Introducing the SSWR Doctoral Student Members: Communications Committee! 

The Communications Committee is responsible for outreach to SSWR doctoral student members including making student members aware of events and opportunities offered through SSWR, as well as providing resources to support student work and development. We maintain a blog located on the SSWR website as well as the Facebook page. Last year we launched a new series, This is How I Work: Social Work Research Edition, which is based on the series from Lifehacker and showcased how social work scholars go about their work. This year we will continue that series and launch a new one to highlight the research done by doctoral student members (SSWR Doctoral Student Research Highlight). If you have an idea of how the Communications Committee can better support you as a student member, please contact the committee co-chairs, Sara Terrana ( and Catherine Kramer (

Sara Terrana, Doctoral Candidate, University of California, Los Angeles  
I am Sara Terrana, a doctoral candidate at UCLA – Luskin School of Public Affairs in the Department of Social Welfare. My research focuses on the nonprofit and voluntary sector, particularly community-based organizations, neighborhoods of concentrated disadvantage, and social inequality. I teach sections and courses at both UCLA and the Columbia School of Social Work. These have included classes in statistics, human behavior and the social environment, social work policy, and advocacy in social work practice. Prior to my doctoral studies, I earned my MSW from UCLA in 2013. During that time, I completed internship placements in Long Beach, California, and Johannesburg, South Africa. I also hold an MA from Teachers College – Columbia University (2011), where I focused on macro practices and urban poverty. In addition, I served in the Peace Corps in the Republic of Vanuatu from 2005–07. 

Catherine Kramer, Doctoral Student, University at Albany – SUNY 
I am Catherine Kramer, a doctoral student at the University at Albany - SUNY. My work focuses on young people who experience disadvantage and marginalization due to economic poverty, social isolation, and social exclusion. My research takes me across multiple settings – educational, juvenile justice and child welfare – in pursuit of organizational designs and practices that ensure healthy development and opportunity for young people. Currently I work as a research assistant for the NYKids Project, which studies the practices of schools succeeding at serving marginalized young people, and as a research associate with the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice. I am a licensed social worker and have a master's degree in public administration. 

Jonah DeChants, Doctoral Student, University of Denver
I am Jonah DeChants, a doctoral student at the University of Denver's Graduate School of Social Work. I study the experiences of homeless youth, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, and approaches to youth empowerment. Prior to coming to GSSW, I worked for the Philadelphia Department of Human Services, supervising a federal planning grant which examined risk and protective factors of homelessness among youth aging out of foster care. I have a Masters of Social Policy from the University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy and Practice.

Kyle T. Ganson, Doctoral Candidate, Simmons University 
I am Kyle T. Ganson, a doctoral candidate at Simmons University School of Social Work. My research focuses on eating disorders, boy's and men's health, mental health care policy and access, and social work education. Along with my doctoral studies, I adjunct teach at Simmons University and the University of New England. I am also a licensed clinical social worker and I have a private practice in Southern Maine.

Kimberly Hogan, Doctoral Student, Arizona State University 
I am Kimberly Hogan, a doctoral student at Arizona State University. My research focuses on domestic sex trafficking and the therapeutic needs for exiting.  I work closely with community groups, including the National Criminal Justice Training Center, AMBER Alert, City of Phoenix Starfish Place, and the Phoenix and Las Vegas Metropolitan VICE Units. My research work spans the prevention, detection, identification, and treatment of minor and adult sex trafficking victims. Along with my doctoral studies and sex trafficking research, I am a faculty associate at Arizona State University and an adjunct instructor at Fordham University in the online MSW program. I am also a therapist at a local behavioral health hospital.

Julia O’Connor, Doctoral Candidate, Rutgers University
I am Julia O’Connor a doctoral candidate and Part Time Lecture at the Rutgers University School of Social Work and a Research Associate at the Center of Violence Against Women and Children. I have many years of experience as a domestic and sexual violence advocate. Additionally, I served in the Peace Corps twice (Uganda 2004-2006; Guyana 2013-2014). I hold a MSW from the University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Social Work and a MPH from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. My research interests include violence against women focused on primary prevention of interpersonal violence.

Kwynn Gonzalez-Pons, Doctoral Student, University of Utah 
I am Kwynn Gonzalez-Pons, a doctoral student in the University of Utah’s College of Social Work. I study the intersections of health, technology, and gender-based violence.  Prior to coming to the University of Utah, I worked on a federally funded project through the Office of Women’s Health collaborating with social service providers, healthcare professionals, and survivors of intimate partner violence to improve IPV screenings in healthcare settings and support survivors accessing health services. I have a Master of Public Health from the University of North Texas Health Science Center