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Seven faculty members join School of Social Work

Incoming group diverse in ethnicity, research interests

Seven new hires at the School of Social Work under an acting dean might suggest big changes for the urban-focused institution. But Gail Steketee, dean ad interim for the next two years, says she hopes the faculty joining SSW this fall will bolster the school’s traditional strengths.

“We are on the whole, a remarkably cohesive group,” says Steketee, referring to an unusually collaborative research approach among faculty and the cooperative environment throughout the school. “I would love to see that continue and expand.”

The culturally and racially diverse group of new faculty also has varied experience and research interests. Steketee hopes the faculty on board will connect new hires with the community, “where their own work can flourish.”

The seven new hires, of which two were hired two years ago but are starting their jobs this fall, bring the school nearly to full complement, Steketee says. The new hires are:

Marah Curtis, assistant professor, specializes in poverty and inequality issues, welfare reform, housing policy, and child and family policy. She earned her Ph.D. from Columbia University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship there. She will joins the welfare policy department.

Ellen DeVoe, assistant professor, was hired last year but delayed her arrival until now. She joins the clinical practice department and brings a specialty of studying youth exposure to violence. She has worked on projects that include a study of the impact of the attacks of 9/11. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Hyeouk Hahm, assistant professor, also delayed her arrival for a year, but this fall joins the clinical practice and research departments. Also a Ph.D. graduate from Columbia University, Hahm studies issues such as health care utilization in immigrant populations and has worked with many Asian adolescents.

Luz Lopez, assistant professor, last year earned her Ph.D. from Tulane University School of Social Work. Her work with Latina women focuses on co-occurring disorders and violence, and trauma. She also works extensively with families and groups.

Joseph Merighi, associate professor, earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Formerly holding a tenured position at San Jose State University, he joins the human behavior department at SSW. His research includes the effects of job stress induced by conflicting private emotions, and he has worked with airline employees and renal social workers in dialysis units.

Humberto Reynoso-Vallejo, assistant professor, joined SSW in the fall of 2004 as instructor and now joins the human behavior and social welfare policy departments as coordinator of racism courses. He earned a Ph.D. from Brandeis University’s Heller School. He specializes in cultural humility, diversity, and Latino health care promotion.

Mark Gianino, clinical assistant professor, is a Ph.D. candidate from Simmons College School of Social Work. He joins the clinical practice department. He has worked in individual and group treatment programs in several settings and has research interests that include parenting roles in gay and lesbian-headed families.

In the fall of 2006, Jordana Muroff plans to join the clinical practice department as an assistant professor. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Michigan and is now working as a postdoctoral fellow. Her research interests lie in cultural and gender effects on diagnosis and intervention, cognitive behavioral treatment, and child/adult psychopathology.