2023 Inaugural Research Syposium Results in Resounding Success

Friday, Nov 17, 2023

The College of Social Work and Criminal Justice hosted its inaugural College Research Symposium on Wednesday, November 1, well attended by faculty, staff, students, and various campus partners from the Division of Research, Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing, and Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine. 

The trailblazing research coming out of our college informs a wide spectrum of innovative solutions to societal and human needs, and contributes to the scientific basis of our professions. This inaugural research symposium showcased the multidisciplinary and community-engaged projects underway among our faculty, students and research partners across the university and within the community, all of which received funding from the first two years of the college’s internal Seed Grant program. 

After welcome remarks from Naelys Luna, Ph.D., MSW, founding dean of the college, Marianna Colvin, Ph.D., associate dean of research and academic effectiveness, kicked off the symposium research spotlights. First up, JuYoung Park, Ph.D., MSW, professor in the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work, delivered the keynote presentation, which highlighted the outcomes of her team’s pilot study, “Qigong Intervention in Veterans for Chronic Back Pain.” 

Following the keynote, the audience enjoyed brief presentations on the other seed-grant funded pilot projects completed and currently underway, which included:

  • “Relationship Between Religious Involvement, and Levels of Acculturation, Somatization, Depression, and Anxiety in Hispanic Patients”, presented by Manny Gonzalez, Ph.D., LICSW-R, associate professor in the Sandler School of Social Work
  • “Promoting Sleep Health Among Law Enforcement Personnel”, presented by Danielle Groton, Ph.D., MSW, associate professor in the Sandler School of Social Work
  • “Examinining ‘Housing as an Intervention to Fight AIDS’ (HIFA) Model”, presented by Danielle Groton, Ph.D., MSW, and Marianna Colvin, Ph.D., associate professor in the Sandler School of Social Work
  • “Impact of COVID-19 on Justice-Involved African Americans”, presented by Precious Skinner-Osei, Ph.D., MSW, assistant professor in the Sandler School of Social Work, with assistance from her co-researcher Dhiny Mercedes, MSW student
  • “The Community Consequences of Overdose”, presented by Diana Sun, Ph.D., assistant professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Be sure to download the Symposium Booklet to view the full research teams for each project, as well as contact information for each Primary Investigator to discuss the projects in more detail and to explore potential collaboration opportunities. 

To round out the symposium, Dr. Colvin facilitated a robust Q&A that brought much discussion among the audience. The college anticipates holding an annual symposium each Fall, so stay tuned for details. 

Download the Symposium Booklet | Request Our Newsletter | Visit our College Research Hub

Watch the Symposium Event Recording

research symposium
Dr. Park presents the background and significance of her pilot research study
‘’Assessing Feasibility of Qigong Intervention in Veterans with Chronic Low Back Pain.’’
figure 1
(L-R) Dr. Gonzalez and Dr. Groton
during the panel presentations
figure 2
Dr. Groton, Dr. Skinner-Osei and
Dr. Sun during the panel presentations
figure 1
Marianna Colvin, Ph.D., MSW, Associate
Dean of Research and Academic
Effectiveness, facilitating the Q&A
figure 2
Dhiny Mercedes, MSW student and co-author of
Dr. Precious Skinner- Osei’s pilot research study on
“The Impact of Covid-19 on Justice-Involved
African Americans”