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College of Human Environmental Sciences

PhD Student Profiles

If you are a PhD student at the MU School of Social Work and would like to be included on this page, please send your information and a picture to

View doctoral dissertations

Current PhD Students at a Glance

Jennifer FirstJennifer First, PhD Student
Research Interests: Psychological impact of disasters, community crisis, and violence; intervention research; resilience and positive youth development.

Rebekah FreeseRebekah Freese, PhD Student
Research Interests: Mental health; children and youth; suicide prevention and intervention; intervention research; family dynamics.

Eunyoung JangEunyoung Jang, PhD Student
Research Interests: Social interaction - social network; social support; social services; mental health; multicultural/cross-cultural issues; immigrant and refugee population; gerontology, especially organization and management issues; statistics.

Jung Sim JunJung Sim Jun, PhD Student
Research Interests: Gerontechnology & aging in place; technology acceptance, attitude, & preference of older adults; eHealth literacy; psychological health, stressors, coping strategies, and social, cultural, and spiritual factors influencing general well-being of older adults in assisted living facilities and nursing homes; psychological & physical well-being of elderly immigrants; mental health literacy; community interventions; international social work practice and ethics.

Anita Kiessling-CaverAnita Kiessling-Caver, PhD Student
Research Interests: Mental health, primarily personality disorders and reactive attachment.

Laura KingLaura King, PhD Students
Research Interests: Risk and resiliency; protective factors found within single mother family structures; youth and young adult empowerment; mental health - the development of culturally relevant and preventative interventions for minorities.

Eve McGeeEve McGee, PhD Student
Research Interests: Intersection between poverty, race, class, and gender; homeless family assistance; HIV/AIDS; family planning.

Areen OmaryAreen Omary, PhD Candidate
Research Interests: National trends in admission of the severely mentally ill patients; disparities in access to mental healthcare services at hospitals; trajectories of mental disorders and biases in psychiatric assessments; hierarchal Multi-nominal Logistic Regression Models; diagnostic interviewing; misdiagnosis of mental illnesses among women; development of gender sensitive diagnostic measures of mental illnesses; embodied biases in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual; validity, reliability and classification accuracy of the DSM IV and V.

Michael PeltsMichael Pelts, PhD Student
Research Interests: Sexual and gender minorities; military members and veterans; older adults; gerontechnology; minority stress theory and health disparities; intergroup contact theory; culturally informed evidence based practice.

Lindsay RuhrLindsay Ruhr, PhD Student
Research Interests: Reproductive health policy; maternal and child health; family planning; domestic violence; international social work issues.