Economic Inequality and its Implications for Youth Lecture, 3/30

Mar 6 2018

As a part of the Spring 2018 Research and Training Colloquia Dr. Trina R. Williams Shanks, PhD Associate Director of the Vivian A. James L. Curtis Research Training Center and Associate Professor, School of Social Work at the University of Michigan will be presenting “Economic Inequality and its Implications for Youth on March 30, 2018 from 12:30pm-2:00pm in the Mandel Community Studies Center Room 108. Lunch will be served at noon. The event is co-sponsored by the Office of Research Administration and the Doctoral Program.

Dr. Shanks is currently Associate Professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. She has a PhD in Social Work from Washington University and a Masters in Comparative Social Research from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Her Research interest include the impact of poverty and wealth on child well-being; asset building policy and practice across the life cycle; and community and economic development. Dr. Shanks is currently one of the national network co-leads for the Social Work Grand Challenge: Reversing Extreme Economic Inequality. She has been a research investigator for the Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment (SEED) demonstration program and consults with several other child savings account initiatives, including one started in Lansing Public Schools and at a non-profit organization in Detroit.

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Sonia Minnes Appointed Chair of Doctoral Program

Jan 10 2018

Sonia Minnes, PhD, Associate Professor has been appointed the new chair of the Mandel School’s doctoral program effective January 1, 2018.

“As a member of the Doctoral Program Executive Committee for over four years, Dr. Minnes has been intimately engaged with the program, and I am impressed with her vision for it,” said Dean Grover C. Gilmore in announcing the new appointment.

Dr. Minnes holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology and a doctorate in social welfare from the Mandel School. She joined the Case Western Reserve University faculty as an Assistant Professor in the School of Medicine in 2004. Her research interests are in the study of child development and the multiple factors that affect cognitive and mental health outcomes.

Dr. Minnes is the lead investigator of Project Newborn, a longitudinal study that began at Case Western Reserve in 1994 to examine negative health outcomes of babies born during the nationwide crack cocaine epidemic. In 2017, she received the Patricia Rodier Mid-Career Award in Research and Mentoring from The Teratology Society.

As chair of the doctoral program, Dr. Minnes is succeeding David E. Biegel, PhD, the Henry L. Zucker Professor in Social Work Practice. In his announcement of the transition, Dean Gilmore thanked Dr. Biegel for his excellent leadership of the program, including the implementation of a number of important curriculum changes and a boost in the number and diversity of the applicants.

Founded in 1952 as one of the first doctoral programs in social welfare in America, the PhD program at the Mandel School is designed to develop leaders in social work research, policy, and teaching. It is a cornerstone of the school, offering doctoral students the unrivaled opportunity to engage with world-renowned faculty, cutting-edge research, and a creative curriculum – all within a supportive environment committed to student success. Learn more:

Mandel School Welcomes 2017 Doctoral Students

Aug 27 2017

The Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences is excited to welcome the cohort 2017 doctoral students. There are six students entering this academic year.

(R-L) David E. Biegel, PhD, Hyunjun Lee, Cheryl Ross Appline, Liuhong Yang, Kylie Evans, Paul Tuschman, and Fei Wang.

Hyunjune Lee earned his BSW from the Seoul National University and MSW from the University of Michigan with a concentration in policy evaluation and community organizing. He has worked as a student intern at various children and youth agencies in both South Korea and the United States, including Childfund Korea, the Washtenaw Area Council for Children, and the Student Advocacy Center of Michigan. His work experiences throughout the internships encompass the areas of interpersonal intervention, community organizing, and program/policy evaluation. He has contributed to managing educational services for children from low-income families, developing countywide suicide prevention strategies for middle and high school students, research on anti-bullying strategies, education advocacy, and program evaluation. His primary academic interests cover understanding the impact of socially formed gender norms and prior exposure to violence on youth’s aggressive behaviors. He is interested in taking a feminist approach to understand youth violence. He is also interested in learning and implementing mixed methods for his research as a Doctoral student at MSASS.


Cheryl Ross Appline is currently the Senior Director of Planning, Research, and Evaluation for the Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland (CEOGC) – a non-profit, Community Action Agency serving Cuyahoga County, Ohio. She is excited to join the MSASS cohort of 2017 to further her research interests in the areas of early childhood education, data-driven decision-making, urban poverty, and program evaluation. In her role as Senior Director of Planning, Research and Evaluation for CEOGC, Cheryl is responsible for managing a range of activities that support maintaining as well as increasing funding for the organization’s programs and services. Cheryl is also responsible for spearheading the agency’s efforts to determine community need for CEOGC’s programs and services as well as analyzing program data to assess service delivery and program operations and provide recommendations for improvement or enhancement. Cheryl has over 20 years of professional experience in the public, private, and non-profit sector specializing in program planning, strategy development, proposal development, and grants administration. Prior to rejoining CEOGC, Cheryl worked as a Community Builder for the Cleveland Area Office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Cheryl earned her Master of City and Regional Planning and her Master of Arts in Public Policy and Management degrees from The Ohio State University. She earned her Bachelor of City Planning degree from the University of Virginia.

“I chose MSASS for numerous reasons — its faculty, its national ranking, the part-time, PhD format, and the generous tuition assistance offered. However, the school’s commitment to research, diversity, and student success is what really solidified my decision to enroll.” – Cheryl Ross Appline


Liuhong Yang has two Bachelor’s degrees (BA) in Psychology and Justice Studies from Kent State University in 2012, and received her M.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati in 2015. She was a research assistant for the Psychopathology and Emotional Regulation Laboratory (PERL), and was involved in clinical assessment of psychopathology and personality research at Kent State University. Liuhong also worked as the Effective Practices in Community Supervision Program (EPICS) as a coder with the University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute. In addition to academic and research work, she has interned and worked in various law enforcement agencies, court, and law firms in China and the United States. Liuhong’s academic and professional experiences have propelled her to pursue her passion in serving vulnerable populations, and reaching them from macro levels in terms of community work, institutional changes, and national and/or international policies. Her research interests include social welfare policies, public policy research, violence prevention initiatives, and substance use and mental health disorders treatment practices.

“I was welcomed into the program from the moment I walked in the Mandel building, and I could feel the positive, supportive, and collaborative learning environment right away. The program has the most approachable and down-to-earth professors that I’ve never had before. Pursuing PhD is a serious commitment and a major decision for me, but after getting to know this close-knit Mandel family, I have every reason to be hopeful for the future. The program provides a wide range of academic interests, not only can you gain a comprehensive understanding of what Social Welfare means, but you can also find a perfect fit in terms of your own specific interests.” – Liuhong Yang


Kylie Evans obtained a BA in Communication from Wittenberg University (2006) and received her MSW from West Virginia University (WVU) (2009). Kylie’s direct practice experience has included work with survivors of intimate partner violence and their children, high-risk adolescents, and college students. Most recently, Kylie’s direct practice work has focused on first-generation college students involved with federal TRiO programs (Student Support Services and Upward Bound). In her recent work with SSS/TRiO at WVU, Kylie has worked on course and curriculum development for SSS participants, while supervising and facilitating the SSS Peer Mentor/service learning program. Prior to her involvement with TRiO programs, Kylie worked as a case manager, advocate, and prevention educator at a rural shelter for women and children exposed to family violence. Her experiences in this direct practice role laid the foundation for her academic research interests, which include protective factors in youth exposed to intimate partner violence, women’s health issues, and feminist scholarship.

“When I visited the MSASS campus, I had the opportunity to attend a class, meet with faculty members, and chat with current students in the doctoral program. One of the most noteworthy aspects of my visit was how genuine and enthusiastic each person was. I quickly learned that the faculty and students at the Mandel School are not only passionate about their research and fields of study, but that they truly care about student learning, mentorship, and building a collaborative academic culture. I knew the Mandel School would offer me opportunities to grow as a scholar in both a compassionate and academically rigorous environment.” – Kylie Evans


Paul Tuschman received his BA in psychology from The Ohio State University in 2013 and his master of science in social administration (MSSA) from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University in 2016. As an undergraduate student, Paul worked as a research assistant in social and clinical psychology labs, studying mindfulness meditation, emotion in affective disorders, and behavioral effects of violent video games. After completing his first-year MSSA internship with the Mobile Crisis Team at Frontline Service, Paul began research at the Begun Center for Violence Prevention, Research and Education, where he studied specialized court dockets, including the drug court, veterans’ court, and mental health court. Paul’s current research interests include offender rehabilitation, violence prevention, and stigmatization.


Fei Wang worked as a medical social worker at Changi General Hospital in Singapore prior to beginning her Ph.D. program. In her capacity there, she provided care planning to geriatric patients and family caregivers. She also provided crisis services and support to patients in the Intensive Care Unit. Fei received her BA in political education from China Youth University for Political Sciences and MSW from The University of Hong Kong. During her MSW program, she took part in a research project in collaboration with Hong Kong Queen Mary Hospital, which provided Integrated Body-Mind-Spirit intervention to women with infertility. Her current research interests include social support and family caregiving of frail older adults with chronic diseases. She co-authored an academic paper examining the mediating role of coping strategies in the relationship between caregiver burden and depressive symptoms among family caregivers caring for disabled older adults with musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions.