PhD Student Profiles

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Current PhD Students at a Glance

Brandi Armstrong

Link to CV

Brandi has over 17 years of professional experience in a variety of settings providing services to individuals and families. She is a LMSW in the State of Missouri. Her clinical experiences include recovery services, serious mental illness (inpatient and outpatient), and supervision of case managers in a community-based program.

Teaching Experience:
  •  SOC 101: General Sociology – Fall 2021
  • SWK 725 Generalist Practice with Groups and Families– Fall 2021
  • SWK 756 SW Practice III: Advanced Generalist Practice with Groups -Scheduled Spring 2022
Research Interests:
  • Policy analysis
  • Population-based studies
  • Medicaid expansion under the ACA and the impacts on the recovery community
  • Evidence-based treatment for recovery services
  • Alleviating homelessness

Anthony Banks

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Anthony loves to do it all. He is currently obtaining his LCSW licensure part time at a private practice in town. He is also a full-time PhD student with research interests pertaining to intersectionality, racial/gender/sexual minority identity, mental health, and their access to public health services including their interactions with police officers and their access to gender-affirming healthcare. Additionally, Anthony is serving as adjunct teaching faculty to the School of Social Work teaching graduate and undergraduate courses as well as serving as a field instructor during the spring semesters for MSW students completing their advanced clinical practicums.

Caitlin Bartley

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Caitlin Bartley is an MSW with a passion for intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) research. During undergrad at Lincoln University, Caitlin double majored in psychology and social work. She completed psychology internships with the Special Learning Center and the Boys & Girls Club of the Capital City. Her BSW practicum was with Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, where she assisted with policy research to increase the quality of services to local domestic violence agencies and their clients. Caitlin graduated from Lincoln University with a BSW and a B.S. in Psychology in 2015. Caitlin began the MSW program at the MU School of Social Work in 2016, concentrating on Policy, Planning, and Administration. She completed her MSW practicum with the Missouri Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), where she worked in the Federal Programs Unit. Since completing the MSW program in 2017, Caitlin has worked in DDD’s Quality Enhancement Unit as the National Core Indicators (NCI) Project Coordinator. Caitlin is pursuing her Ph.D. to gain research skills and experience. She is interested in researching how to support the quality of life of individuals with IDD, specifically in relation to independence and choice.

Kenneth Bedell

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Kenneth is a second-year doctoral student in the School of Social Work PhD program. Kenneth received his Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Social Work from Missouri State University in Springfield, MO. He has over 10 years of experience working in the Mental Health field. During that time, he has worked as a case manager and supervisor of community-based services for individuals with various diagnoses including intellectual, developmental, and behavioral disorders, as well as individuals with an Autism diagnosis. Kenneth also has 2 years experience as an adjunct instructor for the Social Work department at Missouri State University. Kenneth’s research interests include: Effects of poverty on criminal behaviors, Impact of systemic racism in organizational settings, Prison re-entry and recidivism rates, Multiracial issues, Spirituality and Social work, Social work education.

Michele Brown

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I started my social work career in child welfare, where I worked with children and families experiencing foster care for 11 years. I transitioned into academia in 2016, beginning with adjunct faculty positions and later obtained employment as a full-time faculty in social work at Missouri State University. I remain passionate about child welfare and continually seek ways that I can volunteer to give back to this community. My research interests include older youth in foster care, volunteerism, and student engagement in the classroom setting.

MacKenzie Dallenbach

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MacKenzie is a current MSW/PhD graduate student. During her time at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI), MacKenzie double majored in social work and psychology, with a certificate in conflict resolution. MacKenzie’s primary research focus is in non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and suicidal behaviors. MacKenzie is currently interested in social and environmental factors of NSSI. In the future, MacKenzie plans to shift her research to studying intervention and programming for NSSI in educational settings.

Kasey Hammock

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Kasey Hammock is a nonprofit executive director with experience working in organizational leadership, early childhood education, and with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She has a BSW and MPA from Mizzou. Her research interests include: early childhood education, child welfare, social service organizational outcomes, organizational decision making, and employee wellbeing.

 

 

Amanda Hood

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Amanda is a third year MSW/PhD student. She received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wichita State University and her master’s degree in Psychological Science with a Developmental emphasis from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Her primary research interests include sex education, body image, and sexual health.

 

Omoshola Kehinde

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My name is Omoshola Benardinah Kehinde (B. Pharm, MPH). My research interests lie in the areas of opioid overdose and deaths among African-Americans in the United States. I am specifically interested in the social determinants of health that could be contributing to the increase in opioid deaths among this population.

 

 

 

Anna Kim

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Anna is a fourth-year doctoral student in the combined MSW/Ph.D. program at MU. She received her undergraduate degree in Sociology at Purdue University and her master’s degree in Public Management from Fudan University in Shanghai, China. Anna has two years of experience working at the non-profit organization called Beautiful Store, which is located in Seoul, S. Korea. Her research interests are social-emotional learning in children and prevention of challenging behaviors in childhood and adolescence in classrooms and schools.

 

 

 

Odongo Attoh Douglas

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Odongo Attoh Douglas is currently a PhD candidate at the School of Social Work, University of Missouri, Columbia—USA. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, and an MPhil. in Sociology from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. His research interest is in addressing marginalization for vulnerable groups, especially in urban centers. He has publications on intellectual disabilities and healthcare, urban streets and education, and still working on others.

Geunhye Park

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Hello! I am Park, a doctoral candidate this year, 2021. I am currently on the job market. My interests are gerontology, healthy aging, social support including technology, caregiving, and policy for supporting older adults and families. Currently, I am working on my dissertation project, the role of social support on caregiving experiences among dementia caregivers with national data sets (NHATS and NSOC), employing a latent class analysis (LCA). Over the past years, I have worked with an interdisciplinary research team to develop sensing technology and voice assistant interface to manage health independently and support caregiving. Currently, I am independently teaching Direct Practice with Older Adults, a cross level course at the Univ of Missouri School of Social Work. As a gerontological social worker I am able to teach within the scope of macro practice, policy, gerontology, and research methodology courses. Please, find my curriculum vitae for more details. Thank you!

 

Melanie Ramos-Green

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Education
  • MA in Clinical Psychology, University of Missouri, 2009
  • BS in Psychology, Wayne State University, 2003
  • Hon BSc in Neuroscience, University of Toronto, 1999
Research Interests
  • Treatment and program efficacy for ethnic or transgender/gender minority individuals
  • Adherence to Trauma-Informed Care protocol
  • DBT treatment adaptations

Rebekah Stanfast

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Rebekah E. Stanfast (MSW, LCSW) is a PhD student with University of Missouri School of Social Work. She is currently a parttime student in her third year of study. Her research interests include Substance Use Disorders, Healthcare Systems and Health Disparities, and Hospital Readmission Rates. Specific theoretical frameworks include Ecological Systems Theory and Transtheoretical Model. Given her interests in the field of healthcare many of Rebekah’s courses have been with the School of Nursing and School of Public Health providing a wide range of perspectives and opportunities for learning during her time as a PhD student. She currently serves as the Doctoral Program Committee Student Representative.

Rebekah graduated from University of Missouri with her BSW in 2011 and MSW in 2013. She completed her LCSW certification in 2015 and is now a Clinical Supervisor able to provide clinical supervision for LMSWs. She has practice experience working with children, adolescents, adults, couples, and groups as a mental health and substance use counselor in an outpatient, inpatient, and telehealth basis. Currently, she works fulltime at University of Missouri Hospital as a Behavioral Health Social Worker. Rebekah has experience in teaching and lecturing both as a student and in her professional life. Teaching and leadership experience include serving on multiple committees and quality improvement projects developing curriculum for students, staff, and employees to best meet the needs of the population served within the agency.

 

Elizabeth Taylor

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Elizabeth Taylor is a doctoral student in the MSW/Ph.D. joint degree program within the Mizzou School of Social Work. Her broad research interests include criminal and juvenile justice, treatment for co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders within corrections, specialized treatment courts, trauma-informed care, and evidenced-based social policy. She is currently working as a graduate research assistant for the Prison Research and Innovation Network (PRIN) and is completing an advanced practicum with the Division of Offender Rehabilitative Services within the Missouri Department of Corrections. Originally from Texas, Elizabeth earned a Bachelor’s in Sociology with a minor in society and health from the University of Mississippi and a Master’s in Sociology from the University of Missouri. She currently serves on the board of the Columbia Foster and Adoption Project and is a member of Phi Alpha, Phi Beta Kappa, and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Societies.

Gashaye Tefera

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Gashaye Melaku Tefera (MSW, MA) is a Ph.D. student at the School of Social Work and a Research Assistant at the Center for Eldercare and Rehabilitation Technology, University of Missouri. He is also a member and student contributor at the Center for Children and Families Across Cultures. His dissertation research focuses on access to health services among immigrant women. His research interest also includes health disparities among vulnerable populations, gerontological social work, mental health, decolonization and culturally relevant practice. Gashaye worked as a social work and sociology lecturer at Jimma and Ambo universities. He also has vast experience in the non-profit sector in Ethiopia where he developed and managed various projects focusing on women empowerment, education, human rights, and reproductive health. Gashaye was awarded the prestigious Erasmus Mundus scholarship to study in five European countries, and the Atlas Corps fellowship to serve in the world’s largest non-profit, United Way Worldwide. Besides his professional life, Gashaye is a songwriter.

Tanya Weigand

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As a practicing Social Worker for over 20 years and LCSW licensure, work experience includes Owner/Therapist in her own private practice, Social Worker/Teacher, Regional Director of Addiction Recovery, Residential Assistant Director and Case Management Supervisor in child welfare.  Research interests include children and families, trauma, school-based interventions, crisis mediation, emotional intelligence, and resiliency.