The School of Social Work’s primary research mission is to provide collaborative partnerships that enhance human well-being and help meet the basic needs of all people, especially the most vulnerable. Faculty research interests focus on promoting a sense of community-wide health and mental health wellness, with research efforts that assist to make a critical impact across the human lifespan from infancy to aging and family caregiving. Areas of interest include: child protection and family services, health care navigation, mental and behavioral health treatment, military and veterans assistance, nonprofit management and community development, and poverty reduction.

Research Interests

Kim Anderson, Ph.D.

  • Assessment of trauma and recovery for survivors of violence
  • Resilience and post-trauamtic growth in trauma populations
  • Intimate partner violence - including rural and Native American populations
  • Childhood exposure to domestic violence across the lifespan
  • Digital Storytellng as a trauma narrative intervention
  • WordpressEvidence-Based Interventions for Trauma Recovery
  • Resilience and Post-traumatic Growth in trauma populations

Mary Ann Burg, Ph.D., LCSW

  • access to psychosocial care in health care settings
  • primary care settings
  • oncology settings
  • health professions' training to improve psychosocial care delivery
  • quality of life for cancer survivors
  • curriculum outcomes in social work
  • behavioral health

Reshawna Chapple, Ph.D., L.C.S.W.

  • deaf and hard of hearing
  • Disabilities
  • Black and African American Families
  • Mental Health and Crisis Intervention

Sophia Dziegielewski, Ph.D., LCSW

  • human subject research and protection of the rights of human subjects
  • child protection
  • mental health assessment and treatment
  • health and wellness
  • standardized testing strategies and continuing education and training
  • psychopharmacology

Denise Gammonley, Ph.D., M.S.W.

  • elder care workforce development
  • person-centered care practices
  • global social work practice
  • scholarship of teaching and learning

Kimberley Gryglewicz, Ph.D., M.S.W.

  • suicide prevention
  • health and mental health
  • family engagement & caregiving issues
  • systems of care
  • program implementation and evaluation

Shawn Lawrence, Ph.D., LCSW

  • childhood obesity and physical activity
  • bullying
  • truancy

Ana Leon, Ph.D.

  • pediatric health and mental health
  • infant mental health
  • chronic illness in children and parental stress
  • Latino children and families

Olga Molina, D.S.W., LCSW

  • scholarship of teaching and learning

Julie Steen, Ph.D., M.S.W.

  • human rights
  • child welfare organizations
  • child welfare policy
  • social work education

Tracy Wharton, PhD, MEd, MSc, MSW, Postdoc, LCSW

  • aging
  • Caregiving
  • health care workforce
  • behavioral health
  • health and mental health
  • geriatric and long-term care
  • deaf and hard of hearing
  • evidence-based practice
  • Animal-assisted therapies
  • Military families

James Whitworth, Ph.D., LCSW

  • Military families
  • Animal-assisted therapies
  • clinical skills training

Bonnie Yegidis, Ph.D.

  • domestic violence
  • child welfare organizations
  • social work education
  • women's mental health

Current/Recent Grants

Florida Linking Individuals Needing Care
PI: Kim Gryglewicz, Ph.D.
University of South Florida

Social Work HEALS: Social Work Healthcare Education and LeadershipScholars
PI: Mary Ann Burg, Ph.D.
$80,000, 7/27/2015-7/26/2020
Council on Social Work Education and National Association of Social Workers

The Seminole County System of Care (SCSOC) Expansion Evaluation
Co-PI: Kimberley Gryglewicz, Ph.D. (with PI Kristina Childs, UCF, Criminal Justice)
$356,542, 1/1/2016-9/29/2019
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) (to Community Initiatives, Inc. then to UCF)

Expanding SBIRT Workforce Capacity in Central Florida: SBIRT Training for Graduate Social Work Students and Community Health Professionals
PI: Shawn Lawrence, Ph.D.
$915,000, 9/30/2015-9/29/2018
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Central Florida Pathways to Awareness, Support and Services (C PASS)
PI: Kimberley Gryglewicz, Ph.D.
$375,000, 9/30/2015-9/29/2018
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

A Pilot Study into the Effects of Canine-Assisted Therapy for Military Veterans with PTSD
PI: James Whitworth, Ph.D.
$7,500, 5/1/2017-4/30/2018
UCF Office of Research and Commercialization (In-House Grant)

Child Abuse Prevention Campaign Evaluation
PI: Julie Steen, Ph.D.
Co-PI: Mary Ann Burg, Ph.D.
$74,716, 2/6/2015-6/30/2017
Florida Department of Children and Families

Child Welfare Education Program
PI: Bonnie Yegidis, Ph.D.
$5.3 million, 7/1/2015-6/30/2017
Florida Department of Children and Families

Comprehensive School Safety Initiative: Developing Knowledge About What Works to Make Schools Safe
Co-PI: Kimberley Gryglewicz, Ph.D. (with PI Kristina Childs and Co-PI Roberto Potter)
$305,862, 1/1/2015-6/30/2017
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (to Brevard Public Schools then to UCF)
[total NIJ award is $2,269,744]

The Effectiveness of Evidence-Based Attachment-Focused Parenting for Families with Young Children: Using Circle of Security in the Child Welfare System
Co-PI: Ana Leon, Ph.D. (with PI Kimberly Renk, UCF, Psychology)
$60,000, 4/15/2016-4/15/2017
Florida Institute for Child Welfare

Child-WIN: Child Welfare Workforce Innovation
PI: Julie Steen, Ph.D.
$50,000, 3/1/2016-1/30/2017
Children’s Home Society of Florida

Florida Linking Individuals Needing Care (FL LINC)
PI: Kimberley Gryglewicz, Ph.D. (with PI Marc Karver, USF)
$173,706, 9/30/2014-9/29/2016
Florida Council for Community Mental Health
[part of a three-year, $3.68 million award from SAMHSA]

Campus Suicide Prevention
PI: Kimberley Gryglewicz, Ph.D.
$18,980, 9/30/2014-9/29/2016
University of South Florida [from SAMSHA]

Public Defender Information Postings
PI: Sophia Dziegielewski, Ph.D.
$38,640, 5/8/16-8/8/16
Orlando Public Defender’s Office

Enhancing Caregiving Capacity for Very Young Children
PI: Ana Leon, Ph.D.
$28,267, 6/1/2015-6/15/2016
Devereux Center for Resilient Children

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