus on how witnessing domestic violence in the home impacts the academic performance from preschool to middle school.

The grant is provided by U. S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Fellowships for University-Based Doctoral Candidates and Faculty for Research in Child Maltreatment from the Administration of Children, Youth and Families’ division of the Children’s Bureau.

The Mandel School was among five nationally to receive the federal grant.

The researchers intend to share what they learn with social workers and policymakers who work with and address children’s issues. They expect to present their findings during a symposium in 2016 with the Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services.