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Social Policy

Researchers at the School of Social Work are seeking to improve the lives of individuals, particularly those who are marginalized and disenfranchised, through policy reform at different levels.

Researchers in Social Policy

Faculty Researchers

Jane Gilgun


Child Welfare, Family Violence, Qualitative Research Methods

Wendy Haight

Professor and Gamble-Skogmo Chair in Child Welfare and Youth Policy

Child Welfare, Developmental Psychology, Mental Health, Social Services, Substance Abuse

Hee Yun Lee

Professor; Director of Research

Community-Based Participation Research (CBPR), Cultural Competence, Family Violence, Health, Healthcare, Intervention Sercive, Seniors/Aging/Gerontology

Elizabeth Lightfoot

Professor; Doctoral Program Director

Child Welfare, Community Engagement, Community-Based Participation Research (CBPR), Disability, Policy

Joseph Merighi

Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies

End-stage renal diseases, Medication adherence, Chronic illness, Social work practice in health care settings

Jean Quam

Dean, College of Education and Human Development, Professor

Gender & Sexuality, Higher Education, Learning Technologies, Seniors/Aging/Gerontology

James Reinardy

Director, School of Social Work Associate Professor

Social Welfare, Leadership and Organizational Change, Seniors/Aging/Gerontology, Policy

Lynette Renner

Associate Professor; Director, Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse

Family Violence, Domestic Violence, Child Welfare, Family Based Interventions, Mental & Behavioral Health, Youth Development

Mark Umbreit

Director, Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking; Professor

Community Engagement, Counseling, Mental Health

Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare Researchers

Saahoon Hong

Senior Minn-LInK Researcher, Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Child Welfare, Disability, Education Policy K-12, Evaluation, Mental Health, Social Services

Traci LaLiberte

Executive Director, Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Child Welfare, Disability, Evaluation, Policy, Systems Change

Kristine Piescher

Director of Research and Evaluation, Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Child Welfare, Evaluation, Policy

Nicole Mickelson

Minn-LInK Researcher

Public Policy, Child Welfare, Health, Program Evaluations and Development

Esther Wattenberg

Professor, Coordinator of Outreach, Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, Associate, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs

Child Welfare, Family System, Immigraton, Social Services

Minnesota Center for Chemical and Mental Health Researchers

Piper Meyer-Kalos

Executive Director, Minnesota Center for Chemical and Mental Health

Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Mental Health, Substance Abuse, Positive Psychology

Youth Work Learning Lab

Deborah Moore

Youth Work Learning Lab Director

Adolescents/Youth, Youth Development, Program Development